Delivering in the water has recently become popular. More hospitals now offer water births. However, water birth is still considered an alternative birthing method, and not every doctor is convinced that it’s safe and not every hospital provides water birth options.
Just like it sounds, a water birth is giving birth in water. You may choose to deliver in a bathtub, hot tub or other pool of water. You can a have a water delivery at home, in a birthing center or in some hospitals.
You can labor and deliver in the water or move out of the water for the actual delivery. If you deliver in the water the midwife or nurse will gently lift up and take your baby out of the water. Only women with a healthy pregnancy and free of complications should consider a water birth when:
- You don’t have an infection or excessive bleeding
- You don’t have any pregnancy-related complications
- You don’t have herpes.
- Your pregnancy is full term
The risk of water birth has not been studied extensively but there are risks that must be considered:
- Brain injury from the lack of oxygen
- Electrolyte problems from the baby swallowing water
- Serious infection from contaminated water.
The following are reasons why women choose water birth:
- Some moms believe a water birth is a more natural and less stressful experience for
them and their new baby.
- A water birth may give a woman a sense of control over her delivery.
- Water provides natural buoyancy, which makes the mother feel lighter.
- Water relaxes the mother, allowing her to concentrate on birth.
- Water relaxes the mother’s muscles and improves blood flow.
- Water may reduce vaginal tearing, and helps the mother avoid an episiotomy and stitches.
- A water birth may shorten the first stage of labor and reduce the need for anesthesia.
The only water-birth I’ve seen was on Sex in the City!!!! It looked a bit chaotic with a room full of friends watching. It seems like the process taking place in a birthing center would be a little safer and more personal.