A birthing ball is similar but not the same as an exercise ball. They are designed with just pregnant ladies in mind (See further down for more information on the differences).
The real question is why you need to get a birthing ball!
There are so many benefits of getting a high-quality ball to prepare you for labour day!
Just from this simple and inexpensive piece of equipment, a birth ball can prove to be a real lifesaver in the later stages of pregnancy.
So what are the benefits?
Your babies positioning. As you approach the third trimester, using a birthing ball has been proven to help your baby into the optimal foetal position. Pregnant ladies often see birth balls and think you have to be flexible to reap the benefits, this is completely wrong.
The benefits come from gentle low-stress exercises, you can even do them whilst you are watching TV! Birthing balls are not just for third trimester and labour, gentle movements have also been proven to improve the blood flow to your baby during the early stages.
Just sitting on a birthing ball for short periods will help relieve back pain, or make the future months less painful and here's why! We all love relaxing on the couch and getting our other half to bring us some food, then not move for the rest of the evening.🍫😂
Believe it or not, just sitting down on the couch promotes bad posture. Sitting on a birthing ball encourages you to sit correctly and strengthens your back reducing pain as your baby grows.
Doctors recommend the use of a birthing ball if you work at a desk for most of the day. A birthing ball allows your body to move slightly and works your bodies stabilising muscles, this keeps you flexible.
When in labour, you are going to find contractions uncomfortable and getting into a semi-relaxing position will prove impossible. A birthing ball can work as an aid and take that little bit of pressure off.
Does the size matter?
Yes, the size of the ball is important for your safety and feeling secure whilst using it.
Too small and you will not be in a comfortable position and feel pressure on the legs and quads similar to doing a squat in the gym. a ball is there to take the pressure off you not create an uncomfortable workout.
Too big, yes this is where people seem to get confused about "how can it be too big, just deflate the ball".
Unfortunately, this is not how it works, when you deflate a birthing ball it becomes much less stable. If the ball is too large, you will get the feeling of lack of stability and sitting on a birthing ball is no longer a relief.
Getting the right size!
BABYGO® Birthing Ball size guide is simple, and we wanted to keep it that way.
If you are 5 feet 10 inches or less, you need a 65cm birthing ball.
If you are 5 feet 11 inches or taller, a 75cm birthing ball is perfect for you.
Birthing Balls The Same as Exercise Balls?
The question comes up very often and we completely understand why pay more for the same thing?
As pregnancy experts we cannot emphasise enough, a low quality ball simply cannot replicate the good qualities of a high end birthing ball.
Proper and good posture is paramount to a better pregnancy. The best birthing ball positions that really work and have real value for you and your baby can only be achieved on a strong ball designed for pregnancy.
What matters to you in pregnancy is whether the ball is safe enough to hold your pregnancy weight.
The lower quality material of the gym ball (above) leads to poor posture, knees higher than the hips, whilst the misshaped ball demonstrates an increased risk of injury under your pregnancy weight.
For some ladies, 125kg max limit is not enough, even if so, you do not want to be this close to the limit when carrying a baby on board. A birthing ball has an enormous 1,000kg weight limit.
Look for anti-burst in the product specification. The ball will cost a little more, however, it is well worth it, for the extra protection it will give to you and your baby.
Where to buy a birthing ball
BABYGO's birthing ball, It's simple, we developed the best birthing ball, specifically for all three trimesters and labour. Our birthing ball will reward you and your baby with a healthier and safer birth because it is:
- Extra Thick: <2000 Micrometres - Guarantees the best stability & posture for you & your baby.
Pregnancy & Baby Friendly Material:
- 40 Page Pregnancy Exercise Booklet: We've developed the best exercises for each trimester all in one guide.
Getting the most out of your birthing ball
So when should you start using a birthing ball? The great thing is you can start from day 1 of pregnancy, there are exercises that are tailored to every trimester from the 1st to the very late stages of pregnancy.
We have created this sample list of exercises 40 page BABYGO® Pregnancy book to start you off in each trimester.
First & Second Trimester Exercises
In the first 3 months, there are much more choices available to you. We have picked two important ones.
Core Ball Rollout
Reduces tension in the lower back. Improves overall stability and strengthens your pelvis and hips.
1. Knell in front of your ball with your knees hip-width apart.
2. Rest your forearms on the ball and hands in loose fists.
3. Keeping your back flat, brace your core and slowly roll the ball away from you.
4. Straighten out your arms and extend as far as you can without allowing your hips to drop.
5. Hold for a short period and then bend your elbows to roll the ball back to the start position.
6. Repeat but remember this is light exercise, so don't over-do it!
One Leg Ball Lunge
Strengthen lower body, in preparation for the extra baby weight to come.
1. Rest your foot on top of the ball, keep your other standing knee soft and do not lockout.
2. Place your hands on your hips or down by your side.
3. Push the ball back with your foot until your shin and knee are resting on the ball.
4. Bend your left knee forward making sure it does not move beyond your toes.
5. Exhale and draw your abs in towards your spine.
6. Hold for a short period and release.
7. Straighten your front leg and inhale, then switch legs.
Third Trimester Exercises
Childs Pose (Yoga Exercise)
1. Kneel in front of your ball with your knees hip-width apart.
2. Place both hands on the ball and roll it away from you.
3. Lower your head between your arms and lean forward.
4. Relax, inhale deeply and as you exhale, let yourself sink downwards.
5. Hold for as long as it is comfortable for you.
This is just a brief insight into the possibilities of how a birthing ball can help you throughout your pregnancy.
There is more than to it than just bouncing on a birthing ball, each exercise strengthens and prepares your body for one of the most challenging parts of a woman's life, preparation is key here ladies!
Want more? Read our Pregnancy Exercise guide.