Yoga/birth balls have become pretty popular during the past decade or so. Many hospitals even have them available for laboring women. They can be used in a variety of different ways to help make labor more comfortable, help with positioning, and speed the labor process. Here are 3 of the most common ways that birth balls are used.
Sitting and Leaning
Sitting on the birth ball is likely to be more comfortable than sitting on a chair or bed. Sitting upright also allows gravity to help bring baby down. While sitting on the ball you can create space in front of you on a bed or chair in order to lean over and rest as well.
Kneeling Over the Birth Ball
Kneeling over the birth ball is another great way to allow yourself to rest during labor. This position is a great way to relieve back pain during labor because it pulls baby’s head off of mom’s lower back. It also provides easy access for a partner or doula to apply counter pressure to your hips, giving mom some much needed pain relief.
Squatting helps widen the pelvic. This position is working with gravity instead of against it. It is no surprise that the squat is a favorite of moms, doulas, and midwives alike. Sometimes to get into a deep squat mom needs a little help. Placing the ball between mom’s back and the wall, allows mom to lean against the ball and slide down the wall. Note, this should be done with support of a partner or another member of the birth team.
Bonus…. The Peanut Ball!
The peanut ball is another great tool that you can use during labor. One way to use it is by sticking it in between mom’s legs as she rests in a side lying position. This helps keep her pelvis open as she rests and can allow the baby to descend.