7 Reasons to consider a waterbirth (photos!)
posted: February 25, 2013, 1:11 pm
in: Baby, Pregnant, You and Your Family, Health & Safety, Me & My Kids, Mom Stories
Along with my two hospital birth experiences, I had four homebirths.
The second I started planning a homebirth, I fantasized about having a waterbirth. Warm, soothing, relaxing, meditative, and gentle–the idea of birthing in water was so appealing to me that I just knew if I was going to do this at home, I was going to be in the water. In fact, there was no question in my mind. Water has relaxing properties. Where is the first place you head to when you want to relax, to rest tired muscles or soothe annoying menstrual cramps? A nice, hot bath or shower always does the trick. When I was in labor, just the thought that I would soon enter the birthing tub put me at ease. I craved the water. It really put me in a Zen place during labor. Warm water makes it less painful. American Pregnancy says the water seems to reduce stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins which serve as pain-inhibitors. It also lowers a mother’s blood pressure, which eases stress and anxiety–two things that causes a mother to tense up and feel more pain during labor.
Mothers have increased mobility while in the birth tub. One of the things I loved about waterbirth is the ease of movement. I remember all too well the heavy and weighed down feeling those last few days of pregnancy brought–just rolling over in bed at night was a struggle! Being in the water lessens your body weight and allows you move into more comfortable positions. The buoyancy also promotes efficient uterine contractions. Increased relaxation equals effective pain management. The more relaxed a woman is means the more efficiently her body responds during labor and delivery. Women who have waterbirths in hospitals are less likely to request pain medication such as an epidural. I was at home so pain meds were out of the question. Still, I experienced a greater clarity of mind while I was in the birthtub. I was in tune with each contraction, I could visualize my baby in my arms after each surge. I was also able to communicate in a calm manner, voice my requests, hold a conversation, laugh, pray etc.
Less tearing and no need for episiotomy. Being in the water makes a woman’s perineum becomes more pliable and elastic for the impending birth. This means there is a much less chance of tearing. Also, a woman can birth in a variety of positions in the birth tub, which puts less stress on the perineum during the pushing phase.
The actual birth is less stressful for baby. I can attest to the fact that all of my waterbirths were very peaceful affairs. The light was dim, the voices were hushed and the atmosphere was one of quiet anticipation. When my waterbirthed babies were born, it’s as if they were just awakened after a very long nap. Feeling their warm, wet bundle against your chest as they are look up at you with wide eyes, is a memory I’ll always hold dear.
Waterbirth is safe. For most women with low risk pregnancies, waterbirth is a safe, viable option, for both mothers and babies. Most people are concerned with a baby’s breathing during waterbirth. Several factors are present that inhibit a baby from inhaling water that is born via waterbirth. You can read Barbara Harper’s Waterbirth Basics for more information.
I’m so glad that I took a leap of faith and decided on waterbirth. I can’t speak enough good things about it. It made my experiences so amazing, it’s one of the reasons why I went on to have six babies.
Please check out these amazing waterbirth photos from Kimbah Anne:
Carolina WaterBirth is staffed with independent midwives that are not restrained by hospital protocols. Independent care increases your likelihood of having a natural birth.
Call to schedule your free tour: 864.329.0010