9 effective exercises using a yoga ball to induce labor at 38 weeks

There’s a real difference between just waiting around for labor to kick in and actively doing something to encourage it.

That difference?

It’s all about control. Sitting and waiting can leave you feeling helpless, anxious about when the big moment will finally arrive.

But taking charge, doing exercises with a yoga ball, for instance, can give you that sense of control.

It’s about nudging your body in the right direction while preparing it for what’s ahead.

I’m here to share nine effective exercises using a yoga ball that could help induce labor at 38 weeks.

1) Gentle bouncing

There’s a lot to be said for the simple act of bouncing.

For many pregnant women at around 38 weeks, the gentle, rhythmic movement of bouncing on a yoga ball can be incredibly effective at encouraging labor.

Why is this the case?

Well, it comes down to gravity and motion.

You see, when you bounce gently on a yoga ball, you’re helping your baby move into the optimal position for birth.

The combination of gravity and movement encourages your baby to descend into your pelvis, which can kickstart labor.

This is not just an old wives’ tale either – midwives and doulas often recommend this technique as a natural way to induce labor.

So, find a comfortable spot, sit on your yoga ball and start bouncing lightly.

Just remember to keep it gentle and controlled.

After all, the aim here is to encourage labor, not to start a gymnastics routine!

2) Hip circles

Now, this is a technique that I’ve found particularly beneficial during my pregnancy.

Hip circles on a yoga ball are a fantastic way to get your pelvis moving and help your baby descend.

I remember being at 38 weeks, feeling heavy and just wanting to meet my little one already.

I’d been bouncing on the yoga ball for a few days but wanted to try something different.

That’s when I started doing hip circles.

I would sit on the yoga ball, feet firmly planted on the ground, and then start moving my hips in a circular motion.

It was like hula hooping while sitting down. I did this for about 10 minutes at a time, several times a day.

It was relaxing and actually helped ease some of the discomfort I was feeling.

And guess what?

A few days after starting this exercise, my labor began!

Of course, every woman’s experience is unique, but if you’re looking for ways to induce labor at 38 weeks, give hip circles a try.

It worked for me!

3) Pelvic tilts

Pelvic tilts, another great exercise to do on a yoga ball, are all about alignment.

When you perform pelvic tilts on a yoga ball, you’re helping align your baby in the best position for labor.

This involves the baby’s head facing down towards your pelvis, which is called the anterior position.

Here’s something noteworthy: babies in the anterior position tend to have shorter and less complicated labors.

This is because the baby’s head is able to apply the right amount of pressure to your cervix to stimulate contractions.

To do a pelvic tilt, sit on your yoga ball and place your feet flat on the floor.

Then, while keeping your spine straight, start to rock your pelvis back and forth.

It’s like doing mini sit-ups while sitting down.

4) Wall squats

Wall squats with a yoga ball are another brilliant way to encourage labor.

This exercise not only helps to open up your pelvis, but also strengthens your thighs, preparing you for the physical demands of labor and delivery.

To perform a wall squat, place the yoga ball between your lower back and a wall.

Position your feet shoulder-width apart, and then slowly bend your knees to lower into a squat.

Hold for a few seconds before rising back up.

The beauty of this exercise is that the yoga ball provides support and reduces the strain on your knees, making it a safe and effective way to prepare for labor at 38 weeks.

Remember though, it’s always important to listen to your body.

If something doesn’t feel right, stop the exercise immediately and consult your healthcare provider.

5) Seated side stretches

Seated side stretches on a yoga ball can be a real game changer when you’re at 38 weeks and hoping to induce labor.

This exercise is beneficial because it gently stretches and opens up your pelvis, while also improving your flexibility and balance.

To do a seated side stretch, sit up straight on your yoga ball with your feet flat on the ground.

Then, simply lift one arm over your head and stretch towards the opposite side.

Hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position and repeating with the other arm.

Seated side stretches are not only a great way to induce labor, but they can also help alleviate some of the discomforts of late pregnancy by stretching out those tight muscles.

So why not give it a try?

It’s simple, effective, and could potentially help speed up your journey to meeting your little one!

6) Figure eights

Imagine this, you’re almost there, at the brink of one of life’s most miraculous events – the birth of your child.

At 38 weeks, you can almost feel the anticipation tingling in the air.

One exercise that could help bring you closer to that magical moment is doing figure eights on a yoga ball.

This simple movement involves sitting on the ball and moving your hips in the shape of an eight.

The gentle swaying motion not only helps to open up your pelvis but is also a soothing rhythm for your baby.

In addition to its potential to induce labor, it’s a beautiful way to connect with your little one before they arrive.

Each circular motion is like a gentle lullaby, rocking them softly within you.

7) Deep squats

Deep squats with a yoga ball can be quite a challenge, but they’re worth the effort.

I won’t lie, when I first tried doing deep squats during my pregnancy, I was a little nervous.

I was already carrying around this heavy belly, and the thought of squatting seemed daunting.

But I was determined to do whatever I could to help my labor along.

I started by placing the yoga ball behind my back against the wall for support.

Then, I slowly lowered myself into a squat, going as deep as I felt comfortable.

I held the position for a few seconds before slowly rising back up.

The effort paid off.

The deep squats helped open up my pelvis and prepared my body for labor.

It wasn’t easy, but it’s an exercise I would recommend to any expecting mom looking to induce labor at 38 weeks.

8) Leaning forward

Leaning forward on a yoga ball can be a subtle but effective exercise to encourage labor.

This position helps to align your baby in an optimal birthing position, with their head down and facing your back.

It’s also a great way to relieve back pain, which is a common discomfort during late pregnancy.

To do this exercise, kneel on the floor and lean forward onto the yoga ball.

You can rest your arms and head on the ball, creating a comfortable and relaxing position.

Incorporating leaning forward into your daily routine could just make the difference when you’re looking to induce labor at 38 weeks.

9) Rocking back and forth

If there’s one thing to remember about using a yoga ball to induce labor, it’s the power of rocking back and forth.

This simple movement can help your baby descend into the birth canal, encouraging labor to start.

Plus, it’s a soothing and rhythmic motion that can provide comfort during these final weeks of pregnancy.

To do this, sit on your yoga ball with your feet flat on the floor.

Then, just start gently rocking back and forth.

It’s as simple as that.

Embracing the journey

The journey to motherhood is a profound and transformative one, each moment brimming with anticipation and hope.

These nine exercises using a yoga ball, aimed at inducing labor at 38 weeks, are not just about hastening the arrival of your little one.

They’re about embracing your body’s capacity to bring life into the world, celebrating its strength and resilience.

Every gentle bounce, each hip circle, every deep squat is a testament to your journey towards motherhood.

It’s about taking control, preparing your body, and nurturing that precious bond with your baby.

As you rock back and forth on your yoga ball, remember that each movement is a step closer to holding your baby in your arms.

It’s an affirmation of nature’s incredible design, of the awe-inspiring process that is childbirth.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Yoga Group to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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