Should You Consider a Water Birth?
In this day and age, a variety of natural labor coping techniques are available that help to provide a stress-free and comfortable environment. Out of these options, water birthing or hydrotherapy for labor is becoming increasingly popular.
What Is Water Birth?
In water birth, a part of your labor, delivery, or sometimes both occurs while you’re sitting in warm water. You can choose to use water for just labor only and have the delivery out of water. Water birth can be in a deep bath or birthing pool in a hospital, at a birth center, or at home. All of the birthing suites at Birthways Family Birth Center come with a spacious birthing tub. For our home birth clients, renting birthing tubs is a great option!
Benefits of Water Birth
There are so many benefits of water birthing, not just for the mother but also for the baby. For example:
- The warm water is very relaxing and helps make the mother comfortable during labor
- The buoyancy of the water can help make the uterine contractions more efficient and improve blood circulation, giving the baby more oxygen and helping to prevent fetal distress
- It aids in mobilization for the birth
- Water can relax the perineum, and this, in turn, may reduce the need for episiotomy, and hence labor trauma can be prevented
- Using a birthing pool is known to shorten the duration of labor
- Laboring in water can decrease the need for analgesics or pain relievers
- The pool can give mothers a sense of privacy
Laboring and Birthing in Water:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that laboring in water can benefit low-risk pregnancies, especially during the first stage of labor.
The first stage is defined as the time when the contractions start until the cervix is completely dilated. During the first stage, water birthing helps provide a comfortable and relaxing environment for the mother. However, the ACOG also states that delivering the baby underwater can have some risks. But these risks can be avoided by the presence of trained midwives and proper equipment.
At Birthways Family Birth Center, we have a highly qualified staff that will be happy to assist you during water birth should you choose to do it. For any more questions regarding water birth or natural birth, please feel free to contact us!