Natural Birth

Peanut birthing ball

First of all, let me thank you all for your posts and birth stories. As a first time mom, reading this board has been very important as I imagine my ideal birthing experience. Now on to my question- 

Has anyone had experience using a "peanut ball" during labor and delivery? If so, I would love to hear how you used it and if it was useful to you.

One of the nurses on my hospital tour recommended them and cited one study that suggests the use of the peanut ball reduces the number of hours in labor and the c-section rate. I'd like to purchase one myself, but would like recommendations about what size and brand to get (Amazon has several brands in sizes ranging from 40 to 70 cm). 

Cynthia

Re: Peanut birthing ball

  • My hospital's birthing balls are all the "peanut" shape. It was easier to sit on that and rock than using a regular birthing ball, as it only moves in 1 direction. I thought I was going to be all about it... but when I was in labor, it was super painful for me to sit like that. I was much more comfortable on my hands and knees or leaning over the bed than straddled on a birthing ball.

    If I ordered one, I'd err on the side of a smaller ball because you want to make absolutely sure you can fully straddle and have your feet still touching the ground even with slightly bent knees, if that makes sense. You don't want to just be perched on the top of a really tall ball, you want to be able to comfortably rock from one side to the other with both feet on the ground.

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  • I have never seen those before, but they look nice.

    I ended up squatting next to my ball and resting my forehead on it, or draping myself over it and rocking back and forth. It's not how I imagined I would use the exercise ball, but those were the most relaxing positions for me. The peanut ball seems like it would be really nice, because if you did choose to drape yourself over it and kind of nod off between contractions, you wouldn't start rolling all over the place and jerk back awake.

    I'm 5'3" and I had a 55 cm ball. I definitely wouldn't have been comfortable with a bigger ball. I would guess most women would be comfortable with one in the 50-55 cm range.

    Managing tree nut (me), peanut & egg (DS) allergies.

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  • That's really cool, I've never seen that before!  I don't know that it would have worked as well for me because what I really found helpful was swirling my hips, so the birthing ball would kind of rotate in a small circle during contractions, which I'm not sure would work on a peanut ball.  But I like the idea of it and could see how it would be effective.
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  • I have not seen these before, but I liked a ball for hip swirls and to sit on in the shower with water streaming on my back. I don't know if a non-round shape would work for the swirls or fit in a shower. Also, I already had a ball for working out with, so it was free.  Not trying to disuade you, just sharing some thoughts...
  • Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I think it makes sense to get a ball on the smaller side (however it might be used in the actual labor process). The study says that it is particularly helpful for women who have had an epidural and can't change positions much. I am not planning on getting an epidural, but am anxious about how much I will actually be able to move around in the hospital environment, so this seems like a good purchase for me. 


    Cynthia
  • I used one during my first labor, and it was good. I sat on it and leaned over the bed. I think I prefer the regular yoga balls, but they aren't bad.

    Do you use the same size peanut ball as a regular ball? Look up recommended sizes for those, I would guess...
    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

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