Our guest author Carla from H2Oh Baby shares some thoughts about Water Births.
The use of a pool is not only about giving birth in water. It is about offering the possibility to those who feel attracted to the benefits using water may bring to the birthing process itself.
Benefits of using a pool for labouring in
The weightlessness and buoyancy means it’s easy to change positions and float freely. In a relaxed state, your body will be producing more useful hormones facilitating a smoother, quicker progression of labour. Likewise, Adrenalin, which is the fight or flight hormone our bodies produce when fear is present, increases the sense of pain and discomfort, tightening everything up and potentially leaving us with a longer, more distressing labour.
- Ease the trauma of birth
For your baby – birthing in the water offers the gentlest transition from the watery womb into a world of gravity, noise, and light.
Being in the water with your newly born baby is an amazing experience of the power of first contact with your baby. It may be just you and your baby in a private world bordered by the pool. It can also be a special opportunity to let your baby have his/her first suckle at the breast while you are still in the warm water, helping with bonding and to help the placenta come away easier.
- Increased Sense of Privacy
Once you are in the pool you may become less aware of those around you and more able to move with your body’s primitive and instinctive urges. You are in your own space which is unlikely to be invaded by anyone else. For most people it is very hard to remain relaxed standing in the nude, unsure who is going to walk in on you at any moment!
- Pain relief
In the water, one’s perception of ‘pain’ seems to alter. It becomes easier to accept the intense contractions and the resting in between contractions is likely to be even more relaxing in the pool, than on land. As the baby is crowning, the warmth of the water may soften the perineal tissues. It is unusual for a bad tear to occur during a water birth. Generally the baby emerges gently into the water without the need for any assistance.
- The mess
Concern about any ‘mess’ is totally alleviated – the large polythene sheet protects 3x4m and if you are in the pool at the time of birthing, it all just goes into the pool…. It’s great for the garden!