Today’s Wisdom comes from one of our birth experts, Amanda Gwynne, oringinally posted on her own Mama2B blog.
Amanda has combined her expertise in midwifery over 30 years with skills in complementary therapies and HypnoBirthing, offering a holistic approach to fertility, pregnancy, birth and beyond. Below she tells us how to use a birthing ball and the benefits it can offer.
Using a Birthing Ball During Pregnancy and Labour
The ball was originally developed and used for physical therapy treatment, mainly by physiotherapists. The birthing ball is a fantastic comfort tool to use during your pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond. The ball is very versatile, light and portable, and easy to clean. The birthing ball has been chosen for its safety, with anti-burst up to 250kgs.
Using the birthing ball during the last months of pregnancy has many benefits such as encouraging the optimum position for baby prior to labour, and also strengthens the lower back and abdominal muscles. During labour the ball can be used to support different positions for comfort and support. Postnatally the ball can be used to help regain your figure.
Benefits of using a Ball
- Sitting upright on the ball with legs at a 90 degree angle from 34 weeks onwards enhances pelvic and perineal relaxation.
- Rocking and swaying whilst sitting on the ball helps to encourage your baby into an optimum position for labour and birth, especially if carried out daily from 34 weeks gestation.
- Using the ball in the last month of pregnancy helps to strengthen the lower back and abdominal muscles.
- Squatting on the ball may increase the pelvic outlet by 1-2cms.
- Leaning over the ball and swaying your hips helps your baby into an optimum position and also eases backache.
- In labour, the ball can be an invaluable tool and used in a variety of positions.
- Sitting on the ball for monitoring or other procedures avoids being restricted to lying on the bed with restricted movement.
- Sitting on the ball encourages a natural swaying movement of the hips. This not only encourages fetal descent, but helps to relieve some discomfort during contractions.
- With the ball on the floor or the bed you can kneel and lean over the ball, which is great for relieving ‘back’ labour and aids rotation of a fetus in a posterior position.
- Leaning over the ball can also be used for the ‘pushing’stage of labour.
- Sitting on the ball with baby on your knees is very soothing to babies with its natural swaying motion.
- Once you have been given the ‘all clear’ from your GP the ball is a great tool to help tone up those muscles and get you back in shape.
Directions for using
- The birth ball should be large enough for you to sit on with legs bent at a 90 degree angle ( See size order guide).
- Use the birth ball with a ‘spotter’ someone to help you on and off the ball and provide support for some positions.
- The birth ball should be inflated using the pump provided and should roll easily, and feel firm to the touch
Amanda has given us a set of Aromatherapy Oils developed by her specifically for expectant and new mums as well as one of hypnosis CDs, which provides help on morning sickness, baby bonding and labour preparation. For your chance to win this lovely set please tell us what you do to relax, the winner will be picked at random.