Mobilising during labour has many proven benefits for you, your unborn baby and labour such as:
Reduces the duration of labour,
Reduces the risks of obstetric intervention/Caesarean Section (CS)
Increases your chances of a pain relief free labour
Allows you to adopt comfortable positions during contractions.
When you are in active labour, it is not rare to find that you are unable to walk around, have heavy knees, legs and ankles or you may be tired and that is ok too! But have you thought of using a birthing ball? It’s a good alternative if you do not want to mobilise.
A birthing ball is commonly known as a swiss ball and is the same as an exercise ball made from anti-burst material. The birthing ball cannot "pop" or burst like a balloon, but it deflates slowly. You can use a birthing ball during your pregnancy and also in labour.
Here are ten of the benefits of using a birthing ball in labour:
1. It eases labour pains. You may still have painful contractions but they won’t feel as painful.
2. Eases the pressure/ pain felt in your back.
3. It encourages you to maintain an upright position in labour.
4. Your contractions are more effective. During the contractions, gravity assists by putting pressure on the cervix (when in an upright position) which encourages cervical dilation.
5. Allows a wider pelvic outlet which encourages good fetal descent into the birthing canal.
6. You can use the birthing ball in the shower supported against a wall or by your birthing partner. Hydrotherapy (Water) works as an amazing anti-inflammatory and pain relief. Warm water dilates the blood vessels, increases the blood flow, relaxes the muscles which all reduce the severity of pain felt.
7. You can adopt other upright positions which allow you to move around/sway from side to side.
8. It can shorten labour by up to two hours.
9. Your birth partner can sit behind you to offer support, back and shoulder rubs.
10. You can deliver on the ball. Yes, you read that right. Leaning over the ball with your knees wide open (as relaxed as possible). This is an amazing position because you are in an upright position, so gravity helps with your baby’s descent as you push with every contraction.
There are times during labour or some high-risk situations, when you may be
advised to remain in bed. You can still try to be as upright as possible and
safe for you and your baby.
Did you use a birthing ball in labour? What was your experience? Did you love it or hate it?