If there are any tools or techniques you are interested in using during your labor and birth process, it’s always a good idea to practice with it, either weekly or daily during your pregnancy. If you want to learn how to use a birth ball for labor for example, you’ll want to work with it to get comfortable and make sure you have the right size birth ball for your height. Here are a few tips for getting started:
- With your feet planted flat on the ground and your knees pointing comfortably outward, your knees should be at a comfortable 90-degree angle (hips in line with your knees or slightly higher) while you sit on a birth ball. If you are up to 5’8″ in height, the standard size (65cm) exercise/fit ball will work nicely. If you are 5’9″ or taller, then 75cm size will be better. Keep in mind that a simple air pump can usually change the height of your ball a bit if necessary.
- Find a chair, couch or bed where you can wedge the ball when you first practice sitting on it. Get 2-3 pillows so that you can lean forward against the furniture. Then as you become more comfortable sitting on the ball, you can practice moving around a bit more. Try doing a “figure 8” as you roll your hips around.
- As you practice sitting on your ball once or twice a week and become more comfortable with it, you may enjoy it more and more, especially as pregnancy progresses and other sitting positions may be less comfortable.
- Then as you progress into your labor, you’ll have a place to sit which allows some rest and conservation of energy, while also providing gentle counter pressure against your bottom and some freedom of movement. The movement helps to gently “rock’ your baby down into and through your pelvis, opens up your hips to make more space, and provides the benefit of gravity to help labor progress.
If you enjoyed this post on how to use a birth ball for labor, be sure to check out our weekly pregnancy tip videos!