Water Births

Most women are very drawn to water in pregnancy and delivery! Water really connects us to our earth. Our babies are floating in water prior to birth. Water has many health benefits. Of course life itself depends on water. Many of our clients choose to birth in the water. Water is the midwifes epidural!

What else should I know about water birth?

  • Some circumstances do not allow for birth in the water.
  • All women may labor in the tub and shower.
  • We have waterproof dopplers to monitor baby’s heart rate while our clients float in the water.
  • Many women wear a sports bra or swimming top for modesty.
  • Most of the time the mother can stay in the tub for 20 minutes after delivery to enjoy her baby.
  • Many times women deliver the placenta before getting out.
  • The mother or father can deliver his or her own baby together very easily in the tub. Some fathers get in and some reach over the tub to catch the baby. The midwives are right there to give aid.

What Are The Benefits to the mother?

  • Removes the weight of the uterus making the mother feel light. She is able to change positions easily.
  • Supports the laboring mothers body and muscles greatly aiding in her ability to labor with less discomfort.
  • The water regulates blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate.
  • Decreased adrenaline and other stress hormones that can slow or stop labor while increasing discomfort.
  • Circulation from the warm water makes the perineum more supple and elastic for delivery.
  • Raises endorphin levels which block pain and can be as strong as many narcotics.
  • Reduces stress and increases relaxation
  • Increases Oxytocin levels making labor more efficient…faster!
  • Decreases Pain!

Why Water Birth for Baby?

 

Water birth is such a gentle way to enter the world! As the baby leaves her former home of warm amniotic fluid, she enters the warm water of the birth tub, where the sounds are muffled and the sights are dimmed, and she is gently lifted up to the surface just enough so that she can begin to breathe. Her body continues to stay warm and supported in the water. Water-born babies, once they are gently pulled up out of the water, tend to cry less, while still having good muscle tone and respiration, than babies born outside of water. Most babies love to float in the water and stretch out with mom’s help. This is an incredible bonding moment between mom and baby.

 

Is Water Birth Safe?

 

Yes, water birth is very safe; in fact worldwide statistics show that water birth, without the use of drugs, is the safest way to be born. The concern of most parents is will their baby inhale water and drown? Babies have what is called a dive reflex, which causes them to swallow instead of inhale when water gets into their mouth or nose. They swallow and then hold their breath. Because they are still attached to the umbilical cord, they continue to receive all their needed oxygen through it, making it unnecessary to breathe up to several minutes after birth. We always gently but immediately bring the baby’s face out of the water after the birth to initiate breathing. It is believed that air coming in contact with the baby’s face is what triggers the reflex to take the first breath.