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What I Learned At Childbirth Class: That Exercise Ball Is Actually A "Birthing Ball"

Posted by Pamela Vaughan

Nov 13, 2008 12:05:56 PM

[caption id="attachment_370" align="alignleft" width="194" caption="Birthing Ball"]Birthing Ball[/caption]

James and I attended our first of two natural childbirth classes last Sunday at Isis Maternity. Before we went, I was thinking the class would either sell me on or deter me from my decision to birth Baby Lump naturally. The verdict? It's still a "go."

If you're thinking there is still a possibility the second class will make me rethink my decision, it's very unlikely. The first class was devoted to the particularly scary stuff - we watched a pretty rough video, which was basically a compilation of unedited footage of women in labor. Next class we're focusing on more pleasant things like breastfeeding.

[caption id="attachment_371" align="alignright" width="259" caption="Birthing Ball - Alternate Use "]Birthing Ball - Alternate Use [/caption]

So far the class has done a good job of preparing us preggo students for the three stages of labor, suggesting various relaxation techniques and positions for coping with the pain. During the early phase of labor, many techniques involve using what the obstetrics community calls a "birthing ball," which every non-pregnant woman in the world knows as an exercise ball. So for all you fitness enthusiasts out there who are planning to have a baby at some point in your life, that exercise ball you've been using for your crunches is going to come doubly in handy some day. Messing around with that "birthing ball" was my favorite part of class - I've already ordered my own, and it's on its way.

Oh yeah, and our instructor is also quite a hoot. Her name is Sandy, and she had absolutely no reservations about getting down on the floor and demonstrating different birthing positions. She is currently a nursing student who is planning to become a midwife. We think she's great.

Baby Lump's stats for week 31:

Measurement/Weight: Baby Lump should now weigh about 4 to 5 pounds and measures approximately 16 1/2 inches. He/she will continue to gain about a half pound per week until shortly before birth - Yowzers!

Other Highlights: Baby Lump is beginning to develop immunity to mild infections, his/her appearance is similar to what it will be at birth (sans some weight) and he/she may start to be getting into position for birth (head turned down toward the pelvis).

We're down to a single digit countdown now - only 8 1/2 weeks (or fewer) to go!

Oven Timer: 31 weeks, 3 days

Topics: Weekly Updates, natural childbirth class, week 31, stages of labor, Isis Maternity, birthing ball

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