a couple of weeks back i bought a fitness ball, to use for sitting on instead of a normal chair, for exercises and for use in labour. can i just say it is the best buy ever!!!!! i love it. when i work from home every wednesday i sit on it in front of my laptop, and my back is much less tired after a full day on the ball than it is after a day in the normal chair! i use it for my pilates excercises too, and it is soooooo nice to do pelvic rocking on it! i sit in front of the telly on it and just wiggle my pelvis around, kind of like a seated belly dance! (it looks a little odd, but who cares??) it's supposed to be really good preparation for labour, as the same movement can help relieve pain and tension and help open the pelvis. i just want to say dont buy one of those expensive "birthing balls" from specialist shops!!! they are a rip off, this one from argos cost me a fiver and is pretty much identical to the ones you see for £30 in jojo maman bebe for example. the only difference is this one doesn't come with a pump, but i just used my bicycle pump. (afterwards i realised i could have saved myself a lot of hassle by using the electric pump that came with an inflatable bed we've got... preggie-brain me forgot!!!