There is never a more important time to be fit and healthy than when you are pregnant. But, as with all exercises, you should consult your doctor before beginning them. While gym balls are generally safe to use during a pregnancy, they may not be recommended for some women.
When inflating your gym ball make sure you begin with the ball partially inflated. The firmer the ball the less stability it has and the harder the exercises.
The Gym Ball helps with pregnancy by improving your balance and strengthening abdominal muscles. This in turn makes it easier for you to push more effectively during labour which can speed up labour. It also helps with lower back pain and can help relax the pelvis. It is also understood that it can help with 'optimal foetal positioning', helping to get the baby into a good position for birth.
Many pregnant women say that just sitting on it helps, and that it was in fact the only thing comfortable to sit on in late pregnancy. When your contractions are hurting just getting onto your gym ball and moving around in a figure of 8 helps no end.
It works because when you are sitting on the ball, in order to balance you have no choice but to sit correctly, keeping your back straight and pelvis aligned, and so reducing backache and helping the baby get properly engaged in a good position.
Rather than slouching on the sofa watching tv, try sitting on your gym ball instead! You'll find it very relaxing to bounce and rock on your ball, especially in early labour.
When you have got used to your gym ball, try doing a few gentle exercises. Here is a great video to get you started, and when you are ready for some more exercises, check out our DVD and Books section!