"what might happen if women emerged from their labor beds with a renewed sense of strength and power of their bodies, and of their capacity for ecstasy through giving birth.”
Austin midwife 2 u
Waterbirth is felt by mothers and midwives alike, to be the gentlest or gentle births.
Warm, luxurious water to cradle you and give you complete freedom to move during the greatest achievement of your life.
Some women choose to labor in the water during the active period for pain relief and comfort and get out for delivery, other women choose stay in the water for the birth as well. You can decide what feels right for you as the birth draws near.
The theory behind Waterbirth is simple, since the baby has been in a fluid-filled environment in utero, birthing into a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother.
Utilizing warm water during labor and birth has been shown to have many benefits, these include:
It eases the pain. Warm water is so effective in reducing the pain of labor that many midwives refer to it as “the natural birth epidural.” Water encourages the production of endorphins, nature’s own painkillers. Endorphins produce a sense of well-being which helps you tolerate the physical pain and stops you from feeling overwhelmed by the experience. As one mother said: “When I got into the water, it seemed like contractions had stopped. I realized after a while that they hadn’t, they were just so much more manageable. It eased the pain so much.”
It helps you relax. Warm water relaxes you and your muscles, and relaxation is key to lessening pain and having a great birth experience. Because water relaxes pelvic floor muscles, it is easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal, which may shorten labor.
It frees you from gravity and allows you to adopt the best laboring position. The sheer bulkiness of being nine months pregnant can makes it difficult to adopt different positions on dry land. Water erases the force of gravity and makes it easier to move and change positions. Your muscles don’t have to support your body so it is less tiring and easier to stay in a comfortable position.
It reduces the chance of fetal distress. The key to avoiding fetal distress is ensuring plenty of oxygen gets to the uterus. Laboring in water helps to maximize the oxygenated blood supply to the uterus in several ways:
No. Babies have chemoreceptors around their mouth which initiate the normal breathing response at birth. These chemoreceptors are only activated by contact with air. Even with a delay between the birth of the head and the body, the baby will not breathe while under water. In addition, the umbilical cord is still supplying all the oxygen the baby needs, just as it did in utero. Of course, if the baby is kept under water for an extended period after it is born, eventually the placenta will stop functioning and the baby will gasp for air, even without chemoreceptor stimulation. So babies should always be brought to the surface immediately after birth. As long as they are, there is no danger of drowning. Of course, if you’re still concerned, you can always leave the tub to deliver the baby. You’ll still have benefitted from using the water for your labor.