birth in water
"I would never give birth in any other way"
A universal statement for a woman who has had one waterbirth is that she would "never give birth in any other way". The experience of giving birth in water gives woman the feeling of capability and confidence in the process of giving birth.
- Reduces blood pressure
- Gives mother more feelings of control
- Conserves her energy
- Gives mother a private protected space
- Is highly rated by mothers - women who have given birth in water would do it again
- Is highly rated by experienced providers
- A gentler welcome for babies
- Mother or father can more readily catch her baby
- Bacteria is dissipated in water reducing infection to mother and baby
- Cleaning up is easier
- Moist air assist better breathing for mother specifically if asthmatic
- Conservation of maternal energy
- Less problems with breastfeeding after birth
- Less trauma to mother means less trauma to baby
- Babies brought into a world with less violence have a greater potential to integrate into the world with less violence
The Benefits of Birth in Water
- Provides a kind, gentle and loving entrance into this world for the baby
- The women achieve achieve much comfort in the water
- Reduces fear and anxiety
- The body relaxes
- Provides significant pain relief
- Floating in a pool the woman can move unencumbered
- Labour becomes easier
- Speeds up the labour
- The woman can focus better inwardly on giving birth
- Water imparts elasticity to the tissues of the perenium which reduces tearing
- Eliminates episiotomies
- No need for 'pain-reducing' drugs
- Reduces the rate of cesarean sectionsease of the mother tranferred to the child (intricately linked)
- Makes the experience of birthing a positive one
- Water mitigates the sensory overload and shock experienced by the newborn
Josie's Water Birth in the Backyard Hot Tub
Comments 12 comments
Elizabeth Evan 7 lbs 11 oz, 19 3/4 inchesApril 16, 1998 Mother didn't want to leave the soothing water and so had a waterbirth
April 13, 1998 due date, Nothing! Two days later I am at my midwife appointment and joking how tonight has to be the night, Mairi says sex is the best way to get things going. Well, that evening my husband and I decided it was worth a shot, around midnight we did the deed! We went to sleep 30 mins later I was up! I looked at the clock 12:30. I was not able to sleep anymore so I got up and sat on the toilet and tried to red some of my book. I did that and some walking 2 hrs later I couldn't be alone anymore. I woke my husband, David up. Said "Hunny, baby is coming today." He was wonderful, got right up and dressed. Dave also made a call to our midwifes, CNM. David was on call, he called back a few min later. Dave talked to him and told him what was going on. Then I talked to him for a minute also while Dave went to the bathroom. My contractions were all over the place 5 min here, 2 min there, then 3 min, then 5 min again, we really never timed them, and I don't know how long they were lasting.
Around 6 am I think I started to shake, Dave thought I was cold so he got me in bed and put blankets on me and wrapped his arms around me, as soon as we laid down I had a really weird contraction and a funny feeling and a gush! I jump straight up in the bed, and ran for the bathroom, my water had broken. My contractions were still all over the place. Dave called David at home and he thought we should go to the birth center now and he would meet us there. So we got everything ready and called my parents to meet us there. We got to the birth center about 30 min later, at 7:30, I got there and I had to pee, then David took my blood pressure it was fine then he checked my cervix (I have to say that's the worse thing to have to lay down and do that while in labor!) I was 100% effaced and 7 cm!! So after that I sat in the rocking chair in the room and really didn't want to move but I wanted to do something different. At this time Mairi another CNM was there and taking over for David, David and my Husband Dave, kept asking if I wanted to get into the tub, I kept saying NO (I was just being modest, LOL) finally to get them to SHUT UP, I got in. it was THE BEST! It was so nice and I stopped shaking! They figured out a way to use the Doppler in the tub (put a rubber glove over it!) And checked me 2 times while I was in the tub (that was much nicer then on the bed!) After one check Mairi said I would have to get out now unless I wanted baby to be born in the tub, I said I AM NOT MOVING! 45 min later at 8:58 Am, Elizabeth Evan was born in the water!
We stayed in the tub for a little while, like 15 min, then I climbed from the tub with my baby in my arms from the second she was born and still attached to me by the cord, I walked to the bed and semi laying with tons of pillow around me. I don't remember if I delivered the placenta first or if Dave cut the cord first, I know it had stopped pulsing first though, with in 45 min Elizabeth was Nursing!
After about 2 hrs of me holding her! Daddy and Grandma got to hold her, then she was weighed and measured, she was 7 lbs 11 oz, 19 3/4 inches! About 8 hrs later we were home!
This was my first child and it was the best experience of my life, I couldn't of done it with out my Husband and my Mom who were right there with me! Also, the wonderful midwifes, David and Mairi. Also at some point before Elizabeth was born I was asked if 2 midwifery students could watch, I and I had said yes! lol, so much for any modesty!
Elizabeth is now 4 1/2 yrs old; she is such a great child, healthy and smart! She is now a big sister, her little sister Hailey was also a water birth, and you can read her story also. Elizabeth will be a big sister again and Hailey for the first time in Early Feb. 2003!
Thanks,Susan Jacobs ~ Arnold, Maryland
Water Birth Links
- Waterbirth International
For twenty plus years Water Birth International and Barbara Harper have been guiding mothers and their providers, providing education and birth pools all over the world.
- Birth Balance
BIRTH BALANCE, known as the east coast resource center for waterbirth, assists men and women to remember what they have forgotten, "Our Bodies Know How, Our Babies Know How, Trust The Bodies, Trust The Babies."
Gentle Birth Choices
What is Waterbirth/ Waterlabour?
Water birth means when the lower portion of the labouring woman is immeresed in water while giving birth to the baby. In water labour the woman stays in the water during labour and leaves the tub before the delivery. Both methods are advantageaous for the mother, the waterbirth offers advantage for gentle entrance in this world for the baby.
The water used should be kept at approximately 98 degrees (body temperature), you can use tapwater with a chlorine water-filter.
As a general guideline - not a rule - the woman should enter the tub not until the active phase of her labour (when her contractions are coming regularly, 4 cm dilated). Getting in before can slow down the labour instead of facilitating it.
The woman may stay during labour in the tub or get out and walk or go to the bathroom.
When the baby is born, the parents or the birth attendant can bring the baby to the surface to breathe and on mothers breast.
This is should be done immediately, although there is no rush because the baby will receive oxygen through the umbilical cord from the mother, as long as the blood is flowing through the cord.
The afterbirth, or placenta, which will come out anywhere from a few minutes up to half an hour after the baby is born , can be birthed into the water, standing in a container or after leaving the tub.
-reclaiming the sacred power of birtn, is a complete guide to waterbirth by Lakshmi Bertram, a yoga instructor and mother of five and provides you with all the information to have a loving, positive, empowering anf fulfilling birth.
- mei tai babywearing blog | Samba Sling - the Beauty of Babywearing
Jayasri's blog is a compilation of articles on babywearing, mei tai kangaroo care and scientific research on family bonding.