Pregnancy and childbirth is the most important phase in every woman’s life. And this is the phase where unsolicited advises will flow from all directions.
This gets us confused and even for unsubstantial things, we rely on gynac’s advice. But this is good too.
Consulting gynecologist for things like exercising, taking supplements is mandatory as they know what works best for you and fetus.
Pregnancy balls are really helpful to do pelvic exercises safely. It can be also used post delivery to get fit.
Refer this article to know about different exercises that you can do with pregnancy balls and their uses.
What is pelvic floor exercising?
Pelvic floor excercises are done to strengthen the pelvic muscle area that includes bladder, uterus and bowel.
During pregnancy, this region has to be strong enough to cushion the baby and contract and relax during birthing.
The exercises usually include contraction and active movement of these muscles. Most common one is Kegels.
Hence Ob-gyn recommends these exercises for pregnant women to do at home until labor occurs.
Even during active and passive birthing, mid-wife or doula can assist women in doing this to lessen pain severity.
Are pregnancy balls mandatory to do them?
Using pregnancy balls makes this process easier and helps a lot to move that particular muscle area without much effort.
This is the safest way to do those exercises too. As it won’t let you fall down or hurt.
You can actually use these balls for seating purposes as well as this corrects your posture while sitting.
These balls makes you sit tall and erect without slumping unlike regular cushioned chair or sofas.
These balls are not much different from the Swiss balls you see in gyms.
So getting one can definitely help you for long term.
Things to remember before getting into exercising
- First of all, consult your gynac and be clear with do’s and don’ts of the whole procedure.
- Invest in a good quality, attractive pregnancy ball made of anti-burst, premium quality material.
- Inform your birth partner about it and seek out for help if you think you can’t do it alone.
- This can make this whole process fun and you will get some motivation too.
- It is safe to have someone around too.
- Note down how you feel while exercising and after exercising. Also note down fetal movements.
- This way you can discuss them with your gynac during your next visit and get your doubts cleared.
- You can also get a soft yoga mat which you can place for your leg support.
- This can provide a firm base for your feet.
Precautions to be taken
- Keep in mind that birthing balls come in three different sizes. You need to get one according to your height.
- When you are seated in the ball, your hip should be in higher altitude than your knees.
- Air should be filled in correctly. It should be firm at the same time slightly loose.
- Sitting on it for the first time can be challenging. It is good if you have someone for support.
- Or you can do it closer to wall or any furniture.
- Always keep your legs wider apart for better posture and balance.
Let’s see the list of easy, safe yet effective exercises that you can do with this ball.
This is one of the most common pelvic exercises which every pregnant woman would be aware of.
How to do this?
Sit on the ball as instructed above and move your pelvic muscle area around in circular motion.
Keep your hands crossed across your shoulders or on your hips.
It should be like trying to draw zero using your pelvic region.
You can do this both clockwise and anti-clockwise and as long as you can do it comfortably.
During the whole process, only your hip area should move and swirl and your back should be erect.
- This helps loosening up your hip and pelvic muscles to facilitate the labor and eases the pain off.
- It will bring baby’s head close to cervix.
- Strengthens perennial muscles.
This is almost similar to the previous one. Instead of doing circles, you will be swaying side to side.
Play some good dance numbers while you exercise as this can cheer you up more.
How to do this?
Sit on the ball with your legs wide apart and hips higher than knees.
Keep your hands on your hips and move your pelvic region from one side to another and repeat in loop.
This would be very fun to do and even resemble dancing.
If you find it difficult, please take another person’s help, where they can hold your body and help you move.
- Relieves discomfort due to pregnancy weight.
- Reduces back ache.
- Helps in flexible spine and back movement.
Over ball stretch/Child’s pose stretch using birthing ball
To do this you would need a yoga mat along with ball as you would need floor support also.
This can be done throughout the pregnancy but very effective when it is done during the last 6 weeks.
Many midwifes prefer pregnant women to be in this position during active labor.
This releases tension off your chest, upper and lower back area due to its elongated stretch.
How to do this?
Sit in kneeled down position and bend your whole body forward. Keep your palms over the ball for support.
Rest your bump safely in between your thighs and stretch your body as much as you can forward.
You can do a slight modification in this too. Bring the ball closer and hug it while you are in the kneeled down position.
Your chest area should be supported on the side of the ball.
You can be in this position for as long as your body doesn’t feel any discomfort.
You can even ask your partner to massage your back area while you are on this position.
- This position lets you relax well and you can even have a short nap in this position.
- This opens up hip and abdomen area of the pregnant women.
- Helps baby to switch its position from posterior to anterior position.
Pelvic circles in child pose position using ball
This position is quite complicated but equally effective as well.
It not just strengthens your pelvic floor muscles but opens them up and softens your cervix area.
You can also do this by balancing yourself on sofa or any furniture but balls give you better grip.
How to do this?
Get into kneeled down position with legs placed wide apart.
Stretch and bend your body forward and place your hands on ball. Now you are in child pose position.
Raise your pelvic area off your legs and when they are in air, move them in circular motion.
It should resemble drawing zero using your pelvic muscles.
You can do this from 33rd week.
- Opens up the hip region.
- Reduces pain in lower back and upper thigh area.
Cat cow pose using ball
This is a very popular position in yoga and it works on core muscles.
Instead of doing this in regular doggy position, you are going to sit on the ball and do this.
How to do this?
Sit on the ball comfortably following regular norms. Keep your hands on your hips.
Stretch your chest and belly region backwards and look up. Stay in that position for few seconds.
Now relax your body and bring it forward.
Repeat this 10-20 times.
- Releases the tension off chest and shoulder muscles.
- Clears out indigestion and bloating.
Every pregnant woman will have squatting included in her exercise regime. Wondering how to perform it using ball? Read on!
Though you can’t perform deep squatting, this is equally intense and effective and it offers ab support as well.
How to do this?
Find a wall where you can lean over to do this.
Instead of leaning over the wall directly, place the ball in between your back and the wall.
Try moving up and down a little to see if the ball stays in position.
Make sure there is no gap and the ball is well pressed against the wall.
Start half squatting keeping your legs shoulder wide apart.
When you move, the ball should also move between your pelvic and back region.
You can repeat this upto 20Nos.
- Squats offer lots of benefits to pregnant women. It mainly strengthens the lower portion of the body.
- Opens up the pelvic region and help the baby descend.
Using weights, you can also perform bicep curls, lunges etc.
While performing this, your lower body will be pressed against the ball which offers resistance in return unlike furniture.
This involves the core muscles and activates them.
For bicep curls, take weight on both hands and lift them up in air and bring it back.
You can feel the tension in your abs and core area while doing this.
Tip: While exercising, whenever you feel tired or dizzy, take a break and do bouncing or get into child pose.
Back stretch using birthing ball
This pose has to be done little carefully and you would need practice to perfect this.
How to do this?
Sit over the ball comfortably keeping your legs wide apart over the mat.
Roll your body downwards by moving it in front and place your upper body entirely over ball.
Your head should be slightly hanging downwards and your lower body should be extending out of the ball.
Stretch your body as far as you can and spread your legs wide on both sides.
You can lie down in this froggy position comfortably for 5-10 minutes.
- The wide stretch of upper body alleviates back pain and reduces tension in the spine area.
- It gives your body some relaxation as well.
Now let us see our curated list of best birthing balls that are available in Amazon.
How to select the right birthing ball for me?
Pregnancy balls, Swiss balls, physiotherapy balls are all same but you should be careful with the quality of the ball.
Birthing ball comes in three different sizes. 55cm, 65cm and 75cm. Based on your height, you will have to choose.
It should have Anti-bursting and anti-slip qualities. It should be made of strong material that can withstand your weight.
Most of the balls that we have covered here can withstand weight of 1000lbs.
#1 SmarterLife Exercise Ball for Yoga, Balance, Stability – Fitness, Pilates, Birthing, Therapy, Office Ball Chair, Classroom Flexible Seating
This ball comes in four sizes 45, 55, 65 and 75cm and is made of PVC material.
It comes with a good quality hand pump as well. PVC material has 0.2cm thick casing around it.
This stretches evenly around the ball surface making it more sturdy and this can give you a good balance.
This is suitable for using as a pregnancy, birthing, fitness ball. So you can use this post pregnancy too.
When you purchase this ball, you get a bonus ebook ‘The 7 secrets to your ideal body’ emailed to you.
- Retains air longer than usual and easy to pump as well.
- No drop with anti-slip material surface grip for safe and secure grip.
#2 URBNFit Exercise Ball (Multiple Sizes) for Fitness, Stability, Balance & Yoga
This ball from URBNFit is one of the most recommended products by fitness experts due to its fine quality.
It comes in 5 different sizes from 45cm to 85cm. So you get a wide range to choose from.
Along with the ball, you get hand pump, plug remover and ball plugs and a fitness guide.
It is available in 9 different attractive colors and made of anti-bursting and anti-slip PVC material.
Many pregnant women have left satisfactory and useful comments that how the ball has helped them during labor.
- Money back guarantee if not satisfied with the product.
- Size range is wide.
- Air stays for longer time than usual.
#3 Trideer Exercise Ball (Multiple Color), Yoga Ball, Birthing Ball with Quick Pump
This is a heavy duty ball chair from Trideer brand that is extremely suitable for using as pregnancy ball.
It comes in three sizes (M, L, S) and three colors where purple being the most attractive one.
The ball is made of eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic material and is anti-burst too. It can withstand up to 2200lbs.
Anti-slipping material that makes it more safe while you exercise using this.
Product comes with measuring tape, foot pump, plug remover and user manual.
You get 1 year warranty period and if you are not satisfied with the product, you can return it within 1 month.
- Excellent customer service.
- Ball doesn’t have any odor.
#4 bintiva Anti-Burst Fitness Exercise Stability Yoga Ball
This exercise ball comes in four different sizes and available in five vivid colors.
The material is eco-friendly, anti-slip and phthalate free also. So this doesn’t produce bad odor and good for your skin.
Ball is professionally crafted to remain anti-slippery and to withstand obese and pregnant women’s weight without bursting.
Ball is made of very thick material that doesn’t give in when you sit/move. So you get good stability.
Users have mentioned that the material remains very sturdy and durable and provides good support while exercising and sitting.
- Cost wise this is very economic compared to other brands
- High quality, eco-friendly material is used in manufacturing the product.
#5 Probody Exercise Ball – Professional Grade Anti-Burst Fitness
This is one great product with all kinds of positive reviews and most recommended by therapists and gym trainers.
It is available in five different sizes from 45cm to 85cm and 11 different colors.
It gives utmost comfort to those who exercise using these especially pregnant women.
This ball can withstand upto 600 lbs and will remain anti-burst up to that weight.
Brand has easy return policies and also gives replacement if the ball gets damaged or burst.
The material of the ball is free from rubber and latex and made of high quality PVC.
It is also free from harmful substances such as DEHP DBP BBP DINP DIDP and DNOP.
- Trusted brand and satisfactory customer service.
- Easy to inflate and higher stability.
#6 Baby Bump | Birth Ball with Base Legs – Stability/Balance/Stand
This is slightly different from the models we have seen before. It comes with supporting legs.
Though you can’t use this product for dynamic exercises, you can get this as a replacement to your furniture.
This can also help you when you are in active phase of birthing to induce and quicken labor.
Brand promises that it is made in Italy of high quality PVC material that is anti-pop and anti-burst.
Since the ball doesn’t move around, it stays at a place and doesn’t get dirty which avoids frequent cleaning.
It comes with a manual pump and it is very easy to inflate and retains air for longer time too.
- Base legs provide high stability and you can safely sit in this for hours.
- No plastic smell.
#7 Tumaz Birth Ball or Exercise Ball -The Birth Ball Set
A kit that is exclusively designed for pregnant women with love, this can be a perfect baby shower gift.
It comes as whole pack of pre and post pregnancy fitness equipments and available at very reasonable price.
In this pack, you will get a birthing ball, foot pump, anti-skid socks, peri bottle, yoga strap and instruction poster.
The ball is made up of premium quality anti burst PVC material and available in three sizes.
It can withstand upto one ton of weight.
Along with the peri bottle, you also get a travel cover and this helps to maintain hygiene post labor.
- You get the whole pack at a very reasonable price.
- High quality material.
#8 Top Balance Exercise Ball Extra Thick Yoga Ball Chair
This high quality birthing ball is the thickest ball available in the market and highly advisable for pregnant women.
It is available in 5 sizes and six different colors.
The thickness of the material is 2000mm and it can withstand 2200 static weight limit with 1000pound anti-burst testing.
The material is anti-skid and is made of high quality PVC which is free from BPA and other toxic materials.
The ball weighs higher than other Swiss balls out there and provides high stability and comfort to the user.
- Anti-bursting quality tested and proved.
- Quick inflation foot pump that inflates the ball easily.
#9 Live Infinitely Exercise Ball (55cm-95cm) Extra Thick Professional Grade Balance & Stability Ball
This is one of the professional high grade pregnancy balls available and the quality truly stands out.
Ball is available in five sizes and 11 colors and it is tested to withstand weight around 2200lbs.
Tested anti-bursting weight is 1000lbs. The ball will burst only if there is a cut more than 2cm on surface.
Ball is made of heavy duty PVC material that never allows you to slip or lose balance while sitting.
Along with the ball, you get a hand pump, tools and free access to thousands of workouts on their website.
- Best anti-burst quality
- Versatile in use. Same ball can be used during pre pregnancy workouts, labor and post pregnancy fitness.
#10 Arteesol Exercise Yoga Ball, Extra Thick Stability Balance Ball
This is another extra thick exercise and pregnancy ball that is recommended by many physiotherapists and trainers.
It is available in 5 sizes from 45 to 85cm and 11 different colors. It can withstand 1100lbs of weight.
The outer thick walls are made of high quality rubber and the material of the ball is PVC without BPA.
It comes with hand pump, plug and plug puller.
The honeycomb structure of it provides good support for those who sit and is anti-slippery. Horizontal lines provide extra support.
- Helpful customer service and 1 year warranty given by the brand.
- Matte finish surface that is easy to clean with just a wipe.
Pregnancy is the period where your body needs utmost rest and relaxation but it doesn’t cooperate well to rest.
The reason is pain, discomfort and other bodily issues.
Doing such exercises are not just gonna help you to have a quickened labor, it also helps you to relax.
It takes the pain away and makes the going get easier for your body.
Such exercises eliminate risks in child birth and prepare your body for the child birth.
We hope that the article would be helpful to make your pregnancy journey easy. Have a healthy and happy pregnancy.