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Hypno-Tip: Using the Birth Ball

First, I’m sending birthy vibes to two of my students who will have easy, comfortable homebirths any day now.  What a pleasure it was to share Hypnobabies with these beautiful ladies and their husbands!

In Hypnobabies, we discuss how to use a birth ball to help birthing become shorter and easier for moms and babies.  It helps babies get in better alignment in the pelvis, and allows our Hypno-Moms to relax deeply in an upright position.

Here is an article on why to use a Birth Ball and how to pick one out.

For our Hypno-Moms, we have a bit of advice for practicing their hypnosis and relaxation on their Birth Ball in their third trimester to help them get used to relaxing deeply on it.  The more practice there is before labor, the easier it is to use the Birth Ball during birthing.

Get a birth ball!  This is simply an exercise ball that can be purchased from any store with an exercise department or online.  Practice forward leaning positions on your birth ball, and also doing relaxation and scripts or Hypnobabies CDs.  This will allow you to become familiar with using it and becoming comfortable on it, long before your Birthing Time.  Birth balls have made such a positive difference for many birthing women.

Listening to Your Hypnobabies CDs on a Birth Ball.  At least once each week listen to one of your hypnosis CDs while sitting on your birth ball so that the first time you use your birth ball while in you are in deep hypnosis isn’t during your Birthing Time.  Make sure your birth ball is the right size for you.  (When you are sitting on your birth ball, your shins and thighs should be at right angles to one another, thighs parallel to the floor.)

A bonus to practicing with your hypnosis while sitting on your birth ball is that babies are happy and wiggle around a LOT while their moms are in hypnosis.  In the semi-squatting, forward-leaning position you’ll be in while sitting on your ball, you’ll be encouraging your happy, wiggling hypno-baby to settle into the perfect position for birthing: head down, facing your back, with chin to chest. 

Tips for getting comfortable and fully supported on your birth ball:

  • Have your CD or MP3 player with headphones ready to play your Hypnobabies CD.
  • Place your birth ball in front of a corner of your bed (if it’s not too tall), or the corner of the arm of a sofa or chair.
  • Wedge a sturdy shoe under each side of the birth ball to brace it, and to keep it from moving when you sit on it.
  • Then sit on your ball with your belly facing the corner of the bed, or the corner of the arm of a chair or sofa, with your belly close to the corner and your knees wrapped around each side.
  • Use 3 or 4 pillows to make yourself comfy.  The best way to stack your pillows is to “stair-step” them lengthwise to your body rather than placing them widthwise as we usually do.  Pull the end of the first pillow under your belly to keep it from scooting away from you when you lean forward.  Then stack the second one on top of the first and wedge it under your belly as best as you can. Place the next one on top and wedge it under your chest, and place the last one on top of that.

Then lean forward onto your stack of pillows and put one cheek on the pillow.  You should be upright enough so that it is still comfortable to breathe, and your back doesn’t feel strained; if not, use an additional pillow.  You can let your arms dangle at your sides, or drape them over your thighs if you like, or you can slip your hands and forearms far enough in between the middle pillows in your stack if you think they’ll stay there when you are deeply in hypnosis.

Then just relax and enjoy your Hypnobabies CD.

Check out this nice PDF that has Birth Ball Use information and pictures for labor, including different positions you can choose to help your birthing progress and comfort level.

The birth ball can also be a comfortable perch for your wonderful birth partner!