Water Birth

Women are often attracted to water during labor in the same way that they take a bath if they have menstrual pain or backache or feel stressed. If you would like a water birth, consider hiring a birthing pool, either to use at home or take to the maternity unit if it does not have one already.

Remember that hospital birthing facilities are subject to availability, that is, on a first come first served basis.

Advantages of Water Birth:
The use of water during labor can have many benefits. It helps to relax, which in turn reduces pain and the need for analgesia. Water birth improves the chances of a normal delivery without the use of any painkillers or drugs, which may be required in the conventional method.

Being in a room with a pool is often more relaxed and less clinical, and you have may find that you get one-to-one care with the midwife, which also helps you to cope.

If necessary, you can still use gas and air pool, although you cannot use any other form of pain relief. Not all women would be encouraged to use a birthing pool, but if you are considered low risk and have a good midwifery care, it carries no more risks than a conventional birth.

Even if you do not fancy the idea of giving birth while in the water, it is worth trying the pool just for labor and then getting out for the delivery.

Things to consider
: There are certain considerations when giving birth in a bathing pool. These are:

It is important to be in established labor when you get into the pool and, ideally, your cervix should be at least 5cm dilated. Getting into the pool too early can actually slow down your contractions.

Drink plenty of water while you are in the pool. It is important not to become dehydrated pr overheated while you are in there.

If your labor slows down, get out and move around. You can always get in again later. Even in pool, you may still need encouragement to change position.

You could try getting on all fours, leaning over the side of the pool or squatting. The water has to be pure and clean.

It should also match the mother’s body temperature and, the procedure should be conducted under medical supervision.