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Peanut Ball used in Labour

Everyone’s talking about the Peanut Ball!

In your preparation for labour, it’s likely you’ve been introduced to the use of a fit ball (also known as a birthing ball or Swiss ball). The latest thing to be appearing in labour wards is a slight variation on this and is known as the Peanut Ball.

Named the peanut ball because it’s shape resembles a peanut, it is being used by women to help labour progress during rest times. It has been most useful for women who are bed-bound either through epidural or pregnancy complications, and can assist with dilation and the baby’s descent down the birth canal.

The peanut ball can also be used to help open the pelvic outlet, which can assist a baby to turn if it is in a posterior position. To use it in this way, the mother needs to lie in a side-lying position and the peanut ball is used to lift the upper leg. It can also be used in a side-lying position to take short naps when the labouring mother is tiring.

Limited research has been done into the benefits of the peanut ball, but an observational study in America has so far found that the peanut ball may shorten your active phase of labour, shorten your pushing stage and possibly reduce your chances of a c-section.

Mothers with experience using the peanut ball in labour have said that it helped their labour progress, helped turn the baby in utero and reduced the pushing time.

If you think you’d like to use a peanut ball in labour it would be worth speaking to your midwife or place where you have chosen to give birth, for further information.

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