Has anyone used a birthing ball to achieve optimal fetal positioning? The MW mentioned at my last visit (I am 38 weeks) that I should look on Spinning Babies as the baby is in a good position but his head is not in the right spot. She said I was a 2-3 and 50% (this was on Monday) though I have been known to walk around like that for weeks. All of my kids have been born by 38w5d. I saw on SB that the birthing ball was one of the ways to achieve optimal fetal positioning but I am leary about doing it before I am actually in labor, which is when I have used the ball in the past. I am planning another med/intervention free waterbirth with a MW but it will be at a hospital 25min away and my parents live 1hr away in the opposite direction and will be watching my other kids (unless my water breaks first, then we will all just go to the hospital asap). Snow is on the way.......though I am in the "I Am SO Done" club I am not necessarily trying to bring on labor, just to get the babe in position so that labor is easier when the time comes. But if labor starts I will definitely NOT complain ;)
i've used an exercise ball throughout both of my pregnancies. I've found its really comfortable to sit on and one of the only ways I can sit and "relax" without having massive hip/pelvic pain upon standing. As far as it encouraging labor, I can't say necessarily. It's probably not as dramatic as say, squatting, though.
i have sat on birth balls throughout both of my last 2 pregnancies, though it was much more comfortable last time (maybe because this baby is still so high?)... i can't think of how they could possibly induce labor. use it if it feels good- it really is good for fetal positioning, and encourages good posture for us, too. (but you have to be sure it's big enough to serve these purposes, with your hips above your knees. otherwise, it's just a bouncy chair.)
HCM- gentle, all-natural, unconditional mama to three boys (8,6,4) and new baby girl!
With my last birth, I saw the MW at 9a, she said I was at 5 and 100%.....no ctx though so I went home and around 6hrs later the ctx started.....went to the hospital and they stopped but I was at 7 so I stayed since we are 25 min from the hospital......walked around for a while then MW suggested bouncing on the ball as it could bring the babys head into the right position and put pressure on the cervix causing it to dilate/efface more (she was still pretty far up) which was my understanding of how it helps progress labor. That is what the MW (different one) told me this time, that his head is up to far and is not engaged enough to put pressure on the cervix and help it along. I was probably already IN labor though the last time but it was just temporarily stalled or something! And that his head in a bad position was possibly the reason for all my back pain, mainly at night. My ball is big enough but I think it needs a bit of an air boost!!
I have used the same ball for all three pregnancies and, thus, far, all my kids have been in OFP and literally just flown out. It never induced labor (I use it during the whole pregnancy). I will say, age is working against me and it's been the *least* comfortable this go round, though.
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
I also have been using my birth ball instead of a chair throughout the entire second half of this pregnancy...it's the only way to sit that is comfortable for me! Also, as a childbirth educator, doula, and midwifery student, I recommend sitting on birth balls to all my clients and students. It will not cause you to go into labor, but can definitely help with getting baby in a great position for birth.
Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most loving and gentle man in the world, our little Sprout, and now someone new!
I've been sitting on the ball the entire pregnancy and it definitely keeps my pelvis tilted in the right position and helps baby get comfortable. I notice a huge difference in baby's positioning when I'm on the ball vs. a regular chair. I hardly ever use regular chairs anymore, not even in the dining room.
I agree exactly with wombjuice. I also suggest sitting on a birthball instead of a chair, especially in the last trimester. With now 3 out of 4 of my babies (including this one) I've began sitting on it by 20 weeks. I always sit on it at the computer, I sit on it at the table during meals, pretty much anytime I want to sit. Sitting on it definitely does not start labor, just helps move baby where baby needs to be. If you did go into labor, i would be because it's time, not from sitting on the ball. :)
I love sitting on a birthing/exercise ball. Especially during labor, definitely worth the investment.