A birthing ball is an exercise ball that offers pain relief, but can also encourage a less painful more straightforward birth. However, not every woman will use the same size ball. Use this guide to choose the best birthing ball size for your unique pregnancy and birth.
How to Choose the Best Birthing Ball Size
To choose the best birthing ball size it’s important to know how tall you are. Your height will determine what size ball to purchase.
FYI: A birth ball is the same thing as an exercise ball and/or a yoga ball and can be purchased at most big box stores like Amazon. Also, not every woman enjoys using a birthing ball, but most do. A pregnancy ball is an inexpensive way to find relief from common pregnancy ailments like back pain, and pelvic pressure pain.
Birth Ball for Short Women
If you are short in stature, you will need a 55 cm ball for pregnancy and birth.
- Choose a 55 cm ball if you’re under 5’4″
Birth Ball for Average Height
If you are of average height, you should buy a 65 cm birthing ball.
- Choose a 65 cm ball if you’re between 5’4″ – 5’10″
Birth Ball for Tall Women
If you tend to tower over other women, you’ll need a 75 cm exercise ball.
- Choose a 75 cm ball if you’re over 5’10”
NOTE: Yes, a birthing ball is the same thing as an exercise ball. 😉
How Big Should Your Birthing Ball Be?
The average woman should buy a 65 cm exercise ball for pregnancy, and labor and delivery. However, it’s important to understand what to look for when sitting on a ball.
When sitting on a birthing ball for the first time, the feet should be firmly planted on the floor and hips should be higher than the knees. If your heels come off the ground, the ball is too big! If the knees are higher than the hips the birthing ball needs more air or is too small.
Having the knees higher than the hips can encourage a non-optimal fetal position for your baby, which could mean a longer and more painful labor for you. Not what we want!
TIP: Because keeping the ball inflated is so important, I highly encourage you to buy your own air pump if your ball does not already come with one. Many balls do, but if yours doesn’t make sure to add it to your cart.
Birthing Ball for Plus Size Women
When looking for a birthing ball for a plus size mama, it’s important to buy a ball that is anti-burst, can resist over 2,000 pounds of weight, and is of high quality. (These requirements are the same for any pregnant woman no matter how much she weighs.)
Beyond that, it’s important to purchase the correct size exercise ball based on height, not weight. When fully inflated, while sitting on an exercise ball a woman’s hips should be higher than her knees. If her knees are higher than or level with her hips, the ball is either not properly inflated or the ball is too small.
- 55 cm ball if you’re under 5’4″
- 65 cm ball if you’re between 5’4″ – 5’10″
- 75 cm ball if you’re over 5’10”
How and When to Use a Birthing Ball
Check out Mother Rising’s Birthing Ball Guide for more information about how and when to use a birth ball for a better pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.