Pregnancy and childbirth have undergone a sea change over the decades. One of the key factors that has facilitated the entire process is the introduction of the yoga ball or the birthing ball, making it a much more comfortable experience.
The yoga ball is a large, inflatable ball made of soft rubber. It is also available in inflated versions. It is used for different exercises during the entire pregnancy. In fact, the earlier you start the better, as you can get comfortable with it.
You can start by sitting on it regularly to watch TV or even read a book. Giving mild movements while sitting relieves pressure on the back and pelvis. It even helps to open up the pelvic muscles for the upcoming delivery. It comes in different size to suit everyone’s needs.
While sitting on it, your feet should be completely touching the floor, with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. The curve of the ball makes for a very comfortable sitting position.
Some of the exercises are-
1. Gently bouncing up and down.
2. Giving back and forth movements.
3. Moving hips from side to side while sitting on it.
4. Go on your hands and knees on the floor. You can keep a small pillow under your knees. With the ball in front of you, drape your arms over it and move forward on your knees.
5. Sit on the ball, raise an arm and bend gently to the opposite side. Repeat on the other side and with other arm. It gives a good side stretch.
The yoga ball is immensely helpful during labour too. You can practice the following
1. While sitting, you can bounce or rock gently.
2. Sit and lean forward to rest your arms on a chair in front.
3.Lying on the side with the ball between the knees( smaller peanut ball).
These can reduce the need for a vaginal incision too.
After delivery, the ball can be deflated a little so that it will be soft and comfortable to sit on. It would reduce pressure on the vagina and anus.
Thus, the yoga ball is a Godsend to all the women who want to try and minimise the stress of pregnancy and labour. Reduced stress level would lead to a relaxed childbirth journey and a happy mother.
Note : All the above exercises should be done under expert guidance.