What is a water birth?
Have you heard people mentioning water births? Have you wondered what this is or are you considering having one? Well, if so, keep reading because we have all you need to know about Water Births.
A water birth means at least part of your labour, delivery, or both happen while you’re in a birth pool filled with warm water. It can take place in a hospital, a birthing centre, or at home. A doctor, nurse, or midwife will be there as always to help you through your birthing journey.
Can I have a water birth?
Having a water birth is an option for you if you have had a low-risk pregnancy and your midwife or obstetric doctor believes it is safe for you and your baby. You can talk to them about it at any of your antenatal appointments.
What are the advantages of water birth?
The relaxing effect of water helps support your body. The warmth can help you through your labour and the soothing sensation will help you to stay calm, which in turn will help your labour to progress. Being immersed in water can help through your contractions, especially once you’re in active labour.
Your body may also release more endorphins. These are the hormones that help you cope with contractions. A birth pool provides the perfect private nest for you to labour in and will work best if you are immersed up to your shoulders.
Using a birth pool for labour is often such a positive experience, many mums want to use one again when they have their next baby.
Are there any disadvantages of having a water birth?
You will not be able to have some pain-relief options. For example, you cannot have any opiates, such as pethidine, for at least six hours before you get into the pool, and you cannot have an epidural.
Your contractions may slow down or get weaker, especially if you go in the pool too soon.
Also, if the pool water is too cool at birth, your baby is at risk of hypothermia. But your midwife will check the water temperature regularly. If your baby’s temperature is low, skin to skin contact with you and warm towels will help.
Be sure to read through your birthing options carefully and talk with your midwife to decide on the best option for you.