Waterbirth

Waterbirth
Support in water is one of the most beneficial things that can be offered to a woman in labor.  The water provides a calming influence and a peaceful relaxed atmosphere. Women report that they enjoy their labors and find that the water allows complete freedom of movement and deep concentration.

The theory behind water birth is that the baby has been in the amniotic sac for 9 months and birthing into a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother.
It is the belief of midwives, birthing centers and a growing number of obstetricians, that reducing the stress during labor and delivery also reduces fetal complications.

Waterbirth

Planning Your Waterbirth Communicate your interest in having a waterbirth with your midwife or doctor.  If you are birthing at home, more than likely your midwife will have a birthing pool that you may use.  Of course under certain circumstances you can also use your own bathtub.  Ideally you will want to use a birth pool because there is more room for you to change positions and optimize comfort. 

Many birthing centers and some hospitals have birthing pools available.  If waterbirth is important to you make sure you find a birthing center or hospital which allows waterbirth. 

 

WaterbirthBenefits of Waterbirth for Mother:

  • Water is soothing, comforting, relaxing.
  • The buoyancy lessens her body weight, allows free movement and new positioning.
  • Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and better blood circulation, resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
  • Immersion in water often helps lower high blood pressure caused by anxiety.
  • Water seems to alleviate stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins, which are pain-inhibitors.
  • Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, which reduces the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
  • As the laboring woman relaxes physically she is able to relax mentally, concentrating her efforts inward on the birth process.
  • The water provides a sense of privacy, which releases inhibitions, anxiety, and fears.
WaterbirthThere is plenty room in a large birthing tub for the laboring and birthing mother to have her husband, children or other support in the tub with her if she so chooses.

Benefits of Waterbirth for Baby:

  • Provides a similar environment as the amniotic sac.
  • Eases the stress of the birth, providing reassurance and security.
  • Cord cutting after birth is delayed until it stops pulsating.
  • Less trauma to the mother means less trauma to the baby.


Courtesy of: Birth Waters Labor Tub Service in Las Vegas, NV  

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