You’ve spent nine months preparing for your baby. You want to ensure that the delivery is as safe for you and the baby as possible. One option that many women consider is a water birth. But what exactly is a water birth, and is it right for you? Read on to learn more:
What is a water birth?
A water birth is when you spend the labor, delivery, or both in a birthing pool. The birthing pool will be filled with warm water and a woman can choose how much time they want to spend in the pool. Some women spend just the labor in the birthing pool, some just the delivery, while others spend both their labor and delivery in the pool.
What are the benefits of a water birth?
The theory behind a water birth is that it is easier for both the mother and the child. The water in the pool is a similar environment to the amniotic fluid sac the baby has resided in for nine months. Additionally, the water can help relieve pain and anxiety for the mother. Here are some more benefits that a water birth provides:
- Decreased anxiety for the mother due to the soothing, comfortable water
- Increased energy for the mother
- Increased buoyancy which allows the mother to move more freely, lessens body weight, promotes more efficient contractions, improves blood circulation, and improves oxygenation
- Decreased labor pains as the water reduces stress-related hormones, allowing the mother to produce pain-inhibitors
- Increase elasticity of the perineum, reducing the risk and severity of tearing
- Eases the stress of birth for the baby
- Provides a similar environment for the baby to transfer into
When is a water birth not recommended?
In most cases, a water birth makes things easier for both the mother and child. However, there are a few instances where a water birth is not recommended. These include the following:
- When the baby is breech
- If you have Herpes
- If you have excessive bleeding or maternal infection
- If you are having more than one baby
- If you are having a preterm (two week or more prior to due date) labor
I am a Certified Professional Midwife, and I can help guide you through the water birth experience. If you believe a water birth is right for you and your baby, then contact me today.