What is Water Birth?

When you are into labor and you are delivering the baby in a birth pool filled with warm water – it is called water birth. Initially, this process of labor was done at home assisted by midwives; but now its scientific advantages have made water birth a certified practice in hospitals and birth centres.

If you are planning to have your labor in the process of water birth, then talk to your doctor well in advance as you need to know about using a birth pool thoroughly before the real moment arrives. This article will give you a comprehensive picture of the same.

all about water birth

Is Water Birth Safe?

This is the first question that comes to mind when you think about the process of labor; water birth is absolutely safe if you are having a healthy pregnancy throughout. Since water birth is to happen while you are in the first stage of labor; thus you should be well aware of your contractions and understand the right moment when you need to push your baby out.

The babies born in water are perfectly healthy and do not face any complications; however the mothers are often worried if the baby shall inhale water once it comes out of the womb and tries to take the first breath. You will be relieved to know that in healthy newborn babies, the breathing reflex will not start off until the baby’s nose, face, and mouth comes in direct contact with the air.

While you talk to your doctor regarding this birth process; he would surely guide you on the technique to keep the bottom and your baby’s head under water until the entire body of the baby is out of the womb.

Pointers to Check Before Water Birth

The doctors and hospital staff will give a good check on all the parameters to ensure a safe water birth procedure. Here are some compulsory guidelines to follow before you are being taken for a water birth –

  • The pool must be cleaned and disinfected very well to ensure that the mother and baby is not infected with any kind of contamination.
  • The water in the birth pool should be at a comfortable temperature and it should not be hot than 37.5 degrees celsius.
  • The doctor should be sure by checking all pregnancy reports of the mother and certify that she is safe for a pool birth.
  • The doctors should have a clear and thorough know how of water birth practice and should be well aware of what to do in emergencies.

Advantages of Water Birth

  • Since you are relaxed in the water, it helps you to breathe more normally. If you take in short whips of air, it might worsen the pain of your labor as it usually happens in normal delivery.
  • During active labor while water birth, you discharge less of adrenaline and a large amount of the hormone oxytocin that helps your labor contractions to be solid and useful.
  • While in a birth pool; you keep your knees lower than your hips that helps you to gear up in the best positions for delivering, and it also propagates the babies to slide down.
  • The ache of contractions is much less when you are in warm water; it also helps to reduce your stomach aches or spinal pain that almost always accompanies labor.

Risks of a Water Birth

Besides advantages, there are various risks as well which are associated with water birth and some of them are listed below:

  • Water Birth can lead to serious infection for both the mother and the newborn infant.
  • It poses real danger if by chance the umbilical cord attaching the mother and the newborn snaps off in water.
  • Water birth will pose danger if your infant’s body temperature turns out to be either too hot or too cool.
  • It is absolutely necessary to bring the baby out of the water as soon as it is completely out of the womb. If however the time taken to pull out the baby is extended, the baby could go into a seizure or even not be able to breathe.

There are several other complications that might result from active water births. These include asphyxiation, water intoxication or hyponatremia, respiratory disease syndrome, pulmonary edema and the likes of pneumonia.