How to Use the Exercise Ball in Pregnancy and Labor

Learn the benefits of using an exercise ball during pregnancy and labor, as well as what exercises to do to accommodate baby and prepare for birth.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Dr. Casie Danenhauer discusses the benefits of using a large exercise ball (aka swiss ball/birthing ball) during all phases of pregnancy, but especially as a supportive tool during the 3rd trimester and labor.  She notes the importance of maintaining good pelvic and spinal mobility, core stability, and posture which the ball can help with as the pregnant body expands and changes to accommodate for baby. Dr. Casie notes especially how using the tactile feedback of the ball can assist preparing the pelvic floor to soften and open for vaginal delivery.  She also gives a short description of proper fitting for size and how to safely use the ball.

The exercise sequence focuses on simple pelvic mobility activities, pelvic floor awareness, core stability work, and positions of comfort to be used in the changing pregnant body and in labor. Dr. Casie offers modifications for different stages of pregnancy and performs ~ 10 repetitions of each exercises, but encourages each pregnant person to find the number of reps that feels therapeutic to them (mobility should feel good!). The sequence can be performed daily.

Exercises on the ball include:

  • Pelvic floor and core awareness with breath
  • Pelvic Tilting: Forward/Back with pelvic floor awareness
  • Seated Cat/Cow
  • Pelvic Tilting: Right/Left
  • Pelvic Circles
  • Perineal softening into the ball
  • Pelvic Figure 8
  • Core Stability: Marching
  • Wide-leg thoracic rotation
  • Supported child's pose with ball

As always consult with your pelvic floor PT if you have questions regarding form or safety during these activities. Always takes exercise at your own pace and modify as needed.

Up next

Series episodes

Guided Meditation to Prepare for Birth
Guided Meditation to Prepare for Birth
Sex and Intimacy During Pregnancy
Sex and Intimacy During Pregnancy
Core Strength and Stability in Pregnancy and Post-Partum
Core Strength and Stability in Pregnancy and Post-Partum
How to Use the Exercise Ball in Pregnancy and Labor
How to Use the Exercise Ball in Pregnancy and Labor
Prenatal Pelvic Mobility and Awareness
Prenatal Pelvic Mobility and Awareness
Postpartum Sex 101
Postpartum Sex 101
Guided Meditation: Connecting to Your Body and Your Baby
Guided Meditation: Connecting to Your Body and Your Baby
Perineal Stretching: Preparing Your Vagina for Birth
Perineal Stretching: Preparing Your Vagina for Birth