Vaginal Birth

Using a Peanut ball During Labour

A peanut ball is a bit like an exercise (Swiss ball) ball. It’s in the shape of a peanut so it can be positioned comfortably between your legs.

Emiliana Hall

A peanut ball is a bit like an exercise (Swiss ball) ball. It’s in the shape of a peanut so it can be positioned comfortably between your legs. You can get different sizes of peanut ball depending on the length of your legs.

How to use a peanut ball:

  • Lie on your side, make yourself comfortable with pillows at your head and behind your back.

  • Open your legs, bending and drawing them up towards your chest up to where is comfortable for you.

  • Position the peanut ball between your legs, the thinner part being where your knees rest.

  • It’s a good idea to change sides or have a shuffle and stretch the legs every 30-60 minutes.

  • If it ever feels uncomfortable then don’t persist in a certain position, keep trying different ways. Under both legs with your legs resting on the wider parts could be comfortable too.

Why use one for labour?

By opening up the legs in this way, you also open up the pelvic area, which for physiological birth, is very important for a more comfortable labour. Lying flat on the back pushes the bottom up and closes the pelvic area, so using the peanut ball can support a more optimal position.

When could you use it?

If there is a reason that you need to lie down, perhaps you’re having an induction so need to be near monitors (remember you can opt for wireless monitors too), you’re having an epidural (you can opt for a mobile epidural too) or you just need to rest. All of these scenarios would be a great time to use a peanut ball.

Check out this video to see a peanut ball in action!

You can buy a peanut ball on Amazon, or check if your hospital supply them if birthing at a birth centre or labour ward.

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