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giving birth on a birthing ball

i was trying to find the right position i want to try when i give birth. i'm giving birth in a hospital and my midwife told me i could give birth in any position i want. my mother in law told me that some women actually give birth on the ball which i've never heard of but i figured that's the way i want to. has anyone done this or heard of this? i didn't put it on my birth plan. all i put was that i wanted to be sitting upright and not in the lithotomy position. does L&D give you a birthing ball to use when you go in? any info is helpful

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:01 AM on Jul. 23, 2010 in Pregnancy

Answers (9)
  • Some hospitals provide balls, others do not. You will need to tour your L&D unit or just call to find out for sure if they provide them or not. If they don't, ask if you can bring in your own. They're really inexpensive, you can buy one for $10 at Walmart (they're just exercise balls, don't fall for buying the pricier "yoga" or "birthing" balls).

    I attended a birth in May where mom gave birth in her living room (planned home birth) while leaning over her birth ball. It was beautiful and she seemed quite comfortable on the ball.

    Just to warn you, your midwife may say she's comfortable with any position, but hospital staff (including the midwife) do not typically like you off the bed for delivery. You will want to clarify that point to make sure they will ACTUALLY be okay with that and not try to get you back up on the bed when you start pushing.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 5:05 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • well we already discussed that i will be laboring down and only push if i feel like i have to so no one will be telling me it's time to push.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:29 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • The hospital I was at didn't give me any options at all. I was laying flat and wanted to push from my right side, but they wouldn't allow it, they kept turning me back over to my back, which made pushing hurt beyond anything I've ever felt. I didn't have any drugs.

    Answer by MomtoElliett at 5:54 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • my midwife was glad when i told her i didn't want to be on my back and told me a few positions i might want to consider like getting on my hands and knees or lying on my side but she told me to do my own research and find the position that's right for me

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:56 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Really you won't know the position that is right for you until you are in labor and ready to push. With my first I was laying on my side and that was the most comfortable so that is what I tried with my second, but it turned out I needed to squat with her. Our hospital did not provide birthing balls, but allowed you to bring your own if you wished. I would recommend just listening to your body when it comes time and do what feels right and not try to lock yourself into anything. I labored on the ball a little with my first and spent most the time in the shower and my second I labored on all fours and not in the shower because that is what was comfortable at the time.

    Answer by aeneva at 8:30 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • OP, your midwife's suggestions were suggestions that can be done in bed. Birthing on the ball cannot be done in bed. I urge you to double check with her that she will be okay with you birthing outside the bed.

    Also, be sure to tour your hospital's L&D unit and ask the nurses if THEY are okay with you being off the bed for pushing. Often your care provider is not present when the urge to push hits, which means the nurses will be doing what they usually do... which in 99.9% of hospitals is trying to get you back onto the bed. You will want to make any nurse you have aware of your birth plan, so take extra copies with you to the hospital.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 10:33 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I have actually seen this on YouTube actually lol. I was showing my husband videos of women giving birth when I was pregnant with my first so that he wouldn't freak out and pass out on me haha. You should YouTube some videos of different positions so you can get an idea of what you want, good luck!


    Answer by cynprz at 10:46 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • i agree that you will want to ask if they provide these things. the hospital i gave birth to my first son did have a ball to labor with. i'd keep an open mind and just use whatever feels right at the time. i used the ball some during labor but it never seemed to help much. i think if i had used it during pregnancy it might have worked better. what i loved was the jacuzzi. :D

    i agree also with previous posters that you will want to ask your midwife if the hospital staff is supportive of natural birth. the hospital i had my first son at was great, and my nurse was like a doula i swear! i was out of bed probably 75% of my labor although i did end up in bed for the birth. that's just what i wanted at that moment. gl!

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 11:11 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • You can use it for labor and delivering, but can't sit ON it to deliver. There are birth stools (like a toilet) that are nice to bring baby down with, similar concept (supported squat). But the ball is awesome to keep your hips rocking and rolling, allowing baby to descend & work with gravity.

    Put in your BP that you want access to whatever feels right in labor. You don't HAVE to specify what you WILL be doing. You won't know until you get there, most likely.

    Do you have access to a tub? I labored & delivered my babies in the water~ nice!
    Good luck!

    Answer by doulala at 1:22 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

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