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Donna BaloSafety of Birthing Ball During Pregnancy
by Donna Harvel Balo ARNP, CNM, MS

Q. I found a yoga ball/birthing ball on sale and picked it up after a brief try at my birthing class. It is so comfy on my sore hips and back! I know the ball is used in hospitals to help labor progress and to help the baby descend, so I'm wondering if it is safe to use prior to labor. I don't want to sit on the ball and start labor or cause the baby to drop too early!

The flip side, of course, is that in a few weeks I may be more than ready for this baby to be born, could the ball help kick-start labor?

A. The birthing balls are wonderful! I know a couple of teachers who used them in place of their chairs when sitting at their desks.

The reason they are great during labor is it gets the mom off her back and in an upright position. It conforms to her body so helps with relaxation. It supports in just the right spots and is comfortable. Besides that, I don't know of any properties about them that start or quicken labor (if only it was that easy!)

If it feels good to sit on it now (often in does!) go for it!

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