Using a Swiss ball helps a pregnant woman maintain balance and stability as her belly grows—and help keep abdominal muscles strong. Strong abdominals are important during the pushing phase of labor. During the 4th month of pregnancy many women stop ab exercises on the floor, because it may put pressure on the vena cave, a large vein that carries blood back to the heart. Additionally the weight of the uterus can put pressure on this vein which results often in dizziness and nausea. Using a Swiss ball for ab exercises allows working out longer into your pregnancy because you are not laying on you back instead your are balancing on the ball.
However if you feel dizzy or ill, don’t use your ball.
What is a Swiss ball?
A Swiss ball is an inflated ball made from anti-burst materials, like vinyl. This means that even if it gets punctured, it doesn’t deflate with a bang or gets ruptured suddenly. Our Swiss balls are made from PVC and are free from latex. Further, they have a non-slip surface which allows you to sit or exercise without any risk of the ball rolling away from underneath you on a hard floor. However, if you are using one for the first time, it is advisable that you look for a carpeted or a rough wooden floor for more grip and better balance. Ideally, your Swiss ball should be able to support a body weight of 250-300 pounds and should be between 65cm (26”) to 75cm (30”) in height
What Swiss ball is right for me?
- If you’re up to 1.73m (5ft 8in) in height, it’s best to get a 65cm ball.
- If you’re 1.75m (5ft 9in) or taller then it’s best to get a 75cm ball.
Why should you use a Swiss exercise ball during pregnancy?
- To tighten your pelvic floor muscles:
Sit on the Swiss ball with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands loosely on your thighs. Tilt your pelvis forward and slowly tilt your entire body by 30-40 degree forward while maintaining the position off your spine. Avoid over stretching (hollow back). Start rocking your pelvis from side to side or back and forth. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy. This will help in easier labor and increase your pelvic diameter so that the developing fetus moves into an optimal position.
- Helps in reducing your back pain:
Use a Swiss ball to sit on instead of a chair. Trade the chair for a Swiss ball at the computer, at the table and even while watching TV. The Swiss ball comforts and strengthens your lower back. Your pelvis is better supported and symmetrical. Sitting on the Swiss ball assists you to sit upright comfortably and helps the abdomen be a hammock for the baby and may encourages the baby to settle in an anterior position when the mother’s ligaments and fascia are balanced.
- Improves the blood flow:
Since it assists you to sit in the perfect upright posture, the blood flow to your uterus, placenta, and the growing baby improves.
A Swiss ball or a birthing ball is an extremely useful tool for an expectant mother. It can find use even after your baby’s birth. Before using it, though, consult your gynecologist.