Planning a Water Birth

Today’s guest post is from Maria, one of my readers. I’m always happy when someone enjoys my blog and even happier when I read their work and find I enjoy theirs too! This topics is near and dear to me because, while I never said I was “planning” a water birth, I knew I wanted it as an option and now that I’ve had one, I’ll never go back!

Water births are constantly gaining popularity and it’s no surprise why; they are known to reduce pain and stress for the mother and to give the baby a relaxing entry into the world. The warm water is supposed to be a similar environment to the amniotic sac so that when the baby is delivered they don’t feel the transition to be too stressful.

The Opinion of Others!

When you’re planning for a water birth, you may notice people trying to put you off the idea or scoffing at it. This is most likely because during a water birth you cannot have an epidural or anaesthetic. However, don’t let others influence your decision. If you have decided you wish to experience a pain-relief free labour then a water birth could be perfect for you as it is known to naturally reduce pain. It’s also known to reduce the chance of tearing the perineum therefore lessening the chances of the mother needing an episiotomy. If you do decide to have a water birth, remember you can always change your mind and leave the pool if you decide you want an epidural.

Where To Do It?

When you’ve made your decision that you want a water birth, perhaps you’ve been considering it since your first pregnancy symptoms, the first thing to do is to decide where you wish to give birth. If it’s at hospital, you need to speak to them to make sure they support water birth, will have a birthing pool available or whether they will let you bring your own birthing pool into the hospital. The hospital may charge an extra fee for use of the birthing pool so look around to see if you can purchase your own for cheaper. The alternative is to give birth at home. For this you will need to find a midwife who is experienced in home water births and you’ll need to buy your own pool.

Secondly you’ll need to find an obstetrician or midwife who is happy with your decision. Some may not feel comfortable with your decision to water birth so make sure in advance you will not face any pressure to change your mind unless there is a medical emergency.

Keeping an Open Mind

Throughout the pregnancy and labor you will need to keep an open mind about the birth. Sometimes it will not be safe to have a water birth and you will be recommended against it. As long as there are medical reasons for you not to water birth you should listen to your midwife or obstetrician and be ready to change your plans. It is not recommended that you water birth if you: have had any bleeding in late pregnancy; your baby is in distress; you’re going into labor early; you have herpes or other health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease; you have high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia; your labor was induced; you’re having multiple births, your baby is in the breech position or your baby is very small.

Lastly, you should try to labor in the water else you may not have time to get into the pool before your baby comes. It is advisable not to get into the water too soon otherwise the warm water may stop your contractions in early labor. Before you go into labor you will want to find a birthing tub, a midwife or obstetrician who is willing to assist with your water birth and a fetoscope.

Maria loves writing and researching about pregnancy and helping other people to learn about the different options they have. She is a keen blogger and loves hearing stories about everyone’s birth experiences.

One thought on “Planning a Water Birth

  1. What’s funny is that whenever I told someone I was planning to have my baby at home, they’d often say, “Oh, are you going to have a water birth?” (Anyone from a coworker to a fellow pregnant mom.) I’d always say, “Maybe! We have a birth pool, so we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it will go so fast that I won’t even need it.” I wouldn’t exactly say the birth went FAST- I called my doula at 4 because that’s when I needed help with contractions, the midwife arrived around 6:30 and we had the baby just before 9- but my doula massaging my back was all I wanted, and I never felt the urge to get into water. Blowing up the pool did keep my husband busy as things were getting intense, but by that point we were ready to fill it, we just didn’t need it. Although I insisted we get the pool, just in case, I always hoped the birth would go so smoothly that I didn’t need that degree of relief. I just thought it was funny though, how everyone ELSE seemed more interested in me having a water birth than I actually was.

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