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Choosing The Best Birthing Ball Size – A New Parent’s Guide

The right birthing ball size will help pregnancy aches and pains, but also encourage labor progress. However, not every woman will use the same size ball. Use this guide to choose the correct size based on your height, for your unique pregnancy and birth.

woman sitting on wrong size birthing ball

On This Page

4 minute read
How Big Should A Birthing Ball Be?
Look For: Hips Higher Than Knees
What if it Feels Too Small?
Birth Ball for Shorter Women 5’4″ and Under
Birth Ball for Average Height 5’4″ through 5’10”
Birth Ball for Tall Women Over 5’10”
Birthing Ball for Plus Size Women
How and When to Use a Birthing Ball

How to Choose the Best Birthing Ball Size

A birthing ball is an exercise ball that offers pain relief, but can also encourage a less painful more straightforward birth. Believe it or not, 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 Walmart or Amazon. 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. However, if the incorrect size is used it will do none of these things.

How Big Should A Birthing Ball Be?

To choose the best birthing ball size it’s important to know how tall you are. A person’s height determines what size ball to purchase.

The average size 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.

Look For: Hips Higher Than Knees

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!

woman sitting on a birthing ball that is too small for her height

If the feet are firmly planted on the floor and hips higher than the knees, you’ve found the correct birth ball!

A birthing ball is an exercise ball that helps ease pregnancy symptoms, but can also encourage a less painful more straightforward birth.

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.

What if it Feels Too Small?

If you sit on the ball and it feels too small make sure the ball is fully inflated. When fully inflated a birth ball should feel very firm and tight, even when sitting on it. If the ball squishes down considerably, it probably needs more air.

If the ball is fully inflated and still feels too small, it likely is too small. Use the guide below to find the correct size.

Birth Ball for Shorter Women 5’4″ and Under

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 5’4″ and under
55 Centimeters Pink Birth Ball
$14.18
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05/03/2024 04:35 pm GMT

Birth Ball for Average Height 5’4″ through 5’10”

If you are of average height, you should buy a 65 cm birthing ball, the most commonly purchased ball. Most women will fall into this category and should buy a 65 cm one.

  • Choose a 65 cm ball if you’re between 5’4″ – 5’10″
BABYGO Birthing Ball + Pump 65cm Turquoise
$29.99
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05/03/2024 04:38 pm GMT

Birth Ball for Tall Women Over 5’10”

If you tend to tower over other women, you’ll need 75 cm exercise ball. This is the lease common size purchased ball.

  • Choose a 75 cm ball if you’re over 5’10”
Green Pro Body 75 cm Birth Ball
$31.45
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05/03/2024 04:40 pm GMT

NOTE:  Yes, a birthing ball is the same thing as an exercise ball. 😉

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 sitting on a fully inflated birthing ball a woman’s hips should be higher than her knees. If the 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”
Trideer Extra Thick Birth Ball, L 58-65cm
$18.99
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05/03/2024 05:37 pm GMT

How and When to Use a Birthing Ball

Want more? 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. Here you’ll learn more about different positions and ways to use this tool during pregnancy and at birth.