A study in 2015 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research reviewed the evidence for exercise with birth balls and found they offered “statistically significant improvements to labour pain.”
There are numerous benefits gained from using a birthing ball, let's take a look at some of them;
DURING YOUR PREGNANCY
- Helps to ease back pain.
- Gets the baby in the correct position for birth.
- Strengthens your core and helps with balance.
- Helps with breathing during the 3rd trimester.
- Opens up the pelvis.
- Increases blood flow to the uterus.
- Allows your baby to move down in the birth canal due to movement gravity.
- Shortens labour and labour pains.
- Helps relieve back, hip and pelvic pain.
- Assists with exercising and stretching.
- Aides for a shorter recovery phase.
WHEN CAN YOU START USING BIRTHING BALL?
The sooner you start, the better! Starting early will allow you to build up strength in your muscles as your belly grows and gets heavier. However, it is more common to use the birthing ball from 32 weeks onward when you start experiencing the effects of your growing baby. Using a ball can ease back pain, and help you to get into comfortable positions for you and baby as well as being able to breathe comfortably.
PURCHASING A BIRTHING BALL
When purchasing your birthing ball make sure to purchase a ball with anti-burst materials.
Depending on your height a ball should be 65cm for 5ft 8in or shorter. 75 cm for 5ft 9in or taller.
Make sure to buy a good quality ball. A safe ball should be able to support weight up to 300kg/661 pounds.
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