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Door County Doula

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Birth Balls: Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum

Uses during pregnancy:

1. In the last months of pregnancy - pregnant women find
it easier than a chair to get up and down from.

2. It encourages pelvic mobility.

3. It allows the mother the freedom to rock her pelvis
with a rhythmic movement as she sways or rocks side
to side and back and forth.

4. It allows the mother the opportunity to change her
position for comfort.

5. It encourages fetal descent.

6. As the mother remains sitting in an upright position,
her body takes advantage of gravity.

7. Using the ball helps keep the fetus well aligned in
the pelvis.

8. The ball encourages pelvic relaxation by conforming
to the mother's body similar to a water mattress.

9. It provides perineal support without undue pressure.

10.Ball use is also helpful for strengthening the lower
back.

11.Ball use can also strengthen abdominal muscles used
in the second stage of labor.



Uses during labor:

1. The birthball can be used at home and in the hospital
during labor and birth.

2. The birthball can be used in the shower.

3. Use of the birthball encourages pelvic mobility.

4. It allows you the freedom to rock your pelvis, change
your position and shift your weight for comfort.

5. It encourages fetal descent.

6. Sitting on the birthball helps keep the baby well
aligned in your pelvis.

7. It encourages pelvic relaxation by providing perineal
support without undue pressure.

8. Sitting on the birthball encourages rhythmic movement
while leaning over a bed.

9. It encourages pelvic mobility in the hands and knees
position.

10. The birthball can be used as a support while
squatting.

11.Use of the birthball while squatting helps widen your
pelvic outlet to its maximum.

12.In back labor - kneeling and leaning over the
birthball gives you good pelvic mobility. It also
encourages gravity to assist in rotation of the baby.

13.The birthball can be used in conjunction with both
intermittent external or continuous internal fetal
monitoring.



Uses in the postpartum period

1. With a fussy baby, simply sit on the ball and sway or
bounce slightly while patting the baby.

2. Mothers can also place the baby on its stomach when
dealing with colic or gas. The pressure on the baby's
abdomen seems to help.

3. Exercises using the ball in the postpartum period can
help firm and tone the hip and buttocks, inner and
outer thighs and abdomen.



REMEMBER: ALWAYS Hold the birthball with your hand as you sit down on it with your feet flat on the floor and about two feet apart to give you a stable base. It is important to have your partner or doula at your side providing stability during labor. Hold on to a table, bed or chair when using the birthball to insure your safety.

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