Pregnancy Product: The Stability Ball

Amy Keyishian

Ball Desk
Oh no, now everyone can see my clutter!
Oy, my aching back! We recently wrote about using stability balls for your regular workouts – but you should know this can be quite the amazing solution when you're suffering from pregnancy lower-back pain.

I spend a large portion of my day sitting at a desk, churning out articles for you to read (not that I don't love it!), and when I get up to take a break and play with my toddler, I often have to stand, stock-still, for several minutes while my back catches up to the rest of me. Not the best way to be an effective mom, and as my little "Birdie" gets bigger, this back pain is only going to get worse.

Worried on my behalf (or sick of my whining), my husband and younger stepson went on a shopping expedition, and when they came back, Eli whispered, "Are you going to show her her present right now?" He was pleased as punch to present me with the big, blue ball sitting at my desk, which they'd somehow contrived to blow up in the car so they could surprise me. Of course, this meant it was only half-full, so I had to spend my first day sitting at half-mast, typing upwards, which is not ergonomic. (I also sat on it during dinner, and was shorter than Eli. )We finished the job that night, and since then, I've been bouncing jauntily while typing every day (can you tell? I'm bouncing RIGHT NOW while I type this), which both looks hilarious and really helps the ol' back.

Experts say that the act of simply sitting on the ball engages your muscles -- which strengthens your core, keeps you moving (especially if you are super-figity, like me), and, in the later stages of pregnancy, keeps your blood circulating even though you weigh ten thousand pounds. LiveStrong also has these neato pregnancy-ball exercises that I really should try one of these days.

And of course, if you feel lower-back pain (or any pain) that is unusual or is accompanied by any kind of leaking, call your doctor to verify you're not in early labor. Can't stress that enough.

The ball also comes in handy during labor, and even afterward, if you end up with a colicky baby – take it from me, bouncing on a ball can be the only thing that can quiet the poor muffin. But that's another story!

What's your back-pain solution? Have you used a stability ball? What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

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