Birthing Balls

CurlieGlamourGirlieCurlieGlamourGirlie Registered Users Posts: 1,198
At lamaze last night there was no mention of birthing balls or any other alternative ways for me to get comfortable while in early labor. I plan on asking at next week's class. (I can NEVER think of my questions while I'm there!)

Are these balls the same ones that they sell for exercising? Because if so, and if they don't have them I'm just going to buy one to bring with me - I sat on one once and it was the most comfortable I'd ever been!!

Any suggestions on where I can purchase one?

I have a feeling I'm the most....alternative in this group - last night when the instructor asked if anyone was not going to have an epidural, I was the only one who raised their hand.
3b (I think!)
HGs - Suave Nexxus Knockoff, Jessicurl Weekly DT, L'Oreal Out of Bed, HESMU.
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Comments

  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    They are the same as exercise balls. So you can get them at any kind of place that sells exercise equipment. I was not so keen on one while in labor but i loved it throughout my pregnancy.

    If that is the case with your class, you definitely want to do a bunch of reading on your own.
    At lamaze last night there was no mention of birthing balls or any other alternative ways for me to get comfortable while in early labor.

    In early labor, the best place to be is home. Rest. Take a bath. Keep hydrated. Eat (cause you likely won't be able to once you get to the hospital).
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • Brown_Eyed_GirlBrown_Eyed_Girl Registered Users Posts: 1,353 Curl Neophyte
    I have an exercise ball that I got at Target. I don't use it for exercies much, :oops: but maybe I'll keep it around for other uses. :wink:
  • CurlieGlamourGirlieCurlieGlamourGirlie Registered Users Posts: 1,198
    geeky wrote:
    They are the same as exercise balls. So you can get them at any kind of place that sells exercise equipment. I was not so keen on one while in labor but i loved it throughout my pregnancy.

    If that is the case with your class, you definitely want to do a bunch of reading on your own.
    At lamaze last night there was no mention of birthing balls or any other alternative ways for me to get comfortable while in early labor.

    In early labor, the best place to be is home. Rest. Take a bath. Keep hydrated. Eat (cause you likely won't be able to once you get to the hospital).

    That's what I'm thinking - getting one now to sit on at home.

    I am DEFINITELY doing some research on my own. I'm glad we took the class and some of the breathing seems like it might be helpful, but I definitely want to be a little more.....informed. I wasn't happy with how they told us we'd be pushing (the position we'd be in) and that there was SO much mention of Pitocin. So I'm arming myself with lots of knowledge.

    I meant later labor - I get those terms confused!
    3b (I think!)
    HGs - Suave Nexxus Knockoff, Jessicurl Weekly DT, L'Oreal Out of Bed, HESMU.
    http://public.fotki.com/CurlyGlamourGirlie
    http://curlyglamourgirlie.blogspot.com
  • internetchickinternetchick Registered Users Posts: 6,191
    I have heard that most all Lamaze classes at a hospital aren't worth it. The Swedish(I think?) Lamaze is supposed to be good, though I have no experience with it. I agree with Geeky, definitely read tons on your own. I didn't like the birthing ball much. I much preferred to sit on a chair or the toilet with my legs at a wide stance and my belly hanging forward.
    I have a feeling I'm the most....alternative in this group - last night when the instructor asked if anyone was not going to have an epidural, I was the only one who raised their hand.

    The only place I was not the only one planning an epidural was my Bradley Method class :lol: I got tons of people telling me I'd be begging for drugs, but in the end I got through it(my first labor was 48 hours :shock: ). I survived and so can you! Don't let all the nay sayers weaken your resolve.
  • KaiaKaia Registered Users Posts: 8,815 Curl Connoisseur
    I have a regular exercise ball and it's super-comfy to sit on now. Whenever my hips hurt, I'll just sit and rock back and forth on it, and the pain subsides really fast. I bought whatever exercise ball size was recommended for my size, but I'm kind of wishing I had a bigger one. It's still great though!
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • CurlieGlamourGirlieCurlieGlamourGirlie Registered Users Posts: 1,198
    I have a feeling I'm the most....alternative in this group - last night when the instructor asked if anyone was not going to have an epidural, I was the only one who raised their hand.

    The only place I was not the only one planning an epidural was my Bradley Method class :lol: I got tons of people telling me I'd be begging for drugs, but in the end I got through it(my first labor was 48 hours :shock: ). I survived and so can you! Don't let all the nay sayers weaken your resolve.

    My situation is this:

    I'm a cancer survivor. I had 6 rounds of extremely aggressive chemo - one one day of my treatment I'd have 3 extreme drugs pumped through my system. Needless to say, nowadays if I can avoid having stuff in my system, I do. That and the fact that I had a bone marrow biopsy which entailed having needles pounded in my back, resulting in me being a little adverse to voluntarily having a needle in my back.

    I figure if I can do that....I can handle this! But I am open to changing my plan and being flexible when it comes time to deal with it. I'd just prefer not to have an epidural.

    Edited so I don't sound as tired as I am!
    3b (I think!)
    HGs - Suave Nexxus Knockoff, Jessicurl Weekly DT, L'Oreal Out of Bed, HESMU.
    http://public.fotki.com/CurlyGlamourGirlie
    http://curlyglamourgirlie.blogspot.com
  • iris427iris427 Registered Users Posts: 6,002
    I have a feeling I'm the most....alternative in this group - last night when the instructor asked if anyone was not going to have an epidural, I was the only one who raised their hand.

    The only place I was not the only one planning an epidural was my Bradley Method class :lol: I got tons of people telling me I'd be begging for drugs, but in the end I got through it(my first labor was 48 hours :shock: ). I survived and so can you! Don't let all the nay sayers weaken your resolve.

    My situation is this:

    I'm a cancer survivor. I had 6 rounds of extremely aggressive chemo - I'd have 3 extreme drugs pumped through my system. Needless to say, nowadays if I can avoid having stuff in my system, I do. That and the fact that I had a bone marrow biopsy and needless pounded in my back, so I'm a little adverse to voluntarily having a needle in my back.

    I figure if I can do that....I can handle this! But I am open to changing my plan and being flexible when it comes time to deal with it. I'd just prefer not to have an epidural.

    Curlie, you can do it without an epidural. Think of the millions of women throughout human history who had no choice--they did it drug-free multiple times and they were fine! It just matters whether you decide to get one or not. People will tell you you're crazy and that you'll give in once you're in labor, or whatever. But I've found that, with some good support from a partner or a doula, the people who are determined to go drug-free, usually do (barring any medical complications, extremely long labors, Pitocin drips, etc.). The people who are on the fence usually get an epidural, and I think it's because they lacked the resolve to go drug free, and maybe hadn't learned enough coping techniques or didn't have the support of their partner/family (no one wants to see a loved one in pain).

    It's up to you and there's nothing wrong with what you decide, either way. Epidurals carry more risk, so make sure you educate yourself about those risks. But for some women, they really help them relax too, so it can help them.
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  • iris427iris427 Registered Users Posts: 6,002
    Oh, and yes, they are the same balls, and I have seen them really help a lot of women in early labor, so go for it! Worst case scenario, you don't use it.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Registered Users Posts: 3,530 Curl Neophyte
    My exercise ball was $6 at Walmart. I sat on it pretty much exclusively starting in my 3rd trimester and took it to the hospital with me.

    Like with a ball for exercise, you want on that allows you to sit with your legs at 90degree angles and your feet flat. That way you can focus on relaxing your hips rather than struggling with your balance up on tiptoes. So it you are short (like me) make sure you get a smaller sized ball.

    I also loved my ball to sit AFTER birth to soothe my newborn. I would swaddle up my baby and we would bounce on the ball.


  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    I also loved my ball to sit AFTER birth to soothe my newborn. I would swaddle up my baby and we would bounce on the ball.


    Yes! I would also put him on the ball, tummy down, keep a hand on him and gently bounce/roll the ball.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • CurlieGlamourGirlieCurlieGlamourGirlie Registered Users Posts: 1,198
    My exercise ball was $6 at Walmart. I sat on it pretty much exclusively starting in my 3rd trimester and took it to the hospital with me.

    Like with a ball for exercise, you want on that allows you to sit with your legs at 90degree angles and your feet flat. That way you can focus on relaxing your hips rather than struggling with your balance up on tiptoes. So it you are short (like me) make sure you get a smaller sized ball.

    I also loved my ball to sit AFTER birth to soothe my newborn. I would swaddle up my baby and we would bounce on the ball.

    As if I needed another reason to visit WalMart!! I'm going this weekend to look for one! Thanks so much!
    3b (I think!)
    HGs - Suave Nexxus Knockoff, Jessicurl Weekly DT, L'Oreal Out of Bed, HESMU.
    http://public.fotki.com/CurlyGlamourGirlie
    http://curlyglamourgirlie.blogspot.com
  • internetchickinternetchick Registered Users Posts: 6,191
    iris427 wrote:
    Curlie, you can do it without an epidural. Think of the millions of women throughout human history who had no choice--they did it drug-free multiple times and they were fine! It just matters whether you decide to get one or not. People will tell you you're crazy and that you'll give in once you're in labor, or whatever. But I've found that, with some good support from a partner or a doula, the people who are determined to go drug-free, usually do (barring any medical complications, extremely long labors, Pitocin drips, etc.). The people who are on the fence usually get an epidural, and I think it's because they lacked the resolve to go drug free, and maybe hadn't learned enough coping techniques or didn't have the support of their partner/family (no one wants to see a loved one in pain).

    It's up to you and there's nothing wrong with what you decide, either way. Epidurals carry more risk, so make sure you educate yourself about those risks. But for some women, they really help them relax too, so it can help them.

    Good post and I strongly agree with the bolded. My post was not meant to push you to go drug free, but since you mentioned you didn't want an epidural I just wanted to offer you support. I am very strong willed, so even though my labor was long(and all in my back ouch!) I pushed on just to be able thumb my nose at the nay sayers :lol:
  • jcejce Registered Users Posts: 512 Curl Connoisseur
    Loved the birthing ball during labor! Really helped open up my hips and made me more comfortable. I think being able to rock and back and forth on it was somehow comforting too. The hospital I was at offered them, so I have no idea on how to pick a size. I'm definitely asking for one this time too.

    As far as the epidural, you can definitely do it! Especially if you go in with a positive attitude. Also, I'm assuming it's normal procedure, but since I went without an epidural, they had me get a hep-lock. I needed antibiotics (strep B positive), but they said I could get pain meds through that if I wanted them. So it was nice to know I had the option if things got unbearable.
    3b/c normally, 3a/b in the winter

  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    The term "birthing ball" is really a misnomer. You can't give birth on it. They should be called "labor balls". Anyway...

    I didn't like it for labor, but it is good for the weeks preceeding labor when no position is comfortable. They are the same balls as are used for exercising. I actually sit on a ball all the time at my desk...sitting on it right now in fact. It's good for posture.
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    It's an exercise ball.

    I had mine ready, but I never actually used it.

    Are you taking a hospital-sponsored class? I avoided those exactly for the reasons you gave. We took a private class taught by doulas that was for natural childbirth and went into a lot of natural pain relief methods. Can you sign up for one of those?

    You can absolutely do it without an epidural! I had almost 24 hours of labour and just about 3 1/2 of pushing and I did not take anything at all - no epidural, no demerol, no nitrous oxide. And to tell you the truth, it wasn't that bad and I didn't even need most of those pain coping techniques. I found it to be very bearable as long as I walked and moved around or was in the water (does your hospital have a labour tub?) The hardest aspects were the physical exhaustion rather than the pain, the vaginal exams, and the stitches afterward, not the labour or the delivery.

    I suspect you won't find it that bad either because if you've been through cancer and chemo, you can handle pain and discomfort. I found that I've had menstrual cramps and migraines that were far more painful than labour.

    I think it is good to go in with the mindset of "no epidural" rather than "I might change my mind." Don't even give yourself the option. I know some will disagree with me and say you should be flexible though.

    I agree, stay home as long as you can in early labour. I was only in the hospital for the last 3 hours of my labour and then pushing. I went in at 100% effaced and about 6cm dilated, so I was already well into active labour. It was great to hear that. Also, I have heard that you should not use too many of your pain coping techniques in early labour or you will be tired of them when you really need them in active labour and transition. Also, try not to listen to people with negative stories of how much it hurt or who think there's no way you won't need an epi or you are stupid not to have one, and do NOT watch Baby Story!!!!! But read and research a lot on your own.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • CurlieGlamourGirlieCurlieGlamourGirlie Registered Users Posts: 1,198
    Amneris wrote:
    It's an exercise ball.

    I had mine ready, but I never actually used it.

    Are you taking a hospital-sponsored class? I avoided those exactly for the reasons you gave. We took a private class taught by doulas that was for natural childbirth and went into a lot of natural pain relief methods. Can you sign up for one of those?

    You can absolutely do it without an epidural! I had almost 24 hours of labour and just about 3 1/2 of pushing and I did not take anything at all - no epidural, no demerol, no nitrous oxide. And to tell you the truth, it wasn't that bad and I didn't even need most of those pain coping techniques. I found it to be very bearable as long as I walked and moved around or was in the water (does your hospital have a labour tub?) The hardest aspects were the physical exhaustion rather than the pain, the vaginal exams, and the stitches afterward, not the labour or the delivery.

    I suspect you won't find it that bad either because if you've been through cancer and chemo, you can handle pain and discomfort. I found that I've had menstrual cramps and migraines that were far more painful than labour.

    I think it is good to go in with the mindset of "no epidural" rather than "I might change my mind." Don't even give yourself the option. I know some will disagree with me and say you should be flexible though.

    I agree, stay home as long as you can in early labour. I was only in the hospital for the last 3 hours of my labour and then pushing. I went in at 100% effaced and about 6cm dilated, so I was already well into active labour. It was great to hear that. Also, I have heard that you should not use too many of your pain coping techniques in early labour or you will be tired of them when you really need them in active labour and transition. Also, try not to listen to people with negative stories of how much it hurt or who think there's no way you won't need an epi or you are stupid not to have one, and do NOT watch Baby Story!!!!! But read and research a lot on your own.

    It is a hospital-sponsored class. Which we took because we wanted to be familiar with the hospital before delivering. We won't be able to take another one - this one barely fit into our schedule - DH is a full-time student and the closer to the end of the semester - the more crazed he is. I plan on doing a lot of reading and research. (And I plan on ducking out of class early next week since they're showing a film!)

    Thanks for the info!!
    3b (I think!)
    HGs - Suave Nexxus Knockoff, Jessicurl Weekly DT, L'Oreal Out of Bed, HESMU.
    http://public.fotki.com/CurlyGlamourGirlie
    http://curlyglamourgirlie.blogspot.com
  • medussamedussa Registered Users Posts: 12,993
    Taking a warm bath in early labor (at home) really helped bring my contractions closer together and made them much more regular.

    I hated the birthing ball because the moment I sat on that ball, all hell broke loose. I went from 4cm to 10cm in 1 hour. My doula said the same thing jce posted. The ball helped open me up, as the baby's head descended. When I sat on the ball I told my doula, "oh no. I don't like this at all." Tamrha then told me to roll on it, instead of bouncing. She also massaged my back with some lavender oil. I'm a big fan of the birthing ball, even though I didn't like it at the time. And sitting on the toilet helped too. :D
  • CurlieGlamourGirlieCurlieGlamourGirlie Registered Users Posts: 1,198
    medussa wrote:
    And sitting on the toilet helped too. :D

    Don't laugh - some of my most blissful, ache-free moments of the day are spent on the toilet!
    3b (I think!)
    HGs - Suave Nexxus Knockoff, Jessicurl Weekly DT, L'Oreal Out of Bed, HESMU.
    http://public.fotki.com/CurlyGlamourGirlie
    http://curlyglamourgirlie.blogspot.com
  • medussamedussa Registered Users Posts: 12,993
    medussa wrote:
    And sitting on the toilet helped too. :D

    Don't laugh - some of my most blissful, ache-free moments of the day are spent on the toilet!

    I believe it!
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Registered Users Posts: 5,656
    I had a lot of lower back pain during labor (during pregnancy too) and one position that I found very comfortable while I was laboring was to sit on the ball facing the corner of the bed with my knees and feet wide, then lean forward onto the bed - I had the bed as low as it would go with a couple of pillows. It was the only position that provided me any back pain relief for a while.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • iris427iris427 Registered Users Posts: 6,002
    PixieCurl wrote:
    I had a lot of lower back pain during labor (during pregnancy too) and one position that I found very comfortable while I was laboring was to sit on the ball facing the corner of the bed with my knees and feet wide, then lean forward onto the bed - I had the bed as low as it would go with a couple of pillows. It was the only position that provided me any back pain relief for a while.

    Pixie, just curious, did you have anyone try to apply counter-pressure or heat to your back while you were having the back labor? I'm glad to hear the ball helped you with your pain though!
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Registered Users Posts: 5,656
    iris427 wrote:
    Pixie, just curious, did you have anyone try to apply counter-pressure or heat to your back while you were having the back labor? I'm glad to hear the ball helped you with your pain though!

    I did use heat, which didn't help very much. And when the pain was mild, it felt good when my husband massaged it, but when it became more intense the massage only made it worse. I don't know if what I had would be considered "back labor" because I had it during pregnancy too (though more intense when I was in labor) and because it wasn't only with the contractions - the pain stayed there in between contractions as well.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • internetchickinternetchick Registered Users Posts: 6,191
    Pixie, I had that problem with my first labor. Turns out he was posterior, which is why my labor was so long, in my back, and I was slow to dilate. If someone had told me during labor I could have done pelvic tilts or something to encourage him to turn. He never turned down the birth canal either. Stubborn little guy :lol:
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    Back labor isn't always caused by a posterior baby (although it often is). It can happen because a woman is short-waisted, or has previous back problems, or because of a less-than-optimal lie with an anterior baby. There's a great little book, called Back Labor No More, that advocates a labor technique called "belly lifting" to help alleviate back labor. The author isn't a midwife or a doctor, but rather a mathematician who uses vectors to illustrate her technique. Quick read, and I've heard the technique really works too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Back-Labor-No-More-Should/dp/092621800X
  • iris427iris427 Registered Users Posts: 6,002
    Back labor isn't always caused by a posterior baby (although it often is). It can happen because a woman is short-waisted, or has previous back problems, or because of a less-than-optimal lie with an anterior baby. There's a great little book, called Back Labor No More, that advocates a labor technique called "belly lifting" to help alleviate back labor. The author isn't a midwife or a doctor, but rather a mathematician who uses vectors to illustrate her technique. Quick read, and I've heard the technique really works too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Back-Labor-No-More-Should/dp/092621800X

    Interesting, thanks RCW
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