Water is a natural pain reliever, so the idea of a water birth does not sound odd at all.
Water birth is the process of giving birth to a baby while in a tub of warm water. It is believed that since babies have been in the mother’s amniotic sac during pregnancy, it may be gentler to deliver them in a similar environment. Here are other things you need to know about water birth before you proceed with this option when you give birth.
Water birth makes you cope with pain better
Some mums-to-be choose this method as a way to cope with the pain and to deal with contractions more easily. You can spend either part of your labour, delivery, or both with this method. It gives women more privacy too compared to labouring out in the open because labour tubs for water birth should at least be 24 inches high.
Warm water allows you to relax more
Remember when you feel so tired and a hot bath was all you needed to feel better? The same theory applies to water birth: the warm water soothes your muscles during labour, allowing you to move with less stress and pain.
You have to plan it
Yes, having a water birth is not a walk in the park although the reward of having less painful delivery is worth it. Once you have your physician’s clearance to do water birth, you’ll have to make sure your equipment is complete especially if you decide to do it at home.
Aside from having enough space, make sure you have the following:
- Birthing pool
- Water filter
- Dry, clean towels
- A clean bucket for the placenta
- A thermometer for checking the water temperature
- Maternity pads
- A warm robe
- A birth ball to distract you during contractions
- Waterproof Doppler machine for monitoring baby’s heartbeat
- Some snacks and water to give you energy during the delivery
To make sure your equipment is complete, consult with your Doula.
Water birth is not recommended for all
Although water birth can happen anywhere, even at your own home, you will still have to check with your doctor if it is the best method for you. Water birth is mostly recommended to low-risk pregnancies. If you’ve had difficulty delivering before or have a serious condition such as hypertension, then water birth may not be best for you.
There are still risks
Any birth method comes with a risk of its own—even water birth. With the mum sitting in the tub, there are chances of exposing the child to contaminated water. This may include infectious bacteria coming from feces, for example. The second the baby’s head is delivered, there is a chance of him/her swallowing the water. Mums who have maternal infection or contagious diseases like herpes are putting their babies in danger too when labouring in a birthing pool.