bed or bath?
Should you choose a birth in bed or a birth in bath, pros and cons? Or something third :)
I had a home birth in a birthing pool. My friend had a home birth in her bed.
I think the warm water from the pool really helped me (and probably the baby too). I would like to hear what are your experiences. Do you have a favorite and why?
Many women find birthing in warm water to help them in labour. However, it is not for everyone; some women do prefer to birth on 'dry land' :). It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a Waterbirth and then make an informed decision.
Many women found, as you describe above, that the warm water helps to act as a natural painkiller. It can also help a woman to relax (simulating the effects of having a warm bath) which in turn means that the labour is more likely to be easier and smoother. This then means that a women is less likely to have medical interventions (and the associated risks of these).
Another advantage of a Waterbirth is that the birthing pool automatically gives a woman a personal space in which to birth. This makes it easier for her to turn off outside distractions and go within herself; again making a smooth labour more likely.
However, the later advantage could also be achieved without using water. Particularly if a woman is having a homebirth anyway she should be able to find a quiet, comfortable space in which to labour in.
In terms of the disadvantages of birthing in water; one is that you cannot use a tens machine in water. Sometimes being in a birthing pool can slow labour down too much that the midwife may consider whether getting out the birthing pool for a period of time is best. Indeed, it is recommended that you don't get into a birthing pool until you are in active labour. It is important to keep well hydrated if you have a Waterbirth. The temperature of the birthing pool also needs to be carefully maintained.
Personally speaking, I have found that being partly submerged in warm water helped me to relax and 'let go' in my labours. It is also easier to move around in the water and find a position that you feel comfortable in (this is known as 'increased mobility').
Thank you for posting this interesting question.
I look forward to reading other forum members experiences of birthing in and outside of water.