Some people call it a birth ball; others an exercise ball; some a Swiss ball — probably other names, as well.
I decided to get an exercise ball not primarily to exercise with/on, although I’ll probably use that. I got it to sit on while I’m at the computer, instead of using my chair. Somebody made a comment about that sometime — said it was better for posture, or easier to maintain good posture while on a ball than in a chair. I agree! After having used it for a couple of days, mostly just for sitting on, I can tell a difference. My back was hurting before I got it, probably mostly due to sitting at the computer too much working on a project, but also somewhat due to sitting/lying in an awkward position watching a movie in bed (my husband and I were sharing our small DVD player, so I was propped up in a kinda funny position) — regardless of the exact reason, my back was hurting over the weekend. So, I asked on my local freecycle group if anyone had an exercise ball they weren’t using any more, and sure enough, a lady just down the street from me had one! How cool is that?
It’s a bit too big for my height for exercise purposes, but works great as a chair. I’ve done a few — a very few — moves on the ball, and my abs hurt in a place I didn’t even know I had muscles, so I guess it works! Maybe tomorrow I’ll actually do a full workout. But I like my new “chair.” I like it even better because it can be used as a birth ball:
And a clip of a woman laboring on the ball:
Some hospitals may have birth balls; some doulas may also have one that they bring to births. But check to make sure, before you just assume someone else will have one.
While you can learn to do tricks on your exercise/birth/chair ball…
… the following videos makes it appear that in general, these fun toys should be kept out of the hands of males of all ages:
[And I think we also discover a hint of why females outlive males at every stage of life!]
Who knew birth balls had so many uses?