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.