Squatting back on
the birth ball

  • The birthing ball will give the mother back support when squatting to widen the pelvic outlet.
  • Stand with your exercise ball between your back and the wall with feet slightly more than hip width apart, toes pointed outward
  • Hold the back of a chair for support if you need to.
  • Pull your chest up, relax your shoulders, and lower yourself to the floor.
  • You should feel most of your weight toward your heels.
Other positions using the labor ball:
Sitting on the ball leaning forward
Standing leaning over the labor ball
Kneeling leaning over the ball
Sitting up on the ball.

The Cochrane Collaboration found sitting on a ball or side lying on the ball while pushing during the second stage of labor was better than lying on your back for the following reasons:
  • The duration of the second stage of labor was reduced
  • There was a small reduction in the number of labors requiring assistance
  • Less episiotomies were required
  • There was a slight increase in 2nd degree perineal tears
  • The risk of blood loss more than 500ml was greater.
  • There were fewer reports of severe pain during the 2nd stage.
  • There was a reduction in the number of abnormal fetal heart  rate patterns
The findings suggest that women should assume the most comfortable position to give birth. Using the exercise ball as a birth ball is a useful alternative.

More information on the birth ball/labor ball:
What is a labour ball?
Our readers' ball tips
Reduced pain found in study
Exercising while pregnant?
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