Our sincere thanks to Waterbirth International who donated the soaking/birthing tub and materials for our Resource Centre.
The therapeutic properties of warm water immersion have been known for centuries. Baths, showers and whirlpools have been used for comfort during labour for many years. Over the past two decades the use of warm water immersion for the birth of the baby has aroused interest in many countries. An increase in the number of women requesting this option for hospital, birth centre and home births is now occurring.
Waterbirth International continues to review the best available evidence and offers guidance to providers and women in their decision making process around the use of water immersion for labour and birth. The body of evidence is growing about how positive and beneficial giving birth in water really is for both mother and baby.
Imagine sitting in a warm (body temperature) bath, large enough to move, float. Dance, be held, sway, change positions, squat, kneel and give birth in any way you deem necessary. The warmth and buoyancy create an actual physical and hormonal response in your body. You relax decreasing the amount of stress hormones, your blood pressure drops slightly and you give more oxygen to your baby. Your mind can more easily shift into the primal instinctive part of your brain that knows how to give birth, and knows what to do to allow your baby to be born.
The water becomes your support, like 1000 hands holding you and caressing you. It is perfectly safe for the baby to be born in water. The baby has been growing in a fluid- filled sac , floating happily throughout your pregnancy. When he is born into the warm watery environment of the birth pool, he adjusts by stretching his arms and legs after a few seconds. His breathing mechanism is delayed until he is safely in his mother’s arms out of the air.
Waterbirth is nothing short of miraculous!
A LOOK AT THE BENEFITS OF WATERBIRTH:
- Facilitates mobility
- Provides significant pain relief
- Is the most gentle welcome for baby
- Gives mother more feeling of control
- Promotes relaxation
- Conserves energy
- Speeds up labour
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces perineal tearing
- Is highly rated by mothers
- Is highly rated by midwives
- Encourages an easier birth
- Protects the mother by surrounding her with her own private space
- Reduces the need for caesarian section
- Enables the mother to assume any position
- Reduces the need for drugs and interventions
What Women say about Waterbirth
“The main benefit of the tub was that I could sit and relax between contractions.”
“We are convinced that the wetness, buoyancy, splashing sounds and warmth of the water greatly eased the delivery.”
“I love how I did not need to use much energy in holding my body position and all my energy could be put toward pushing.”
“Comfort, warmth, relief .”
“Why do women want to do it any other way? Labouring is so much easier, soothing and relaxing.”
“Labouring in the water made my contractions less intense. Out of the water I could not find a comfortable labouring position.”
“It felt so good. It helped every muscle in my body relax. Especially the pelvic floor muscles. ”
“I loved bonding with my baby in the warm water after the birth.”
“Thank you for suggesting that I use the pool after my birth, too”