24.01.2015

Pregnancy birth ball

If your water releases (breaks, rupture of membranes, ROM) and there are no contractions, then these circles on the ball, done smoothly, but actively, perhaps to salsa music, can help bring the head on the cervix and bring on contractions. The ball can be a mobile support for the mother’s upper body when she is kneeling and leaning forward in labor.
Obstetrician Diane Peterson taught me this one: The mother sits on the birthing bed and bends her knees and touches the soles of her feet together. We have had many water babies born to BirthPrep parents over the last couple of years and some have enjoyed the new pool at Leeds General Infirmary.
Recently I have provided sessions for couples who are aiming for a vaginal birth after having a caesarian (VBAC) or they are having a planned caesarian birth.
The name “birth ball” is used affectionately when the exercise ball is used to prepare for, or during, labor. And though I think standing and doing the abdominal lift and tuck is the best for helping a posterior baby rotate in labor, a birth ball is second to the birth stool for helping rotation while the mother is sitting.
Sit so that your feet are flat and apart, so that your feet and the center of the ball make a tripod when you sit down on it.


This position on the ball makes it easy to rock forward and back during contractions, which soothes many women.
The birth ball is placed in the space between her knees and she leans forward to hug the ball.
Though, biologically speaking, your job is done, the real work is yet to come: supporting the future mother of your child through all the highs and lows of her pregnancy, and preparing for your new role as a father. It’s a good idea to have a bag packed by 37 weeks even if you are not planning a hospital birth in case you need to go in unexpectedly. It has helped them know what to expect and gave them questions to ask the doctors at their appointments.  I have also seen couples who just needed time to ask questions and refresh on birth.
The ball should be firm and big enough so that your hips are equal or higher than your knees.
Think of an antenatal class and you may imagine couples in a group sitting on the floor with cushions or on birthing balls.
Alternate abdominal lifts with circles on the ball once contractions begin if the contractions are not yet 3-4 minutes apart and it’s not time to sleep.


If a similar rhythm can be imitated on the ball, the parent can sit while holding the baby upright over their shoulder and soothe the baby while resting their own legs.
Make sure you are comfortable sitting on the ball and are able to get on and off without losing your balance before you try sitting down on a ball with a baby in your arms.
We want him or her to be in an ideal position for a smooth, short labor.” During labor, using a birthing ball can help ease labor pains.
In my opinion, birthing balls should be standard equipment for any expecting mother,” Hansen said.



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