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A water birth

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:02pm

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to consider a water birth.The thought of relaxing in the water may seem more appealing than a sterile hospital ward.

  • Water is said to relieve the pain of contractions just like it would for period pains, therefore you will be less likely to need pain relief, and much more likely to experience a natural birth.

  • Water is said to relax you, resulting in you feeling less stressed and therefore your muscles will be more relaxed so your contractions will be more co-coordinated.

  • Water is buoyant so you will be free to move about without feeling the full weight of your body. Standing up in the water will help with giving birth due to gravity.

  • You will have the constant care of a mid-wife as it states if you are in the birthing pool you must have a mid-wife with you throughout the birth.

  • Water softens the skin tissue so you will be less likely to tear your perineum.

You may now be imaging yourselves floating effortlessly in the birthing pool whilst giving birth, it’s not all idyllic though!

  • You may find your contractions more painful than you imagined and the water not as soothing as you wished. If this is the case and you would like pain relief you would have to leave the birthing pool.

  • You can’t have pethidine or an epidural whilst in the pool and if you did need emergency treatment you would have to leave the pool which could take time and delay you getting medical help.

  • The mid-wife will take any faeces, blood clots and other body debris out of the pool which may make you feel uncomfortable.

  • There is a risk of the umbilical cord snapping but midwives are now told to lift the baby onto the mother without pulling the cord to avoid the cord breaking.

  • You will be told you can’t have a water birth if you have a medical problem, the doctor or mid-wife will advise you on whether they think it is a suitable option.

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