A peanut ball is a wonderful tool to use in labor to open up the pelvis and reduce labor time.
What is a peanut ball?
Well, it is a peanut shaped ball. You choose one according to your height and use it in between your upper thighs if you have had an epidural. This mimics the pelvic movements as if you are having an unmedicated labor.
When you have an unmedicated labor you are able to move around and walk, dance, and stretch. When you have an epidural you have (hopefully) no feeling from the waist down. This can sometimes hinder your pelvic area from opening up to its entirety because you are laying down rather than moving. This is when the peanut ball would come in handy!
The peanut ball normally shortens labor by 29 minutes for a first time laboring mother because it can open up your pelvis so significantly! Think about those stats- if you are having contractions every 1-2 minutes… that saves you a lot of painful contractions!
How to use it
You would use the ball how you needed it. The two positions most commonly used are: the pirate/Captain Morgan, and the pretzel.
The pirate/Captain Morgan is placing your body like a pirate with one leg up more than the other as if you are lifting it and saying “Arrrgggh!” You place the peanut ball securely into your (no better way to say it) crotch.
The pretzel position is almost identical to the pirate, but more rotated so you are almost laying on your belly.
You can also use the ball as an assistant while pushing!
If your epidural is not too hardcore you can push with the peanut ball on all fours, if your epidural has left you with no feeling whatsoever (yay!) then you could use the ball in this way:
Most hospitals and definitely birthing centers will have the ball for you to use, especially if you have had an epidural. If you are having an unmedicated birth you can also use the ball to rest against when needing a break. In conclusion, you would be “nutty” not to use this tool!
For more labor techniques I have posted, click here!