What Size Peanut Ball for Labor?

If you are fortunate to go through labor and childbirth in a hospital or birthing center that makes peanut balls available to its patients, you may think that the nurses know what they’re doing. If they offer a peanut ball or you request one, they may just grab the first one available to bring to you, regardless of size. Contrary to popular opinion, size does matter! So, how do you choose the correct size of peanut ball for your patient or client?

One peanut ball size does not fit all!

After sizing hundreds of clients, we have found that one size does NOT fit all. Peanut balls come in four different sizes in order to fit different clients, so it’s important that all four sizes are available at each hospital. Below are some valuable recommendations for peanut ball sizes:

  • 40cm – Recommended for women who are under 5’3”
  • 50cm – Recommended for women who are 5’3″ to 5’6″ (Most common size)
  • 60cm – Recommended for women who are5’7″ or taller
  • 70cm – ONLY to sit on and straddle

REMEMBER: it may be a different size ball depending on their hip to ankle length and the position the client is using.

What’s so bad about using the wrong size?

Using the wrong size peanut ball is better than not using it at all, right? Maybe not!

Having the wrong peanut ball size can cause a few problems:

  • Using the incorrect size can cause hip problems – If the ball is too large, too much torque is placed in lateral aspect, with abduction of hip joint causing guarding, not relaxing. It’s very important to not let the ankle hang. This could cause the outlet to close more and pull on the hip.
  • Different positions may also require a different size – If your client changes positions with the peanut ball, that same client may need to have a different size of peanut ball during their labor. The Side-Lying Position may require adjustment. The Semi-Sitting Position may require a smaller size and the Fire Hydrant Position may require a larger size for the same client
  • Best peanut ball size for labor – This depends on which peanut ball position your client uses during labor. Although the size of the peanut ball is determined by the height of the client, it may change if they use a  different position. The same client may use 3 different sizes during their labor. Example: a 40cm size with Semi-Sitting Lunge Position, a 50cm peanut ball with the Flying Cowgirl Position, a 60cm peanut ball with the Kneeling Lunge (AKA Fire Hydrant) Position and a 70cm peanut ball for the Straddle Position. Make sure to size your client correctly in labor depending on the position being used.
Read and Learn!

Learn more in the book called, The Peanut Ball: Basic and Advanced Techniques for Use During Labor and Delivery that is also available on Amazon.

Includes instructional guide on 50 positions, 17 chapters, 224 pages and over 200 pictures. In The Peanut Ball Book, you will:

  • Take a deeper look on how to safely, effectively use peanut balls and correct sizing peanut balls for your client
  • Hear true stories of how the peanut ball worked, along with supporting evidence-based research
  • Learn new peanut ball positions, correct knee placement with internal and external rotation of femur
  • Discover which position to use if baby is in the inlet, midpelvis or outlet

Premier Birth Tools has all your Peanut Ball Products

 We have everything you need to purchase and use peanut balls effectively:

Don’t forget to get your FREE 13-page PDF packet for doulas and nurses on peanut ball information by completing this contact form!

I Can’t Afford More Than One; Which Size Fits Most Women?

If you are just beginning your peanut ball collection, or can only purchase one, consider choosing a size that is likely to fit most women. The 50cm peanut ball generally accommodates most women since its for average height. It is important to ensure it is a burst resistant ball and is latex free.

Watch and Learn!

Heather Turner, our Authorized Peanut Ball Trainer, produced some very informative videos that are incredibly helpful for learning to use the peanut ball. Check out the first one about peanut ball sizes below: