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Is it worth buying a birthing ball?

(14 Posts)
redhead78 Wed 02-Apr-14 12:37:20

Our hospital isn't allowed to provide them anymore due to "infection issues" although the midwives there are trying to fight the decision, but it doesn't look likely to change before my baby is due.
My mw has recommended that I buy one of my own and use it both now and when in labour in the hospital.
Are they worth having?

Nosleeptillbedtime Wed 02-Apr-14 12:42:23

Absolutely. I didn't use it in labour, preferring to hang off poor dh instead. But it was brilliant in the later stages of pregnancy when sitting on the sofa was uncomfy. I spent a lot of time sitting on my birthing ball or leaning over it. Brilliant. Also used it to try and get baby in position for labour. A gym ball will do. Got mine from John Lewis for £17. Just make sure it is anti burst.
Enjoy your pregnancy. This post has made me all nostalgic for my bump!

stargirl1701 Wed 02-Apr-14 12:43:22

Yes. For pregnancy and birth. You don't need a 'birth' ball though - a gym ball from TK MAXX would be fine.

squishysquirmy Wed 02-Apr-14 12:47:32

I had one before I was pregnant that I just used as an excercise ball. During pregnancy I used it for gentle excercise and as a chair sometimes.
I didnt use it in labour at all (because I had a much more medicalised birth than planned) but I'm using it again now my babies a few months old to try and tone up.
So yes, I'd say it is worth having because you can use it for other things as well as labour.

Bit rubbish of your hospital to not provide them though!

Cuckoo82 Wed 02-Apr-14 13:09:55

Definitely worth it - I have two, one for work (I have an office job and found sitting on a normal chair all day just too uncomfortable) and one for home. I've just had my 36 week midwife appointment and have been told to use it as much as possible over the next few weeks as baby is turned slightly back to back at the moment and apparently it helps get them in the right position.

Mine were £7 from Sports Direct for a smaller one and £10 from ebay for a slightly bigger one for work (so I can reach the desk!) - both are just normal yoga/sports ones. Even if I don't use it in labour I think I'll definitely have got my money's worth from mine!

qazxc Wed 02-Apr-14 13:10:44

Yes get one. I found it very good esp now I am in third trimester for back pain, sitting on, rocking,etc...
Make sure you get one the right size for you.
Bit rubbish of the hospital, you'd imagine a quick antibacterial wipe would sort the infection risk problem.

redhead78 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:18:05

Thanks guys, I think I'll invest. But how do you use them as an exercise ball when not pregnant?! Can you tell I'm an outdoor exercise kind of girl rather than a gym bunny?!

The hospital I'm at have had a lot of very well publicised problems in recent years and so are on a real clamp down on anything and everything that could cause problems etc, which I suppose is a good thing. But the midwives are arguing that the birthing balls are no more difficult to clean than a chair and are really fighting to get them reinstated.

keely79 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:42:05

Yes - though actually I used mine most once kids were born - bouncing gently up and down on it used to get them off to sleep in no tie!

sambababy Wed 02-Apr-14 17:38:13

I haven't given birth yet so I can't comment on whether they're good for during labour. But I got one for pregnancy as it seemed to be the done thing, and we do use them all the time at Pilates.

Little word of warning about the size though. When you sit on it, your knees should be lower than your hips. Mine is 65cm and slightly too small for me (5'9) even over inflated. I do my pelvic floor exercises on it, pelvic tilts and just gentle swaying about, and I put it between my lower back and the wall to do squats.

You'd think if the hospital was worried about infection, they wouldn't let people bring these things in from home either? confused I am taking my own wipes if I have to use the hospital one!

CarlyKins Wed 02-Apr-14 17:41:22

I definitely recommend one, I was lucky didn't have to buy one as my sister has lent me hers lol. Ever since going on I have felt tons more pressure right down so I do believe it's helped baby to engage, I go on every day bounce and rock side to side. Plus, they are very comfy smile) x

Spaghettinetti Wed 02-Apr-14 18:13:16

I've just bought one for £6.99 from TK Maxx. I'm using it to sit on at home and help get baby into a good position for birth. You can buy literally loads of exercise DVDs (also from TK Maxx) so that you can use it as an exercise ball after birth.

Just make sure it says anti-burst on the box! :-)

firsttimemummy2109 Wed 02-Apr-14 18:18:08

I bought one yesterday from Argos for £6.99. I've got problems with sciatic pain at the moment and spending the evening on the ball sitting with a good posture made me feel a million times better!

thereisnoeleventeen Wed 02-Apr-14 22:02:44

They are very good for postnatal core exercises too, I used to go for a run then do core exercises/pilates on mine in the garden (there must be examples on google).

Towards the end of each pregnancy they are the only way that I can get really comfortable without getting into a swimming pool.

Bagoffrogs Wed 02-Apr-14 22:06:45

Definitely - I remember laying across it, bump hanging down, boobs wedged on the ball, eating my tea !! So comfy wink

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