I know you’ve heard all the hype surrounding birthing balls! It has the potential to be every natural momma-to-be’s secret weapon. It plays especially important roles during the home-birthing process because it helps it go smoother in so many ways!

In fact, it’s an absolute MUST-HAVE for a home birth! Whether you’ve never considered a birthing ball until now or you’ve been looking into them for a while, I’m going to tell you exactly why you need to go ahead and get one! So why are birthing balls a must-have for a home birth?

A birthing ball is a lifesaver during pregnancy and birth, and more-so, a home-birth. It can help with pain associated with labor and delivery, induce labor, and helps the baby get in the proper position for birth among other awesome benefits that aid in an easier home birth.

6 reasons you NEED a birthing ball for your home birth!

Laboring in an upright position carries so many benefits that it makes you wonder why we are forced to lie on our backs during a hospital birth.

Using a birthing ball during home birth can completely take the place of conventional (and sometimes dangerous) birthing practices while allowing you to labor upright, to help ensure that you have the safest and most natural home birth as possible.

Here are 6 reasons a birthing ball is a MUST-HAVE for your home birth!

1. Pain relief

A lot of mommas’ choose to have a natural home birth, as in no pain medication, which can sound pretty scary but it doesn’t have to be!

There are natural ways you can relieve pain throughout this awesome experience! (Still undecided about having a home birth? Read “Home Birth Pros and Cons: Is a Home Birth Right for You?” to help you make up your mind.)

If you plan on going “Au Natural”, one of the greatest benefits you receive from using a birthing ball during your home birth is natural pain relief.

Sound too good to be true?

One study found that severe pain associated with active labor was significantly reduced when using a birthing ball for rocking movements. (Source) The rocking movements most often reduce or eliminate lower back pain during labor as well as pain from contractions.

Moving your hips in circles on your birthing ball has also been proven to help ease pain during labor by relaxing your pelvic floor muscles and increasing blood flow to the uterus.

Simply sitting upright on your ball can work in the same way. If you begin to feel more severe pain, changing positions will provide almost instant relief.

2. Helps your little one get into position

If you have had a breech or posterior baby throughout your pregnancy and have given up hope that the stubborn child will ever get into the correct position, a birthing ball could be of great use to you!

Exercising on a birthing ball during labor can:

  • Help your baby drop- Sitting upright on a birthing ball and changing positions frequently or shimmying on the ball helps bring the baby down by working with gravity and by moving the bones of the pelvis and giving him the perfect place to rest his head!
  • Helps baby turn to the anterior position- Likewise, the same thing helps a posterior baby (facing your abdomen) get into the anterior position (facing your back) which is important because a posterior baby can cause more pain than necessary during birth.
  • Helps breech baby turn around- For this one you should start sooner than labor. Start exercising on your birthing ball weeks or even months before your due date. This will give your baby plenty of time to turn around and get in the correct position for birth. Kneeling on the floor or bed and leaning over the ball is a great exercise to try for this.

3. Speeds up labor

Another great perk of using a birthing ball during labor is that it makes for a quicker labor.

Laboring in an upright position and moving freely has been proven to make labor up to an hour quicker compared to lying down confined to a hospital bed! (Source)

Who doesn’t want faster labor?

4. Provides sufficient oxygen flow

When you labor sitting on your birthing ball, it actually lessens the chance of problems arising that would cause you to need a c-section.

When you give birth on your back, the weight of your pregnant uterus is bearing down on you, suppressing blood flow and decreasing your oxygen levels.

On the other hand, laboring upright provides sufficient oxygen flow to your body as well as to your baby which reduces the chance of needing to have a c-section due to low oxygen levels in your baby. (Source)

5. Helps induce labor

Using a birthing ball during the final few months of pregnancy helps to induce labor and you can achieve this pretty much effortlessly while having a little fun at the same time.

Exercising on the birthing ball works to induce labor by relaxing your pelvic floor muscles and activating your core muscles making delivery easier and quicker.

To induce labor, you should start exercising on your birthing ball 4 to 6 weeks before your due date. Ideally, you should use it throughout your entire pregnancy to receive all the benefits it has to offer.

There are a few exercises that help especially well to induce labor.

Exercises that help induce labor:

Leaning over the ball is one exercise that indirectly induces labor. It puts you in the perfect position for a massage which can help baby settle into the correct position for birth and also ease labor pain.

Sitting straight up on the ball. This is an effortless exercise that can benefit you in numerous ways. It improves your posture when you are down to the final few weeks and you have trouble getting comfortable and also uses gravity to help your baby drop into position and get you and him prepared for birth.

Bouncing on the ball during each contraction helps make the contractions more productive and thus speeds up labor as well as it eases labor pains.

6. Eases discomforts

Labor can be a very uncomfortable experience. Especially in a hospital where you can’t get up and move when you want, you have to lie there and endure it.

The great thing about a home birth is that you can move around as you please. The fact that you can use your birthing ball to ease your discomforts is all the more reason you need one!

Anytime you begin to feel uncomfortable, simply change positions! Sitting on the ball, leaning over the ball, and bouncing on the ball are all ways to ease any discomforts you may have during labor.

Using your birthing ball before and after labor

Your ball isn’t just great for a home-birth! It’s super beneficial to use before labor as well as after you give birth.

After all, a birthing ball is just a term for an exercise ball used lovingly by expectant mothers. So how exactly do you use them before and after labor?

Using a birthing ball in the beginning of pregnancy:

This is a super beneficial purchase to make at the beginning of pregnancy! It can help your entire pregnancy move along smoothly when you begin early.

A birthing ball:

  • creates more opportunity for your baby to be in the correct position for birth
  • keeps you healthy and active during pregnancy
  • helps you maintain or achieve correct posture throughout pregnancy
  • provides a fun and easy way to make your home birth a complete success!

Using a birthing ball after delivery

Wondering what you’ll do with your ball after giving birth when it becomes an ordinary exercise ball? It’s one of the best and safest ways to exercise afterward plus they can help out tremendously post-partum.

Here are 3 ways you can use a birthing ball after delivery:

  1. You can continue to use it as a chair while your perineum heals. This will keep pressure off your bottom and keep it from being sore when you sit. (let a little air out so it won’t be too firm.)
  2. Use it for meditation. Yes, meditation! You will need it after diaper changes and mealtime; when the hectic, tiresome day is behind you! Trust me!! Sitting or bouncing comfortably on this ball in sheer silence will seem quite like heaven.
  3. Use it as your baby soother. You can even replace a traditional rocking chair with it. Your exercise ball will be a perfect way to soothe a fussy baby. Sit on the ball cradling your baby and gently bounce or sway back and forth to get your baby to sleep or just calm him down.

Convincing right?

Now that you see why you HAVE TO HAVE one, the choice should be clear. If you read this and now think you are ready to purchase, think again!

Next, you need to read Everything You Didn’t Think You Needed to Know to Choose a Birthing Ball. Only then will you truly know everything you need to know so you aren’t disappointed with your buy!

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