Want to try the yoga ball during your pregnancy? Can bouncing on a yoga ball break your water? Let’s see if a Birthing Ball is a right choice for you.
Pregnancy is perhaps the happiest news for a mother-to-be. Once the test is positive, then begins the nine months-long journey to motherhood. Tonnes of queries come to mind with suggestions and guidelines pouring in from all the directions.
As days turn to months and your due date comes closer, many may advise using a yoga ball or a birthing ball. The name seems interesting enough, but the moment you open your browser, you have pages after pages talking about the benefits and, yes, the possible ill-effects of using a yoga ball.
So, let’s make it easier for all the moms-to-be and club the necessary information in one single informative post.
Let’s understand the physiology of labor first before we proceed. As we progress towards the final countdown to delivery, things can get very stressful. Sometimes a false labor alarm can cause more stress and panic if you are not well aware of the situation.
Signs of Labor To Prevent False Alarm
Some of the key features of actual labor include
- Increased lower pelvic pressure due to the descent of the baby
- Better breathability due to reduced stress on the upper section of the body, including the diaphragm
- Cramping in the lower abdominal region
- Increased pain in the lower back region, particularly along the coccyx bone
- Irregular labor contraction of mild intensity
Rather than panicking, the first step is to relax and prepare yourself for the upcoming journey. If possible, take a warm bath and apply a heat pack on the lower pelvic and abdomen region.
Do not forget to pack your essential go-to bag if you travel to a hospital for delivery.
Have plenty of water and keep moving to keep yourself busy and active.
Ensure that you contact your physician and companion to give them a heads up. Once the contractions are at least a few minutes apart and lasting for over a minute at a stretch, it’s time to make a move to the hospital.
You might like to read: Can You Do Yoga While Pregnant?
What Is a Yoga Ball?
In simple words, these are large vinyl balls used for exercise. Also known as a physio ball or exercise ball, they are used to strengthen the body and stabilize the core.
Physio balls or yoga balls are also called stability balls. They are often used by pregnant women to help relieve pain and stress, especially in the back. They can also help in improving your posture.
Once yoga balls reach the maternity section, many begin to refer to them as Birthing Ball. Used during every phase of pregnancy and post-op scenarios, they are slowly becoming a conventional necessity for pregnant women globally.
You might like to read: Is Hot Yoga Safe While Breastfeeding?
What does bouncing on a yoga ball help with?
So, what does a Birthing Ball do exactly? There are two specific benefits that most women point out.
- The ball allows a better and more relaxed sitting position for the mother and facilitates better pelvic muscle relaxation.
- The slight bouncing of the ball helps in relieving pain by applying pressure on exact pain points.
These large balls are designed to accommodate the extra weight of a pregnant female. They are completely slip-resistant and have a very light bounce that’s optimal for women at any stage of pregnancy.
The curved finish of a birthing ball is often more comfortable for those who are nearing their term.
Did Bouncing on a Ball Induce Labor for Anyone?
I’m sure this is the main question most women have been waiting to be answered. While yoga ball is a great accessory to reduce stress and pain, inducing labor is still a debatable matter.
What happens is that using a birthing ball helps widen the pelvic bones and relax the muscles. The cervix dilates more easily because the pelvic muscles are already relaxed and stretched out. But a direct causation between bouncing on a birthing ball and labor can not be deduced.
You might like to read: Can You Do Yoga With Mono?
How long do you need to bounce on a yoga ball to induce labor?
There is no concrete evidence that can point that a yoga ball can induce labor, let alone break your water. It is all a matter of human biology.
Many may contradict and say that sitting on a birthing ball is ideal for facilitating the baby’s descent into the birth canal. Some may even say it is a holistic and natural approach to delivery without needing any drugs. After all, it has been used by many for ages.
According to most new mothers who have tried a yoga ball to induce labor, it can take anywhere between a week to a few hours if used properly.
Many vouch for the benefits of using a birthing ball for delivery. The list of benefits as mentioned by people who believe in a holistic approach includes
- Improvement in fetal position
- Reduction in the stress and relaxation of muscles
- Improvement in blood flow between the uterus and placenta
- Creation of counter pressure on thighs and perineum, thus reducing the intensity of cramps
You might like to read: When To Switch To Prenatal Yoga? What Are The Benefits Of Prenatal Yoga?
Positions to use on a yoga ball to induce labor
Like we discussed above, it has not been proven that using a yoga ball can cause labor. However, there are still multiple benefits of exercising on a birthing ball for pregnant women. The five most common positions to practice on a yoga ball are:
- The Outward V motion
- The Figure of Eight
- Rocking motion
Here is an excellent video demonstrating some of these exercises for would-be mothers:
Answers To More Of Your Questions About Inducing Labor
How many cm dilated do you have to be for your water to break?
Ideally, post the 36th week, it is time to be careful. When the cervix is fully dilated, that is between 8 to 10 cms, pregnant ladies reportedly hear a popping sound followed by gushing warm liquid between their legs.
Does bouncing on a birthing ball induce labor?
Though there is no scientific explanation, many experts believe that bouncing on a ball helps relax the cervix and pelvic muscles, which can in effect aid labor.
You might like to read: Can You Get Stretch Marks From Yoga Or Does Yoga Helps Remove Stretch Marks?
What does bouncing on a yoga ball help with?
Yoga ball helps relax the lower body muscles and relieve the pain in the lower back and abdomen region. Many have also been reported saying that bouncing on a yoga ball is a great way to relax and relieve stress and anxiety.
What is the difference between a yoga ball and a birthing ball?
There is not much of a difference between a yoga ball and a birthing ball. They are both made from the same durable material and do not puncture easily.
The key difference though is that you will find birthing balls in a size larger than yoga balls or exercise balls and are designed to have a much better anti-skid finish.
Can a yoga ball be used even after giving birth?
Yoga ball can be used post-pregnancy, too, if you still have persistent backaches and muscle soreness. However, it is only based on the necessary advice from the physician.
Yoga Balls Help Relax Your Pelvic Muscles To Improve Chances Of Inducing Labor
Yoga ball can help relax your muscles and release stress. Taking time to bounce lightly on the yoga ball is also a great way to relieve the backache. Though, it is not scientifically proven to induce labor.
Once your water breaks or when you start feeling labor pains, reach out immediately to your doctor and hospital. After all, a new human is on the verge of taking birth courtesy you and your womb.
Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!