One of the most popular types of exercises recommended for inducing labor is to use a birthing ball. A birthing ball is a kind of rubber exercise ball similar to those used for back and ab workouts. There are several types of workouts you can do using a birthing ball to try to induce labor. Birthing balls are relatively inexpensive; you should be able to purchase one for under $20.00, and you’ll be able to use it later for other exercises!
It is thought that sitting on the birthing ball or gently swaying or bouncing up and down can dilate the cervix and also ease pain from contractions. By standing and then leaning into the ball with your feet placed slightly apart, you are supposed to be able to open up the pelvis a bit and also move the baby downward. Another suggestion is to squat on the floor in front of the birthing ball and then lean backward against it. This is thought to stretch the muscles and widen the pelvis.
Along with these birthing ball exercises, you can also try other simple exercises, for instance, walking up a flight of stairs two at a time. You can also go on short walks each day in your last couple weeks of pregnancy to try and push the baby further downward and put even more pressure on the cervix. With all exercises, birthing ball related and otherwise, you should exercise caution and not try to take it too fast. The guidance of a physician can be helpful and even essential to make sure you exercise properly while pregnant.
Want to try some more techniques to induce labor while you work with the birthing ball? Try eating spicy foods or using some herbs like evening primrose oil, black cohosh, ginger root, cumin, or raspberry leaf.
You might also want to learn about acupressure, which is an Eastern medicinal discipline which can help pregnant women go into labor by removing blockages in energy flow. Acupressure can be performed by either a licensed acupressurist or by yourself or a partner with an instructional manual. Acupressure won’t create any risks for you or the baby; if it is still too early to give birth, then the acupressure won’t induce labor. If you and the baby are ready for you to go into labor, then acupressure could cause you to give birth within only 48 hours.
A birthing ball is a simple way to exercise and help prepare yourself for labor and perhaps even induce labor. Methods like a birthing ball work even better when accompanied by acupressure and other techniques.