Birth ball help... — The Bump
Natural Birth

Birth ball help...

I'm from over on the Nov. 2011 board and had a question about birth balls. I'm a FTM and hoping to have a natural labor. In my childbirth education class, the nurse showed positions on the birth ball that would help during the labor process.

 So, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a regular exercise ball, so I could begin practicing the positions. When DH opened the box we immediately noticed a strong odor, which I assumed is normal because the ball is rubber. However, then we read a warning note within the box that stated within the state of CA the chemical on the ball was known for causing cancer and birth/reproductive defects Indifferent We don't live in CA, but still...

This freaked me out, so I packed it back up and plan to return it. However, I still want to use a birth ball, but a safe one! Can anyone recommend a safe alternative?

Sorry so long and TIA!


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Re: Birth ball help...

  • I don't want to be dismissive of your concerns or say you should keep it, but I do want to thrown in that in CA we have those warnings about everything.  Starbucks now has to have a sign warning that there are dangerous chemicals in coffee, even though they are also in cooked food.  Also, the warnings must be present even if the chemical concentration isn't high enough to cause a problem.

    One thought though is that maybe ordering a ball from a place like Giam or Whole Foods if you have one would make it less likely to have those chemicals?  Unfortunately a lot of the softeners used on plastics are considered harmful, so I'm not sure how hard it would be to find one.

    With things like that, I usually take them outside to let them off-gas out there and only bring them in once they don't smell of plastic. 

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  • I bought 2 birth balls, one from the dicount section in TJ Maxx, the other in either Target or Walmart and neither had a weird smell. I too would have been crazy about the smell and would have returned it too. As pp said, you could try airing it out and see if that helps.
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  • California = crazy labels.

    Leave the ball outside or in the garage for a day or two. It won't deform your baby.

  • I just bought one at Target, and no crazy smell. I also used one for my first labor, almost 5 years ago. I actually ended up putting a receiving blanket and chux pad on the ball and sat on that, so I wasn't touching the ball. You could try that if you are concerned about it. I live in Nevada now, but I'm from Cali and even our apartment garbage cans had warnings on it about cancer causing agents. Yikes! :) 
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