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Birthing ball - what do you do with them?

(26 Posts)
Bozza Sat 08-May-04 20:27:42

I am planning a home birth and have purchased a gym ball from Argos - recommended by Mears on another thread and by my midwife. So far I have had a practice at sitting on it and rocking, and spent a lot of time ensuring DS does not wreck the house with it. But I'm interested in what positions would be useful in labour. If anyone has used one and found it helpful I would be very interested in your experiences.

I am 39 weeks tomorrow so get posting!

dinny Sat 08-May-04 20:31:16

Hi, Bozza, I found mine great in labour. I basically sat on it and bounced round watching TV for about 4 hours of my 6-hour labour (in hospital). Really feel it helped me as it's a very "opening"`way to sit. Like squatting but not tiring.

Hope you find yours helps and all the best for your homebirth! Dinny

zaphod Sat 08-May-04 20:36:13

I used it during my last labour. Sat and rocked during contractions. Mind you, when the midwife said 'I'll just go get the ball', I turned to my dh and said 'Do I look like I want to play f***ing ball'. But it really did help. In the labour before the midwife kept suggesting I lean over it, but I just didn't find the idea appealing.

Fennel Sun 09-May-04 11:53:00

I spent most of my labour (home birth) kneeling and leaning on the ball, I like the way you can kneel and rock and wiggle your hips gently. I couldn't stand sitting on it. Gave birth kneeling and leaning on it too. Very helpful (used cushions and beanbags in previous labours and this was far better).

good luck!

LIZS Sun 09-May-04 12:10:06

I perched on one through a few hours of my labour and found it really comfy. Mind you I almost fell off it when the contractions suddenly stepped up a gear

ZolaPola Sun 09-May-04 12:13:07

propped my feet up on it after the birth!
Sure it is useful, we just forgot it in hospital rush...

californiagirl Sun 09-May-04 16:12:49

I kneeled with my chest on one a lot in late pregnancy, because it felt good, and through an immense amount of my labor (my childbirth educator says to do this *on* the bed, we did it on the floor and bruised up my knees some, even after my friend thought to put some padding down). I must have spent 18 hours on the thing, with DH pressing on my lower back.

Now I bounce the baby sitting on it (sometimes I sit on it with the baby in my arms, but her absolute favorite is for me to sit her on it and bounce it with my elbows).

carla Sun 09-May-04 17:07:22

Inflate, take to hospital, ignore

Bozza Sun 09-May-04 20:19:19

LOL Carla. Have already inflated because planning to stay at home. DS threw it down the stairs yesterday and nearly demolished the coat stand.

From what people have posted so far it seems the main positions are sitting and rocking on it or kneeling over it. californiagirl I suppose if you leant over it on the bed rather than the floor it would give the midwife better access...

Clayhead Sun 09-May-04 20:48:04

I used one with ds (2nd child) and sat on it, rocking, like others suggest. I loved it as it didn't seem to put any pressure on me like sitting on the bed did. Also watched TV like dinny!

midden Sun 09-May-04 23:52:38

bozza - gave birth (at home)second time in the cat position with my arms draped over and chest leaning on the ball, it was so useful. I also vaguely remember biting, hitting and digging my chin into it during contractions - also very useful.

First birth also at home and in same position but no ball and I got really sore wrists and knees, also dh suffered large bite to shoulder so we were all pleased to have the ball for second delivery!

Is this your first?

Wish you all the best for your birth, you will enjoy it so much if you can stay at home and relax into it.

myermay Mon 10-May-04 09:06:00

Message withdrawn

MrsDoolittle Mon 10-May-04 09:51:17

I sat in it while posting on mumsnet during my last few weeks of pregnancy, the chair had become very uncomfortable.
I also sat on it during labour, until the contractions became too intense. An epidural put pay to any other ideas I might have had for it.
It's also great for postnatal exercises to get you back in shape, including your pelvic floor - apparently!!- Dd is four weeks old haven't got round to it yet!

clary Mon 10-May-04 10:13:38

I sat on one for last labour (DS2) and it was fab, much better than positions used in first two labours. No 3 was the best labour no doubt and I'm sure that was a reason. As others say, it really helps open you up and just enables you to squat comfortably, ie with support.Good luck with the birth!

Bouj Mon 10-May-04 10:24:59

I sat on one (provided by the hospital) with my arms on the hospital bed, rocking backwards and forwards through each contraction. I found the movement good, and I laid my head down on the bed in between contractions. It was certainly helpful for a few hours at least! Good luck. xoxo

nicmum2boys Mon 10-May-04 11:18:21

I didn't have one for first labour and ds was in completely wrong position and needed forceps to get out. Determined it wouldn't happen again, so sat on my ball for last month of 2nd pregnancy (also found kneeling and leaning on it, then rocking back and forth great for getting rid of trapped wind, which was the bain of my life!). Used it in early labour up to 4cm, midwife examined me, never made it off the bed after that as ds2 was born within the hour! He was in exactly the right position and positively flew out. Am sure that the ball had alot to do with this. Of course now it makes a great (garden) toy for 3 year old, so was an all round good investment! Will definately use one again if we get to no.3.

wilbur Mon 10-May-04 12:08:12

I sat on mine in early labour with both mine, swivelling hips during contractions really helped. As ds had been an emergency c-section, I was v. much hoping to avoid another one with dd so was determined to stay as upright as possible through labour. I built up a huge stack of sofa cushions and pillows on my bed and then sat on the ball and leaned forward onto this wall of softness - it was brilliant and supportive so I didn't get tired and I kept swivelling during contractions. I even made dh force the ball into the cab for the drive to hosp and sat on it in the delivery room while strapped up to the monitor. DD born normally an hour later and I'm sure the ball helped.

Also, we have found with both our that is it fantastic for soothing a cranky baby who wants to walked around at 3am. Just sit on the ball and joggle with the baby in your arms and they find the motion very calming. We have nicknamed ours the Magic Ball.

meysey Mon 10-May-04 13:34:50

draped over the ball so it is supporting you when you are on all fours is great in labour - think panther draped over a tree branch (!)

I delivered my DS in hospital while over the ball, and found it great for my second son at the home birth

it is also hugely popular as a kids' toy later, and will help you do all those exercises featured in sunday supplements after the happy event... if you ever find time (know I haven't)

Beetroot Mon 10-May-04 13:55:50

Message withdrawn

Bozza Mon 10-May-04 14:42:26

I've hit the big time - my thread is on the home page!

I'm pleased to hear so many positive stories about it. I like the idea that it encourages an "open" position. DS was a big baby and I had a large episiotomy which I am hoping to avoid repeating because it would entail a transfer to hospital for stitching. But I was just laid on the bed with legs in stirrups to deliver so think that trying the ball might help this time.

californiagirl Mon 10-May-04 15:06:08

The point of being on the bed is actually to save your knees. Hospital floors are hard!

Grommit Mon 10-May-04 15:34:10

I have one for sale on MUmsnet if anyone is interested - found it very comfortable during pregnancy

Egypt Wed 12-May-04 18:37:54

Got mine from ASDA - much cheaper than anywhere else - forget howmuch now, as my mum actually paid but about £9

michellefromlakeland Wed 12-May-04 19:08:26

I gave it back to the midwife and said "no thanks"

inkstigmata Mon 17-May-04 14:51:52

3 years ago when my dd1 was 6 weeks and a poor colicky mess, sitting on the birthing ball holding her and gently bouncing was the *only* negligible-effort/successful distraction that stopped her crying. Wow I even remember eating dinner on it sometimes

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