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Really BIG balls.
Most people call them exercise balls, but in the birth world, we like to refer to them as birth balls. These inflatable wonders are incredibly helpful during pregnancy, labor, and even in the postpartum period. Even babies love them!
How can you use these balls to help you have a better birth?
1. Sexy circles
While sitting on the birth ball, make nice, wide circles with your hips. To get an idea of how wide these circles need to be, imagine becoming friends with benefits with this ball. Those same moves that got the baby in will get the baby out. Moving your hips around can help your baby navigate your pelvis to find his way out. Using the birth ball at the end of pregnancy can help your baby find an ideal starting position, which can facilitate an easier labor.
2. A resting place
If you become tired during labor but do not feel like staying in the bed, a birth ball can provide a comfortable resting place. Try setting the ball next to your bed and lean over to rest your head on the bed. Try stacking pillows on the bed to make a more comfortable resting place for your head. Another idea is to have your partner sit on the bed facing you. Rest your head in your partner's lap for a more intimate experience. This is a great position for your partner to provide a scalp massage.
3. Extra support
A birth ball can provide extra support in certain positions, such as hands and knees. Instead of supporting yourself using your arms, you can rest your torso over the birth ball to conserve energy in your arms. Your doula can help you use the birth ball in so many ways to help provide extra support during labor.
Babies love birth balls! I've spent lots of time bouncing with my babies on the birth ball to help comfort them. Just be sure to have someone help you keep the ball stable as you lower yourself onto the ball with your baby.
Find out if your birthing facility has a birth ball that you can use during labor. If you have a doula, your doula will have one you can use. Even if you know that you will have access to a birth ball during labor, I still recommend buying one of your own to use during pregnancy and postpartum. Birth balls are just an all around good investment for pregnancy, birth, and parenting.