Birth Ball for Labor
Study Shows Pain Reduction and Improved Coping in Women that use a
Birth Ball for Labor
A recent study
in the December 2011 peer reviewed journal Midwifery examined
the effect of exercises on the stability ball on pain and a woman's
ability to cope during labor.
In a randomized controlled trial, examiners recruited 48 women to
participate in a
prenatal exercise program involving the exercise ball and compared them
to 39 pregnant women that did not partake in the
exercise ball program. This study was performed over 12 months in 2009.
exercise ball program of exercises that the intervention group took
part in consisted of a booklet of exercise ball exercises and a 19
minute video. Women were instructed to perform the exercises for at
least 20 minutes 3 times per week for six to eight weeks. Each woman
used a birth ball during labor and was told to assume the most
comfortable postures and exercises.
were administered during labor to measure pain and self-efficacy. (The
Childbirth Self Efficacy Inventory, and the McGill Pain Questionnaire)
of this study showed that exercises using the birth
for labor provided
statistically significant improvement
in pain and a woman's ability to cope. Women that used the exercise
ball prior to and during labor required less epidural analgesia,
experienced shorter first stage labor, and had fewer caesarean births
when compared to the group of women that didn't do the exercise ball
Reference: Gau ML,
Chang CY, Tian SH, Lin KC. Effects of birth ball exercise on pain and
self-efficacy during childbirth: a randomised controlled trial in
Taiwan. Midwifery. 2011 Dec;27(6):e293-300. Epub 2011 Apr 3.
Other Useful Information
your birth ball tips with our readers by clicking
information on birth ball basics and positioning.
Exercise and pregnancy information and guidelines.
Sports and pregnancy.
How to use the exercise ball after giving birth.
Precautions when using the ball.
of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise
during pregnancy and the postpartum period