Women Giving Birth in Water Naturally

The idea of women giving birth in water naturally seems like a relatively new concept, but that's not the case. Janet Balaskas, a writer on water births, has described legends of Egyptian pharaohs born in water and South Pacific Islanders giving birth in seawater. Even today, women in different parts of the world, such as Guyana, go to a place at the local river for laboring. The question many women ask is, "Will it feel less painful to give birth in water?" Keep reading to learn more about women giving birth in water naturally.

Women Giving Birth in Water Naturally: Why Choose It?

It is common to think giving birth in water isn't safe, because the baby may inhale water that may result in choking. The reality is different. Babies will always have a dive reflex, which makes them close their airways when in water. It means the chances of your baby inhaling water are almost close to zero. On the other hand, this laboring technique offers several benefits that may make you to try it. For instance:

  • You are less likely to use medical pain relief if you labor in water.
  • It will make you feel less anxious and make it easier to give birth.
  • It will support your weight, making it easier to maintain an upright position. This will open up your pelvis and make it easier for your baby to pass through.
  • It reduces the chances of experiencing any tearing, because water softens the tissues of the area between your anus and vagina. This will allow those tissues to stretch easily and allow your baby's head to pass through. In most cases, you won't even need an episiotomy.
  • It makes you feel good, because water stimulates your body to produce specific feel-good hormones called endorphins.
  • Even though you cannot use a TENS machine in the water, because it can make you drowsy, you can try other forms of pain relief, such as massage, gas and air, aromatherapy and acupressure.

Women Giving Birth in Water Naturally: Is It Really Safe?

When carried out on healthy mothers, water births are just as safe as normal births. It is important to discuss with your doctor to determine if a water birth is a safe option considering your unique circumstances – they will consider the health as well as the positioning of your baby. Even during the water birth, trained midwives will be around to monitor the condition of the mother as well as the baby. However, home births usually carry greater risks of complications than hospital water births, because the environment may not be sterile, so you may end up developing some infections.

Women Giving Birth in Water Naturally: The Preparation

Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of going for a water birth with your healthcare provider. You should do it early in your pregnancy and know where you can go for water births. It usually means you will need to work with a midwife instead of an OB-GYN.

Here are a few things to consider before opting for this delivery technique.

  • You need to ensure that you're working with a trained and experienced healthcare provider who may have already helped several women giving birth in water naturally.
  • Make sure the place you choose for delivery is clean.
  • People who help you with water labor should be able to take proper infection control measures before the procedure.
  • Make sure you and your baby are monitored throughout the process.

Women Giving Birth in Water Naturally: The Process

A healthcare provider will fill the pool with water while making sure the temperature is around 95ºF at the beginning of the laboring. You will sit in an upright position in the water – the position will make it easier for you to push the baby out. Your healthcare provider will also use electronic fetal monitoring to have completely information about the fetal heart rates throughout the process. The gravitational pull will help your baby get out quickly in the water, and a midwife will immediately bring your baby out of water – she will bring the head of the baby out first to facilitate his or her breathing. The process is quite safe and many women who have experienced this find it quite simple and easy.

Here is a video about women's experience to give birth in water:

Can You Give Birth in Water Naturally?

As mentioned already, water birth is usually a safe way of laboring. However, your doctor may not recommend it considering your specific circumstances. It is important to ensure that your baby is in a position with his/her head down, or else water birth isn't recommended. In the following conditions, you should also avoid water laboring:

  • ŸIf you have any underlying health conditions, such as epilepsy, hypertension, HIV positive and obesity;
  • ŸIf you've gone into labor before due date;
  • ŸIf you've bled excessively in your last labor;
  • ŸIf you have twins;
  • ŸIf you don't have access to an experienced midwife. 
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