Water birth is awesome! I love it. And while this is not a particularly evidenced based argument, you’ve got to know that if I ever have a baby, I plan to try, at least, for a water birth.
Why, you ask? Well, hot water ends up being this almost mystical pain relief for some people (most people) in labor. As a healthcare practitioner it is amazing to watch. Someone could be 100% freaking out, completely overwhelmed by the pain and the consistency of the contractions and you just plunge them into water and they completely collect themselves. It gives them just as much relief as they need, but not so much that it stops them from being in labor.
What is a water birth? Once a pregnant person’s labor has been established, they can get into a large tub full of warm water. While in the tub they can be on hands-and-knees, reclining against the back of the tub, laying on their side, or whatever position is comfortable to them. Once their cervix has dilated and they have the urge to push, they may do so in the water, as long as they are comfortable. The baby is born under water, and it will not take its first breath until it is lifted up out of the water and hits air (phew!).
Here are some facts:
- Water birth reduces the need for epidural and other anesthesia/analgesia during labor.
- Water birth reduces the amount of “tearing” of the perineum during the birth of the baby.
- Water birth has no increase in adverse effects.
- Water birth has no effect on the overall rate of c-sections or use of pitocin in labor.
Has anyone had a water birth who is willing to share their story? Please tell us about it! Did you love it? Hate it? We want to know.