If you weren’t aware, there are a number of things you can use to help you get through your labor quicker. My mother used a birthing stool, I’ve tried a squat bar, you can soak in the tub….
And you have probably heard of a birthing ball. It’s just this huge exercise ball that you can sit and sway on, bounding through contractions, whatever’s comfortable. But have you heard of the peanut ball for labor?
The Peanut Ball For Labor
So I didn’t know these existed until just recently. Instead of the standard round ball many people use for exercising or sitting at their desks with, this kind is shaped like a giant peanut.
So when you sit on one, your pelvis and bottom are supported in a much better way than just a standard ball. The central curve actually opens you up, relieving all that pressure that’s building down there. Kind of like when you sit on the toilet and the way the seat lets your central area hang downward, you get that natural relief on your crotch and pelvis.
When I was laboring with my first baby, the hospital had a normal birthing ball and I sat on it for a little bit. But I didn’t really like it. It provided a little relief when it came to pressure in my nethers. But I didn’t like the feeling completely because it felt like the ball was trying to push things back upwards against me. And this went against my entire desired feeling and mindset at the moment of ‘down and out.’
Then again, this ball may have been over inflated. But it makes me want to try the peanut ball next time.
Another option for its use is just between your legs as you’re side lying in bed, allowing you to rest your legs easier than trying to hold one of them up. I attempted to do this with just pillows before and it didn’t really work; not enough support.
Items For Reducing Labor Time
Here’s a great video of a nurse demonstrating how it can be used. Pay attention to what the nurse says about who the peanut ball is mainly used for. When you hear the answer, don’t worry, we’re going to talk about it.
Epidural Or Not
Medical Press discussed this year a study in the Journal of Perinatal Education that involved mothers who had received an epidural and their benefits from using the peanut ball.
- women were half as likely to end up needing a cesarean
- optimal fetal positioning
- increased pelvic diameter
- significantly shorter time in labor
Do you think that even if you didn’t receive an epidural, that you’d STILL receive these same benefits? YES!!
All of the positive benefits that are promoted by using the peanut ball apply just as well for ANY mother going through labor and delivery, no matter if you’ve elected for such pain medication or not.
Of course, this study clearly states that the women participating all received epidurals. So I CANNOT say that the statistics are directly correlated to any birth experience.
But when the hindrance of an epidural in the physiological pathway of giving birth is removed, the process can only be further enhanced by the same helpful methods—maybe even with greater benefit than this control group.
What You Can Do
So if you want to explore the possibility of having a peanut ball present during your labor, do the following:
- Ask your doctor or midwife if they or the hospital has them available–easy.
- If not, simply pick one up and try it out before hand. And if you find that you didn’t enjoy it during your labor, then you’ve got an exercise peanut ball anyway.
It does NOT hurt to try all sorts of methods during your labor. It’s hard to know exactly what will work well for you until you get in there and are going through it first hand. Example: I thought I would LOVE using the squat bar, but ended up changing my mind after awhile.
Have any of you used one of these? Or any other type of birthing ball? I want to hear from someone first hand. Apparently, they’re newer and haven’t been around as much.
Here’s ‘bouncing’ along with your labor. 🙂