You will need a birth ball for a healthy pregnancy in encouraging optimal fetal positioning, for our group comprehensive childbirth classes, for your labor and birth, and even during the newborn phase. I'll show you how. "Birth balls" are the same thing as exercise balls. You know, the ones in the fitness department of any major store (Walmart, Target, sporting goods stores).
If you have a latex allergy, you will want to get one that is latex-free. You might have to order one online. Otherwise, any type will be fine.
Select a birth ball based on your height.
55 cm – under 5'4" 65 cm – 5’4″ – 5’10″ 75 cm – over 5'10"
If you're on the borderline between sizes, some moms prefer to get the size up and underinflate the ball, rather than firmly inflating the size down. A slightly underinflated ball (of the size up) is more stable, due to its squashed shape, than a firmly inflated ball (of the size down).
You know you have the correct size ball and that it is properly inflated when you sit on it and your knees are level with your bottom. If your bottom is higher than your knees, the ball is too big or it's overinflated. This is uncomfortable, difficult to get up onto, and less stable for a pregnant momma's center of balance. If your bottom is lower than your knees, it's uncomfortably low and narrows the pelvic opening (which isn't good for baby's positioning or labor). Underinflating the ball seems to be the most common problem that I see.
I recommend getting a ball that is weighted with 2 pounds of sand. This gives extra stability to the ball and decreases the risk of the ball rolling out from under you when you prepare to sit on it.
I don't get a commission no matter where you buy your birth ball. You can get an inexpensive one from most major retailers for under $20. If you want a burst resistant birth ball that is guaranteed to support a weight of up to 1,250 lb, FitBALL is the way to go. You can find them at sporting goods stores, on Amazon, or at the button below.
"FitBall® birth balls are the ideal balls to use in labor. FitBALL® birth balls are the #1 recommended exercise ball. They have a weight bearing capacity up to 1,250 lbs and are BURST RESISTANT. Burst resistant balls are a must when used in labor. The safety of the client is top priority. These balls are firm yet flexible and completely latex free... While many hospital keep balls for laboring we suggest having your own. You can't always count on the hospitals balls to be properly inflated, available or clean!"