The pregnancy ball method is a way of getting ready for giving birth, which allows the woman to work her balance, to feel able to relax and strengthen her muscles, to improve posture and reduce lower back pain. The ball can also have a relaxing effect on the baby, which is rocked by the movements carried out on the ball. Certain pregnancy balls used during labour can reduce the duration of the delivery by 30 minutes and can half the risk of having a caesarian section, according to American researchers.
Can the peanut ball speed up labour?
In Arizona, researchers led a study on 107 women who used a peanut ball during their labour. Comparing their details to those of 91 births carried out without the ball, the team of researchers noticed that this accessory reduced the first phase of labour by 29 minutes, and accelerated the second phase by 11 minutes.
According to them, the fact of changing position during labour increased blood circulation, which sped up the descent of the foetus and eased contractions.
Ideal for avoiding caesarians
The study also confirmed that the use of the peanut ball during the birth process could combat the harmful effects of the epidural and avoid the need for a caesarian. The numbing caused by the epidural stops a woman from being able to push very well during labour contractions, but working with the ball improved this numb state and reduced the duration of labour.
A method that is not very common
The pregnancy ball method is not very widespread, although there are certain maternity hospitals and clinics who are starting to use it for birth and preparation for birth in the larger cities. Consult your midwife or gynaecologist before trying it.