Is a Water Birth Right for Me?
You may have seen friends, family, or celebrities talking about their water birth experiences! There are many benefits to birthing in water, and many of the birthing people I have seen have water births, loved the experience!
Benefits for Mother:
• Warm water is soothing, comforting, relaxing.
• In the later stages of labor, the water has been shown to increase the woman’s energy.
• Buoyancy lessens a mother’s body weight, allowing free movement and new positioning.
• Buoyancy promotes contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
• Helps lower high blood pressure caused by anxiety.
• The water seems to reduce stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins which serve as pain-inhibitors.
• Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, reducing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
• As the laboring woman relaxes physically, she is able to relax mentally with greater ability to focus on the birth process.
• Since the water provides a greater sense of privacy, it can reduce inhibitions, anxiety, and fears
Benefits for Baby:
• Provides an environment similar to the amniotic sac.
• Eases the stress of birth, thus increasing reassurance and sense of security.
How do I Prepare for a Water Birth:
• First check with your health care provider or midwife. They may already be equipped for water birth with a special tub, or might know of a location in your area that is equipped for this.
• If you plan to give birth at a hospital, make sure their policies permit water birth. Increasing numbers of hospitals are welcoming parents who desire water birth.
• You can rent a birthing tub online for about $350. Be sure to ask if the cost includes shipping both ways and what extras they offer to make your birth experience more enjoyable. Check with your insurance company to see if they will reimburse the cost of the rental.
• Contact local birthing centers to see if they offer a water birth option. The Midwife Center does offer water births.
I hope this article better prepares you for your birth and bringing your baby earthside! Contact us if you have more questions about water birth or birthing with a doula!
Golden Lotus Doula Services