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Women's Health Blog

Labor Help: The Peanut Ball Solution

If you’re pregnant, preparing for your delivery can seem like a whirlwind at times. With so many advancements and delivery options to choose from, there is a lot to wrap your mind around. You’re probably familiar with some of the traditional birthing options like epidurals and breathing techniques but did you know there are recent discoveries that can speed up the delivery process and prevent you from extended hours of discomfort?

Say hello to the peanut ball, a helpful labor tool you may want to consider using during your delivery process.

 

What is a peanut ball?

Think of a yoga ball shaped like a peanut that you place between your legs. The ball is used during labor for new moms who need to stay in bed leading up to delivery in reaction to the epidural, complications, or fatigue. The natural curve of the ball encourages your body to relax and works to enhance dilation or fix infant positioning.

There are two main ways you can position the ball to induce labor best. Each woman’s body is different, and comfort is key, so keep in mind that any of these positions may be modified depending on your flexibility and need.

  1. Semi-reclined position: this is best used to help with dilation and descent. One leg is over the ball and one leg is to the side of the ball. Once in place, the peanut ball is then pushed up toward your hips.
  2. Side-lying position: is used to help rotate a baby into a safer position for delivery. Here the peanut ball is used to lift the upper leg and open the pelvis. Sometimes the ball is placed where the leg can hook around the narrower part at the center. Your comfort level will ultimately indicate the proper placement for this position.

The peanut ball tool offers a more relaxed posture during labor—when compared to the standard birthing ball method—and has been shown to speed up the delivery process. In fact, recent studies suggest that the use of a peanut ball during labor shortened the first stage by ninety minutes and cut the second stage of delivery in half.

 

What’s it like for mom?

Typically you will switch sides every 1-2 hours but for some women, it may be as frequent as every twenty minutes. Most moms who receive an epidural don’t mind the peanut ball solution and found that it helped speed along the delivery process.

If you’re curious about this labor tool, start by talking to your doctor about the benefits and make sure your physician will be able to provide you with one on the day of your delivery.

For more information about how the peanut ball aids in labor and delivery at Beebe Healthcare, check out this article.

Still have questions about whether or not you should consider using a peanut ball in your delivery process? Contact Carrie Snyder, the Beebe Women's Health Nurse Navigator, at (844) 316-3330, or email womenshealth@beebehealthcare.org for more information.