Water birth is quickly gaining popularity as a birthing choice for many mothers. There are various pros and cons of water birth as a birthing option!
Expecting a baby
is one of the most exciting, yet challenging times, for expectant parents. Thankfully
these days there are an increasing number of options when it comes to labour
and childbirth options. Water birth is quickly gaining popularity as a birthing
choice for many mothers.
What is a water birth?
birth may be a fairly new concept to many mums, it has become more popular
because it allows mothers to give birth by following their natural birthing
instincts, much of which has been lost due to advances in medicine over the
past few decades.
Water birth is a
simpler, gentler procedure for giving birth. If you think about how relaxing a
warm bath can feel after a long, tiring day; it provides the same kind of
relief for women during child labour. In short, it makes you feel better, and
this is why more new mums are opting for water birth. Being immersed in water
provides great assistance during contractions, which makes the whole process of
giving birth less stressful for both mother and bub.
It is similar to
how a normal bath or shower makes you feel physically and emotionally better
and more relaxed, water birth provides a similar relaxing experience for the
mother-to-be; aiding in washing away pain and stress.Immersing in the warm waters of a tub, with
dimmed lights, and in a quiet room can also heighten the relaxing benefits of a
water birth so that women are more in tune with the labour process.
The water birth
procedure is rather simple: when a woman goes into labour, she does so
naturally but with water birth, this occurs in a water tub filled with pleasant
warm water. Some mums may opt to labour in the water without birthing in the
water; However this will still have the same emotional and physical benefits
for the mother.
How to prepare for a water birth?
If the idea of a
water birth is interests you, there are some things you should keep in mind
before opting and preparing for water birth. Here are a few things to help you
think it through:
Determine if water birth is the right birthing
procedure for you: Many women prefer this option
because they naturally gravitate to water as an element that provides them
comfort. If you are one of these women, it’s likely that this is the right
choice for you. Deciding what method to give birth in should be an intuitive
one; listen to what your gut says and you can go from there.
Speak to a childbirth professional who has significant experience in water birth. It is normal to have
many questions about the procedure, and a professional in this field can answer
them all and calm any fears or anxieties you may have about pregnancy or giving
birth in general. Midwives are well-educated about all the benefits and risks
of water birth and are a good source to get confidence in water birth as a
birth option from.
Make sure that you have the proper supplies needed for water birth. Some of the things you should have in your
birth kit include: a birthing pool, pool liner, hose, water thermometer, and a
pump so that you can blow up the pool.
Prepare the proper ambiance for a water birth: In the wild, animals choose to give birth in warm, quiet, and dark
places for a reason. These kinds of environments help to calm down the birthing
mum, while also making it a more intimate and sacred experience.
Educate yourself about all the different birthing options
available: It would help to attend birthing
education classes in your community. Perhaps these events would give you the
opportunity to meet women who have gone through water births before, and can
provide you with valuable first-hand advice. Understanding all the options
available to you can help you make the right decision for your birthing choice.
Also, being aware of all the different options of giving birth will help you
keep a backup plan in the event that a water birth doesn’t go as planned.
Benefits of a water birth
Buoyancy: Being in water
helps make you feel lighter, and buoyancy keeps you up. It makes it much easier
to move around so that you can make yourself as comfortable as needed within
the tub. Mothers in labour can choose the best position to help the baby move
most easily through the pelvis. Ideally, knees should be kept lower through the
hips so as to minimize pain and discomfort, allowing your bub to birth
naturally through you.
Less pain: Contractions
can be extremely painful for many mums; but being in warm water makes it more
tolerable. This is the same reason why when we are in pain, such as
experiencing sore feet or a backache, running a warm bath does wonders.
It has the same
effect for expecting mothers as well who opt for water birth. There are some
cases wherein pregnant mothers cannot handle the pain of contractions, and when
this happens, an epidural or pethidine may be given for strong and effective
pain relief but it will require you to leave the tub. Gas and air are also
other natural pain-killing alternatives that are used during water birth.
Emotional and physical support: Mums who opt for water birth are assisted by a doula, midwife, or a
birth partner. Australian hospital guidelines state that women must never be
left alone in a birth pool, so you can safely go through the entire process
with the moral as well as physical support that you need from beginning to end.
Peaceful, positive birthing experience: Women who undergo water birth usually have a positive experience.
It provides them with an opportunity to develop a more primal, natural, and
instinctive connection to both newborn baby and their birth partner because of
the intimacy of the entire experience.
Safety Precautions of Water Births
childbirth being the most sensitive times of a mother’s life, proper care and
safety precautions are highly necessary. Some of these safety precautions
The risk of infections: There is a small risk of infection that may occur in the birthing pool. Once
you begin to push your baby out, in some instances this may cause the bowels to
open which is completely normal. The midwife helps to get rid of debris;
however, it still poses a small risk of infection but in general, hospitals and
birthing centres have strict policies ensuring that birthing pools are always
sterilized after each birth to minimize the risk of infection.
Presence of Water doesn’t mean NO pain at all: Different mothers will experience different levels of pain during
child birth. You may find that water birth still results in painful
contractions, resulting in a disappointment. Even though many women opt for
water birth for a birth as natural as possible, severe pain during contractions
may leave you no choice but to take an epidural. But keep in mind that many
births don’t always go according to plan; it’s completely fine for you to
follow your body’s instincts and do what you need to do for a safe and
comfortable birthing process.
Possible Complications: During a water birth, some complications may arise which will require you to
stay out of the pool. These complications may include a slow heartbeat from
your baby, chances of slow labour, possible bleeding etc. You may also feel
drowsy or faint or have a high blood pressure. Also, if your baby decides to
poop in the water provides another reason for possible complications. The
midwife assisting you is trained to be on the lookout for these signs in order
to get you the best medical attention at the soonest possible time, because you
and your baby’s safety is her top priority.
to go for Water Birth or Not?
The short answer
to this is: It’s a personal choice. You and your partner and family are the
best ones to make this decision. There are pros and cons to all the different
birthing options, it’s upto you to decide which one is best for you and your
baby. Either way, as worrying or painful it can be, this is going to be one of
the most emotional and memorable parts of your life!
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