A birth ball is a great tool to use throughout your pregnancy to tune into your body in a new ways. It allows you to move your pelvis and spine in multiple directions to:
- practice good posture
- to ease back ache
- to improve core awareness and strength
- to progress labor
- to connect with baby once born.
Birth balls come in multiple sizes. You'll want to pick one that allows you to sit comfortably in good posture. Here is a chart for sizes based on height:
4'11" to 5'4" height: 55 cm ball
5'4" to 5'11" height: 65 cm ball
5'11" to 6' 7" height: 75 cm ball
Mexican blankets are a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to:
- Create a teared ramp
- Providing a safe surface to continue exercises on your back in the second and third trimesters
- Brings the floor to you during the fourth trimester to support your spine and ribs as they resume normal alignment
- Reduces strain on the abdomen
- Sit on to reduce tension in hips and legs to remain in neutral pelvis and optimize your exercise
- Support your body in various positions to improve alignment
I recommend 2 blankets to create the teared ramp and have more height options for sitting on.
Using an exercise mat gives you:
- An extra prop for stretches
This piece of equipment is not only great during pregnancy and postpartum but will serve you for many years into motherhood!
Using light free weights is a great way to add resistance to your exercise routine. They offer a way to improve tone while creating a new force your inner core has to work to balance.
They are also useful to reduce strain on the wrists later in pregnancy when doing exercises on hands and knees, by placing them under your hands rather than directly on the mat.
The exercises in Expecting Pelvic Fitness that require free weights use 3 pound weights. However, choose a lighter or heavier weight based on your experience level. I would advice not to choose any higher than 5 pounds, though as the focus of the exercise is core awareness with an added benefit of arm and upper back toning rather than bulking your muscles.
A band is another way to provide resistance to your exercises, for which you don't need to factor in gravity.
They are a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for arm, leg and core exercises for stretching and strengthening.
Resistance bands come in a variety of thickness that provide different resistance.
A light to medium resistance is best for arm and core exercises, which is what is used in the exercise videos.
Having a variety of props to support your body during pregnancy & postpartum is key to success.
A bolster can be used to
- Sit on to reduce tension in hips and legs
- Lie on to support your body weight in child's pose
- Increase the ramp for exercises on your back
- Lean against in sitting
- Use for sleep position modifications
- Prop on your lap for feedings
This 10" ball is great for doing fascial release to the belly as well as using for core awareness exercises!
My Breast Friend
This nursing pillow is a great way to help you stay in good posture while nursing baby. By keeping good posture you reduce the chances of neck and back pain and limit the amount of wear on your body. I've provided you with two options (gray - nonorganic & white - organic), depending on your preference!
The Booby Baby is a great way to collect breast milk from the opposite breast while nursing, especially for those whose babes only nurse from one side at a time (like mine!). It reduces the number of times you need to pump outside of nursing, which in the long run saves your back!