View Full Version : Would you try a waterbirth?
29th December 2011, 03:46 AM
I've been reading the waterbirth stories here http://www.pregnancy.com.au/resources/birth-stories/waterbirth_stories/index.shtml and they are inspiring me to consider a waterbirth in the future. I've always de-stressed in the bath so it makes sense to me that it creates a calm and natural (as possible) way to give birth. Is anyone else considering a waterbirth?
29th December 2011, 06:33 AM
I've had two waterbirths myself and found it wonderful. Mind you waterbirth isn't for every woman but I find the majority of women who've had a waterbirth would choose it again for a future birth.
29th December 2011, 08:23 AM
I have heard many wonderful stories about having a waterbirth. I was unable to have one, but I do think it has many benefits and is definitely something worth looking into.
29th December 2011, 02:53 PM
I have heard great stories about a water birth and I would not mind trying it at all. I think that it would be very relaxing. I have seen a few videos on how they do it and everything, but I have never actually decided to do it. I have a few issues with my first baby, so I was not able to even do a water birth. One day I hope to try it. :)
5th January 2012, 02:05 PM
Most of my babies have been born in water, I found it very relaxing and soothing. :)
Lucky, if you want your birth to be what you want it to be then you need to get educated and find out all about your options.
Ljmarsden, I wouldn't commit to one or the other before the birth, just go with what feels right at the time. I prepare for a waterbirth, but if I didn't want to get in at the time then that's fine too.
6th January 2012, 10:48 AM
I've put together a lot of information on waterbirth (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/birth-choices/waterbirth/index.shtml) on the main part of the website to help people find out more about this wonderful option. I agree with Happymum keep your options open for the birth - don't commit one way or the other and do what feels right at the time.
8th January 2012, 11:14 AM
For my first birth, I didn't even know that a waterbirth was an option. However I did have a homebirth with her, and I laboured in the bathtub for a long time.
Baby #2 - I laboured in the bath tub again, pouring warm water over my belly with each contraction (the "normal" tubs didn't cover my entire belly). But once again, I got out to deliver on the floor.
Baby #3 - I WANTED to labour in the bath, but things progressed so quickly that I never made it there.
Baby #4 - Switched midwives and my new midwife was a huge proponent of water birth. I resisted, and the reason was because I was scared that baby would not be able to breath if it was born into the water. I had my sister-in-law (who is a lay midwife and had attended all of my prior births) accompany me to an appointment with my new midwife, and when the midwife mentioned water birth (again), my sister in law said, "Kate - you are such a water person... you really need to try a water birth." I then mentioned my concern about baby not being able to breath when she was born and the midwife told me that babies won't try to breath until their face hits air. Really? I mean REALLY - my baby's not going to drown, right? RIGHT! I had no idea and was completely relieved to hear this. So I decided to consider it and my midwife sent me home with waterbirth videos to watch. I LOVED them and decided baby #4 would be born in the water.
That birth was the best birth of the four! Fastest, least painful, no tearing (which meant no stitching), and just all around wonderful! Plus the birth pool she provided was HUGE compared to my little bath tub, and I so enjoyed being completely immersed in the warm water. (If your midwife doesn't provide a birth pool (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/shop/categories/Birth-Pools/), you can purchase one yourself and I highly recommend it - so much nicer than trying to labour in a "normal sized" bath tub.)
Baby # 5 was also a water birth (after experiencing it the first time I wouldn't even consider going back to a non-water delivery). Probably the fastest and easiest birth of them all. Stage 2 (pushing) was quick and easy this time - one push and the head was out, a second push and shoulders/body were delivered.
I believe that the water helped me to relax, which reduced pain and sped up my deliveries... and babies didn't try to breath until their faces hit the air!
Water births are wonderful and I'd highly recommend that you consider one for yourself.
Do you have any questions or fears about a waterbirth? Post back here and we'll do our best to answer.
Watch this video to see how the water soothes this mother as she gives birth to her second child.
28th January 2012, 09:44 PM
i too am considering a waterbirth. Unfortunately i think i may come up against some problems with the hospital. i am expecting our 9th child. I have had 3 vaginal births, 4 c/sections & a successful vba4c. with my vbac i found the shower very helpful so the natural progression would be a waterbirth. I am a little too high risk for a homebirth. as this will probably be my last birth I am going all out to try to have the birth that i want. i am meeting with midwives at john hunter, newcastle soon & am hoping they will be open to the idea. fingers crossed xx
29th January 2012, 04:37 AM
I'd present the idea that you want a waterbirth to the midwives and if they are hesitant then at least push for having a labour pool in the room so you can labour in the water. Try to have a labour advocate there (doula or midwife that's supportive of your desires) and if you're labouring in the pool and it's getting close to delivery, your support person could be your advocate at that point, to just let you deliver in the water.
It's important to surround yourself with people who are strong and can be your advocate when you're getting to the end and you are so fully inwardly focused on just birthing the baby.
I hope you're able to have the birth you want. How old are you and when is your baby due? Congratulations on baby #9! I'm so excited for you.
29th January 2012, 01:20 PM
Hi Gerri - Many public hospitals are very open to you bringing in your own birth pool. (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/shop/categories/Birth-Pools/) Remember that with any discussions with the hospital ultimately you have the choice of what you want in labour - it is your body and your birth. Labouring in water certainly may help your labour - particularly if you have another posterior labour. Good luck. Let me know if I can be of help.
3rd February 2012, 04:10 AM
Hi, is water birth recommended for first born babies? and how or what do you feel when your having a waterbirth? like is it painful like hospital deliveries? and what's the difference between hospital delivery and water birth.
I am not pregnant yet, but I am just curious and trying to check some options :)
6th February 2012, 02:32 AM
beh_joanna- There is no reason that a waterbirth would be contradicted for a first baby, many women have their first babies in the water. As for the pain level, every women will experience something different during birth but most people who have experienced both a waterbirth and a hospital birth feel that the pain was much less during the waterbirth. I hope that helps!
Good luck! So nice to see someone proactively exploring their options before conception.
7th February 2012, 02:01 PM
I agree with mom2many, and it is wonderful that you're exploring your birth options now.
When I had a waterbirth with my 4th baby, the midwife said that the water acts like a natural epidural. I've never had an epidural, but I'd have to say that the water definitely was a benefit over not being int he water. I was more relaxed (love the warm water), the water supported my belly so I felt "lighter", and my labours during my two waterbirths were the fastest of all 5 of my births.
But the most noticeable difference was that with my waterbirths, I did not need an episiotomy and I did not tear at all so healing was faster (let alone that I didn't have to be stitched up afterwards).
The only thing that might keep you from being a waterbirth candidate would be if your medical practitioner had a good reason. But as mom2many mentioned, many moms have home births with their first babies.
9th June 2012, 06:43 PM
A friend of mine tried waterbirth as well. I was so scared, as she gave birth to her baby under her husband's control. For me it was so strange, but everything is all right with their child. If I decide to do waterbirth, I will do it with the doctor, of course.
10th June 2012, 01:05 AM
I'm pleased to hear your friend had a healthy baby after a waterbirth but sorry that you found it worrying.
Waterbirths (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/birth-choices/waterbirth/index.shtml) are known as a safe way to give birth and can help a woman to give birth naturally as the water acts as a natural pain reliever. Many women also find the warm water a calm environment to be labouring in and to give birth in. You can have a waterbirth as a homebirth (where a midwife can attend to your home) or in a hospital (most hospital now have birthing pools or allow you to bring your own inflatable pool). Did your friend have a midwife present at the birth? Did she plan for a homebirth?
7th April 2013, 06:12 AM
My first baby was a waterbirth. It was the most glorious experience. My second baby was a planned homebirth hospital transfer and ended in an caesarean. I don’t think I ever get past the sadness I feel that one of my children has such a beautiful and gentle entry into the world while the other had such a brutal and frightening arrival.
But a bit like PamelaM when I first heard about waterbirth I was convinced it was dangerous. I think a lot of fear around waterbirth stems from the fact that we are land-bound mammals and as such we may insider birth in water just a bit odd. Keep in mind though that a human baby’s body is almost 75% water!
Waterbirth offers many benefits to both mother and baby, as noted in this article (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/birth-choices/waterbirth/waterbirth-articles/birth-pools-faqs.shtml) and many others on this site in the waterbirth section (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/birth-choices/waterbirth/index.shtml).
One important thing to remember is that human babies are born with the Mammalian Diving Reflex. This reflex prevents humans from inhaling when their face is submerged in water. It is the absence of water (or amniotic fluid) over their face and contact with air pressure, that triggers a baby’s first breath. Simply put there is no threat that a newborn will inhale water during the birth process, since its trigger to breathe oxygen is not present until it makes contact with the air. Until they do, a newborn is still receiving oxygen from the umbilical cord.
Waterbirth is a wonderful option for birth and I would definitely encourage women to consider it! :o
8th April 2013, 08:32 AM
I had 3 births outside of the water but I loved to actually labour in the water. What I was most concerned about was that if I gave birth in the water, my baby might try to breathe underwater.
When I shared this concern with my midwife she reassured me that babies will not try to breathe until their face is out of the water. Learning this is what tipped the scales for me to have a water birth. I ended up having my last two babies in the water and they were the fastest, easiest and least painful births of all. I did not have an episiotomy and I did not tear during my waterbirths.
Waterbirths are amazing - much easier on mum AND baby.
What was your biggest fear relating to your friend's waterbirth? Sometimes a fear is actually something we don't need to be afraid of. My fear certainly was. I just didn't know that babies won't try to breathe until their face hits air.
27th April 2013, 12:08 PM
Hi Kate, Thank you for sharing your experience and fear. I had the same fear but now this is gone after reading here. I appreciate your advice that you at least insist on having a pool in the room. I have a concern that for my first delivery they will force me to have a c-section as this may be an easy option for them.
29th April 2013, 05:48 AM
HI Sidra - Welcome to the forum. Having water available during labour can reduce interventions. The other thing you can do is consider very carefully who you have with you in labour regarding health professionals i.e. supportive midwife or doctor. Also consider the option of having a doula.
1st May 2013, 06:36 AM
Congratulations on your pregnancy.
As Jane has said above, there is lots of support available to help you have the birth you want. You have the right to have the birth you wish for. Six months ago I had a wonderful hypnobirth and I learnt how empowering birth can be. I thought it may be appropriate to share this quote with you:
“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
We look forward to supporting you in all things baby related!
1st May 2013, 06:33 PM
My first baby was born into water at home under the care of an Independent Midwife. As Kate and LJ mentioned, water is a well-known pain relief option for labour and birth. It is submersion in water and the sense of weightlessness that accompanies it (the same as when you go in a pool normally) which provides greatest relief but standing (kneeling, sitting etc) under a running shower is also wonderful as gez15673. With my second baby I was transferred to hospital. The bath wasn't an option - but the shower was such a wonderful relief.
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