Yes, it is true—we want you to have a ball while you’re in labor! That’s because we will may recommend you use a birthing ball (a physical therapy/ exercise ball) during your labor and delivery. The birthing ball is versatile and valuable tool used to promote the labor process. It can be used while standing, sitting, or lying in bed, even with an epidural.
Great reasons to consider using the ball include:
- Mobility, alignment and opening of the pelvis to create space for the baby to move down into position.
- Upper body support when standing, leaning over the ball on the bed or kneeling and resting forward over the ball while in bed.
- Back, hip and pelvic pressure and pain relief.
- Optimal position to receive support from your partner, either behind or to the side of you.
- To speed up the process of labor.
We have labor balls in a variety of shapes and sizes and nurses who are experienced in using them to help you in labor! Using a labor ball is one strategy to consider to improve your birth experience, decrease the length of labor and increase your chance for a vaginal birth.
Tussey, C.M.; Botsios, E., Gerkin, R.D., Kelly, L.A., Gamez, J & Mensik, J. (2015). Reducing length of labor and cesarean surgery rate using a peanut ball for women laboring with an epidural. The journal of Perinatal Education, 24(1), 16-24.