At first glance, exercise balls and pregnancy balls look identical. However, if you had one of each in front of you, you would likely be able to see and feel the difference.
Exercise balls start as small as 45 centimeters in diameter, and increase up to 75 centimeters. Pregnancy balls are typically offered in two sizes, 65 centimeters in diameter, and 75 centimeters.
Although both balls are inflatable, and manufactured with a vinyl or plastic material, pregnancy balls are often constructed using a thicker version of the material. By using a stronger, thicker material, pregnancy balls often don’t have the inflation issues that come with traditional exercise balls.
Perhaps the most important differentiators between exercise balls and pregnancy balls are the safety features.
Birthing balls are manufactured with the safety and security of expecting mothers in mind. These balls include an anti-slip feature, which keeps the ball secure, effectively preventing it from rolling out from under the user. Additionally, the material used for pregnancy balls are manufactured not to burst if punctured. This anti-burst feature will allow for a slow release of air through the puncture hole, instead of the material bursting, creating a sudden collapse of the ball.
Finding the Best Ball
Now that the key differentiators between a pregnancy ball and a standard exercise ball have been explained, expecting mothers are likely questioning which pregnancy ball is best.
Finding the best pregnancy ball can become a cumbersome task that moms-to-be don’t have time for. There are different brands, materials, colors, features, sizes, and pricing to consider.
Now, let’s be honest – expecting moms don’t have time for that. Why? Because they’re already researching the best cribs, car seats, strollers, bouncers, gliders, and more. The last thing they want to do is research yet another product.
To make it easier, here are a list of three key things mothers should consider before buying their pregnancy ball:
- Size – What is your height? If you’re 5’ 8” or shorter, purchase a 65-centimeter ball. If you’re taller than 5’8”, buy the 75-centimeter ball.
- Materials – Ensure what you’re purchasing is thicker than standard exercise balls.
- Security features – Confirm the pregnancy ball has both non-slip and anti-burst features
By limiting it to these three factors, moms-to-be should not be too overwhelmed with the options. However, to make it easier – keep reading.