What is Water Birth?
Water birth is the process of giving birth in warm water. Relaxing in a warm bath to relieve pain has been used for everything – backache, aching muscles, strenuous exercise and menstrual pain. More and more women are discovering how wonderful a pool of warm water can be during labour and child birth. Some women choose to labour in the water and get out for delivery. Other women decide to stay in the water for the delivery as well.
- Speeds up labour: With the mother immersed in water, specific hormones are released which actually speed up the labour.
- Provides significant pain relief and relaxation: Water is soothing, comforting and relaxing. This in turn alleviates the effects of stress causing hormones and allows the mother’s body to freely produce endorphins, which are nature’s narcotics. Women in labour actually relax and sleep in between the labour contractions!
- Reduces the need for drugs and interventions: With natural pain relief at its peak, and the mother being able to relax, the need for unnecessary drugs and interventions are minimized.
- Reduces perineal trauma and prevents episiotomies: Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, which reduces the incidence and severity of tearing, and the need for stitches.
- Reduces blood pressure, improves uterine circulation: More oxygen for the baby!
- Enables the mother to assume any position of comfort: Water buoyancy lessens the mother’s body weight, allowing her incredible freedom to move, and enables her to choose the most comfortable position for labour and birth.,/li>
- Gives the mother a feeling of control: Water provides the mother a private protected space, releasing her tensions and fears.
- Better birth experience: Allows for the husband/labour partner to be close with the mom in the private space.
There are certain conditions, which may not be ideal for water birth. These include certain maternal infections, prolonged rupture of membranes, certain baby positions, multiple pregnancies, etc. In such situations, it is best to discuss with your doctor before choosing to give birth in water.