How to use the birthing ball to help induce labour

Written by tina amo
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How to use the birthing ball to help induce labour
A ball can help bring on delivery. (Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A pregnant woman may become anxious when her doctor schedules her for a labour induction. The methods of inducing labour in the hospital include the administration of Pitocin, which results in more painful contractions, or stripping the membranes of the cervix, which the doctor has to do with a finger. Thankfully, there are several things she can do to induce labour naturally, and one of these is gentle exercise with the birthing ball. The birthing ball helps the baby descend, as Elaine Farber states in "Baby Lists: What to Do and What to Get to Prepare for Baby."

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Birthing ball

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  1. 1

    Choose a birthing ball to fit your height. Birthing balls are easier to use when they are big enough to suit your frame. Ladies between 1.4 and 1.6 m (4 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 3 inches) tall will be comfortable with a 55 cm (22 inch) ball, while those between 1.6 and 1.9 m (5 feet 3 inches and 6 feet 3 inches) tall need a 65 cm (26 inch) ball. There is also a 75 cm (30 inch) ball for women 1.9 m (6 feet 3 inches) tall and taller.

  2. 2

    Sit on the ball by placing the ball behind you and standing with your feet at shoulder width. Lower yourself onto the ball. To stay balanced, sit upright and keep your feet wide apart.

  3. 3

    Gently bounce on the ball, rock your body from side to side, or move your body around in circles. This motion spreads the pelvis and helps the baby move down. The more you perform this exercise, the lower your baby may descend.

Tips and warnings

  • When learning how to use a birthing ball, at first it may be easier to place the ball against the wall for balance, or to have something sturdy in front of you that you can hold onto until you feel comfortable.
  • The birthing ball is also called an exercise ball.
  • Do not try to induce labour on your own without first talking to your doctor.

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