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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Benefits of the Birth Ball

A birth ball is a professional physiotherapy ball designed to be used during low impact and strengthening exercises. It relieves stress on joints and maximizes benefits during exercise and is a useful tool during labor and delivery. You can even soothe your new baby on it by gently swaying in rhythmic motions while sitting on the birth ball.

Typically, the following sized balls fit these heights accordingly:

  • The 53cm birth ball is suggested for heights up to 5' 2".

  • The 65cm birth ball is suggested for heights 5' 3" to 5' 10".

  • The 75cm birth ball is suggested for heights 5'11" and over.*

It’s recommended that when you’re sitting on a birth ball, you keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90 degree angle. If you have the correct ball for your height, simply add or release air as needed to achieve the correct size. The ball should be inflated until firm but still gives slightly and rolls easily.

Here are some tips on taking care of your birth ball:

  • To extend the life of your birth ball, inflate to 80 percent capacity for first week of use, to allow it to "warm up." After that you can inflate it to full firmness.
  • Make sure not to store your birth ball in high temperatures or next to items with intense heat.
  • Keep sharp objects away from the ball.
  • Never patch a birth ball because it will not be able to support the weight it was designed for. A professional birth ball will support over 300 lbs (136 kg). Check for weight recommendations before purchasing.
  • To clean your birth ball, simply set ball in tub or shower, wipe clean with a soapy cloth and rinse. Disinfect by spraying a germicidal surface cleaner, let stand as recommended and rinse.

As with any exercise, always consult your physician before you start a program with the birth ball, as these balls can add fun as well as true benefits to any fitness program.

*(Please be aware that the balls discussed here are professional and not the toy balls used by children.)

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