Using birthing ball, also called exercise ball during pregnancy offers many benefits than you might think. You can use exercise ball to induce labor, you can use it to help get your baby in a right position and move into the birth canal, and you can use it to make labor a lot more comfortable. While the idea seems quite fascinating, you need to ensure that you use the right exercises and know how to perform them correctly. Let's find out more about it.
Benefits of Using a Birthing Ball
There are actually a number of reasons why it makes sense to use a birthing ball during pregnancy. One good reason is that it helps ensure that your baby is in the right position just before delivery. It encourages your baby to move into the birth canal and induce labor in a short time. By using a birthing ball properly, you can speed up dilation and get things started more efficiently.
Studies show that the use of a birthing ball may help shorten your labor by about an hour. When used correctly, a birthing ball helps relieve spinal pressure, provides support for your ankles and knees, and gives counter-pressure to the thighs and perineum. Women who are dealing with back pain should also try using a birthing ball. It reduces back pain and makes it easier for you to move around. Just keep in mind that it is better to avoid using a birthing ball when you are feeling dizzy or ill.
What Exercises with a Birthing Ball Can Help Induce Labor?
Rocking and Pelvic Tilts
This exercise works great to get your baby into right position. All you have to do is to sit on the birthing ball and rock your pelvis and hips from side-to-side or in a circular motion. You can do the same while standing but using a ball will reduce pressure and stress on your joints and back. You can also go for wider movements to get better results.
Sitting on the Ball
Quite interestingly, simply sitting on an exercise ball may actually offer some benefits. When you are on a birthing ball, you have to stabilize your body using your back and core muscles. This strengthens these muscles and helps you when you actually go into labor. The exercise also helps ensure that your baby is in a good position.
Rocking on Hands and Knees
Lean over a birthing ball and rock on your hands and knees. This simple exercise helps loosen your pelvis and encourages dilation too. You can perform the movement without the ball as well, but it is better to use a ball because it helps you stay on your knees and hands longer without putting much pressure on your wrists, arms, and knees.
Wall Squats with a Birthing Ball
When you decide to use an exercise ball to induce labor, wall squats are an effective way because they help your baby get into proper position, open up your pelvis, and provide your baby some additional space to move through your pelvis. Simply place the ball between your lower back and a wall and then roll downward while bending your knees. Then slowly return to the starting position. It is better to try this exercise when your baby has already started moving downward into your pelvis. The exercise speeds up dilation and starts labor quickly.
Other Effective Exercises to Induce Labor Naturally
Go for a Short Walk
Going for a short walk regularly helps keep you healthy by promoting blood circulation. This low-impact aerobic exercise works great to induce labor. Some experts believe that walking may help induce uterine contractions and make labor easy. Moreover, it also helps your baby get into a correct position before delivery.
Practice Kegal Exercises
Also called pelvic floor exercises, Kegal exercises offer a number of benefits and are quite good for the treatment of urinary incontinence. When performed correctly, these exercises also help induce labor in women who are overdue. The exercises target your pelvic muscles and help strengthen the area for a more comfortable delivery.
This exercise helps strengthen the muscles of your thighs, back, and pelvis. At the same time, it improves blood circulation, adds flexibility to your pelvic joints, and eases labor. Sit on the floor and keep the bottom of your feet together. By engaging your elbows, press your knees towards the floor to stretch your inner thighs. Maintain this position for 15 seconds and then relax. Repeat several times for benefits.
Try Stair Climbing
Stair climbing is a simple exercise but it really helps ensure that you will have a safer labor. It increases your heartbeat and promotes blood circulation. At the same time, the movement helps put your baby in a better position in the birth canal. It also facilitates dilation and promotes uterine contractions.
All these exercises work greatly to promote a safer labor, but you should talk to your doctor before trying these exercises and ensure that you do not have any medical problems that keep you from trying these movements.