Aniball for pregnant women - experiences, reviews, recommendations

Although pregnancy appears on the outside as a period of a woman's life that is full of positivity and positive emotions, the truth is that the long months of fetal development in a pregnant woman's belly are fertile ground for the emergence of fears, nervousness and uncertainty. These emotions, on the one hand, are connected to the care of the baby, and therefore the postpartum period, when a new stage of the parents' life begins, and on the other hand, to the birth itself.

Published: 20.07.2023
Updated: 04.12.2023

Various complications, acute caesarean section or cutting of the perineum. These are all concerns of mothers, about which little can be done. However, in connection with the perineal area of the female body, there are ways in which a woman can at least try to avoid the necessary incision during natural childbirth, namely the so-called aniball with balloons. We will summarize what this tool is and how aniball is used in our article.

What is aniball?

The aniball balloon is one of the extremely popular pregnancy aids. It is used not only to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, but also to exercise and gradually prepare the birth canal for the arrival of the baby. First of all, it has an effective effect on the muscles of the vaginal opening and the perineal area, which needs to be stimulated by stretching and releasing, with the aim of increasing the elasticity of the perineum.

This action thus reduces the likelihood of any damage to the perineum by tearing or cutting during natural birth. Aniball consists of the main part in the form of a balloon made of special medical silicone, a mechanical pump attached to the tube with the help of reducers and a two-way valve, thanks to which the woman can inflate the balloon and subsequently release the air from it.

When to start aniball and what should be done before using it?

Aniball can inspire a certain form of respect in women by its appearance and the way it is used, but there is no need to worry, because the principle of how to use aniball is very simple in its essence. Its daily use is recommended to start at any time from the end of the 36th week of pregnancy. In terms of time horizon, you should set aside 15 to 30 minutes of your day for this exercise.

First of all, it is necessary to constantly sterilize the aniball. Before using it for the first time, immerse it in a bath with a temperature of approximately 70 °C for a minute, while after each subsequent use, wash it with warm water and let it dry thoroughly. Of course, only dip the balloon part of the aniball in the water, not the pump with the valve.

When to start with aniball

How to use Aniball - instructions

From the point of view of the position in which the aniball is recommended to be used, it is necessary to take the position on the back, while the justification stems from the tradition of this position during childbirth in Slovak hospitals. It is also important for a woman to be completely calm and comfortable while exercising with aniball, without any disturbing elements that could disturb this relatively short training of the perineum.

It is advisable to use a lubricating gel to facilitate the passage of a slightly inflated aniball into the vaginal opening - with one or two pressures. It should be water-based, as oil- based lubricants can cause damage to the silicone surface of the aniball.

Introduction of aniball balloon into the vaginal opening

Insertion of the aniball into the vagina consists of grasping the smaller part connected to the tube and directing the larger rounded part of the aniball into the vaginal opening. If you are unable to successfully insert a slightly inflated balloon, you can completely deflate it and fold the edges of the inflated balloon head to minimize its size when entering the vaginal entrance.

If you do not register any pain or other physical discomfort, start slowly inflating the balloon. By inflating the aniball, a pressure increase occurs in the vagina, which in a certain way simulates the pressure acting on individual parts of the reproductive system of the mother during childbirth.

Adjust the inflation of the aniball to your own abilities, because the numbers in the form of the maximum inflated balloon circumference are of secondary importance in this training. During the first attempt, it is advisable to add a maximum of three more compressions to the two compressions mentioned above, after which you introduce the aniball into the vagina, in order to avoid unnecessary stress on the vaginal walls and the surrounding muscles. In the following days, you can increase the number of presses.

The most important part of this aniball exercise is to learn to control the pelvic floor muscles. The principle of exercising the muscles with the aniball is that when you actively contract them, you achieve a deeper passage of the balloon into the vagina, while, on the contrary, their conscious relaxation and release leads to the movement of the aniball outwards.

An essential aspect of training the muscles of the pelvic floor with aniball is also the correct breathing technique. While with a deep breath you should achieve relaxation of the muscles of the pelvic floor, and therefore of the aniball itself, with the exhalation you should try to retract the balloon with the help of the surrounding muscles to a greater depth. Repeat the contraction and relaxation of the muscles with the aniball at least 10 times during one "session".

Instructions for the correct use of aniball

What to do if I can't push aniball out?

If you gradually gain control over these bodily functions through regular exercise, your birth will definitely go more smoothly. However, you will achieve this thanks to the next part of the exercise, which consists in slowly expelling the aniball balloon from the vagina due to a deep breath and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles.

Of course, the balloon will not come out of the vagina right away, because it has increased in circumference by inflating it, and therefore it will be more difficult to push it out. After primary muscle relaxation and inhalation, exhalation follows, during which you should try to control your pelvic muscles so that the balloon remains in the place where you pushed it during inhalation.

The stated procedure for expelling the balloon must be repeated until it is successfully expelled. Care should be taken when pushing it completely to the perineal area. There, due to the influence of the approaching large balloon, the dam is stretched, which can be a bit unpleasant.

In order to avoid unwanted injury to the vaginal entrance or perineum, it is important that the balloon does not come out of the vagina too quickly. For this reason, you should hold the neck of the balloon part of the aniball with your hand during the last stage of the exercise.

The essence of this aniball exercise is to gain control over the pelvic floor muscles, which means that this is the only muscle group that should work 100% during training with the aniball. The rest of the body must be completely still during the entire exercise. The most important thing is that you breathe correctly, i.e. do not hold your breath, and do not tense your neck, shoulder, abdominal and seat muscles.

Exercising with an aniball balloon is, of course, not for everyone. There are circumstances in which you should not, or they did not have to lean towards this form of prenatal preparation. We are talking about women with a high-risk pregnancy or threatened premature birth. You should also avoid aniballa if you have problems related to vaginal bleeding.

In addition to vaginal bleeding, it is also necessary to take into account various inflammations, injuries or infections that can affect this part of the female body. Using aniball, on the other hand, women who already know in advance that they will give birth by planned caesarean section do not need to prepare at all.

When is the use of aniball not recommended?

The price of aniball and where to buy it

Initially, it is advisable to carefully consider whether you are really going to devote yourself fully to the exercise with aniball. If this pregnancy aid is to end up somewhere in your drawer, it is better to reconsider the purchase of aniball. It is not a cheap item. The price of this aid for prenatal preparation ranges from 70 euros.

Of course, you can also use the option of buying second-hand, but in that case, great emphasis must be placed on hygiene. Even under these circumstances, a big advantage is the fact that it is possible to additionally purchase only a spare aniball balloon, and therefore its most necessary part, while from a financial point of view it is an amount of approximately 35 euros.

The entire aniball, as well as its spare parts in the form of balloons, can be purchased through the website of the manufacturer itself, but also in pharmacies or in various e-shops focused on maternity and pregnancy needs.

Aniball - experience

Mothers on the well-known Modrý konik portal also commented on the exercise with aniball, while the reviews on aniball were of a different nature. Some women despised the use of aniball only on the basis of the advice of midwives and other health professionals, who showed them the negatives of aniball in the form of a "stretched" vaginal opening.

Other experienced women recommended aniball because it helped them overcome their fear of childbirth, and working with the balloon also taught them how to approach the physiological processes necessary for a proper birth. They mostly agreed that it is important to have an open mind towards this tool.

If your approach to aniball is negative and you get discouraged by the first failure, you will not make any progress with aniball. Of course, every woman is different and has individual preferences. While for some women, over time, aniball exercises can be trouble-free, others find the whole process uncomfortable and unnatural. It is therefore up to you how you decide in relation to aniball.

The most frequent questions - FAQ

If you didn't find the information you were looking for about aniball for pregnant women in our article or in the question and answer section, please contact us with your questions in the comments section. We always try to answer them as soon as possible.

All the functions of the aniball are related to each other in a certain way. By strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor, a woman increases her level of physiological and mental readiness for childbirth, which directly affects her necessary self-confidence during childbirth. Exercising with an aniball balloon also simulates the birth of a baby, so you can practice different positions and find the one that suits you best, and then you just have to find a maternity hospital where they are open to non-traditional birthing forms and positions.

Of course, there are clinical data, based on which a pregnant woman should ideally reach an aniball balloon circumference of 25 centimeters, which is approximately 10 inflations pump. In this way, damage to the perineum during natural birth can be effectively prevented. Attention, exceeding the mentioned circumference can lead to unwanted injuries.

In this case, it is a matter of preference of a particular pregnant woman. There are a number of aspects that need to be taken into account in relation to prenatal preparation of the perineal area. One of them is the financial side. As long as you pay several tens of euros for aniball, you can perform perineal massage in the comfort of your home without any unnecessary expenses. In addition, a partner can also help you with the massage, while when exercising with aniball you are more dependent on your own help. On the other hand, if you consider the function of both of these preparatory processes, perineal massage affects exclusively the perineal area, i.e. increasing its elasticity and strengthening the muscles, while aniball in a certain way simulates the arrival of the baby and teaches the pregnant woman and her body how to proceed during childbirth (breathing technique, stretching and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor, etc.).

No, it can't. This myth is one of the reasons why many women don't even try aniball. The vagina contains elastic tissue that cannot be "pulled" or "stretched". Aniball serves as an exercise aid for the muscles of the pelvic floor, thanks to which the risk of injury during childbirth is eliminated to a certain extent. However, long-term dilation of the vagina can be caused by genetics, the physical condition of the woman herself, the form of her delivery and the size of the fetus. In addition, hormones should work during childbirth in such a way that the vaginal tissue stretches once and then returns to its original state.

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