Water Can Help With Birthing - in so many ways
There are many ways water can help a woman in labour. We would love to know how water helped you in your labour and create a useful resource for pregnant women here.
Perhaps the most obvious way water can benefit a labouring woman is by using a birthing pool. A Waterbirth creates a safe, private space where a woman can labour. Many women find the warm water helps them to relax and this in turn leads to the cervix dilating more quickly and efficiently and so brings about a quicker and more comfortable labour. In this way, a Waterbirth also empowers a woman - giving her the control of her birth, in her space and without disruption.
It is important to keep well-hydrated in labour, however, sometimes women don't feel like drinking much. Instead a woman can suck on small ice cubes to cool her mouth and give her body the hydration it needs.
Ice cubes rubbed on a woman's forehead can also help to send the brain the signal of extreme cold and so divert the brain's attention from any painful contractions the woman is experiencing - dulling them and helping the woman to go more 'within herself' and find the inner strength to move through the intensifying labour.
Women (myself included) tend to become very warm in labour - it can be hard to get cool. A flannel soaked in icy cold water can provide welcome relief to a warm head and neck.
Conversely, the warm water of a powerful shower can relieve back pain and leg pain in labour. Like a birthing pool, it helps to relax a labouring woman.
Did you/ do you plan to use water in your labour? How did it help you?