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  1. #1
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    Question Drowning during Water Birth

    Is it at all possible for the newborn to drown in the water? I have watched a couple natural birth videos and they allow the newborn to go head-first into the water ( I don't understand why though).

  2. #2
    Hello,

    No that's not possible. Waterbirth is very safe. When the baby emerges from the mother into the water, and has not yet taken a breath of air, the baby gets the oxygen it needs via the cord. Therefore, the baby will be healthy and happy when it is in the water and has not been brought to the surface yet. It is only once the baby's face reaches the air and it takes its first breath that its face then needs to be kept out of the water.

    We have some excellent Waterbirth resources here.

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

  3. #3
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    What a relief. Very interesting, I would have never guess. Thanks for the resource link.

  4. #4
    You are welcome.

    Yes it is a very safe way to give birth.

    The warm water also acts as a natural pain reliever so women who give birth in water are less likely to ask for pain relief and so less likely to need the cascade of medical interventions which can follow from this.

    Another important advantage of a Waterbirth is that the birthing pool creates a 'birthing space'; a private space where a woman can feel that she can birth uninterrupted and so 'go within herself' and focus on her body and her baby. The importance of this cannot be underestimated.

    With warm wishes,
    LJ

  5. #5
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    When you say "warm water", that's the same as tap-water right? Or does it really have to be 'warm water'

  6. #6
    Yes from a tap if you have a good boiler. 35-37 degrees C seems to be the recommended temperature. You will need a water thermometer/ floating thermometer to check for this. You can always get your birthing partner to top up the water carefully with saucepans/ kettles.

    Best wishes,
    LJ

  7. #7
    I'm wondering if Teshna meant "tepid" water when she said "tap water". The water can be warm for the mother to help her relax. There is no need for cold or tepid water. I had two water births and I laboured in the water for 2 of my other births. I loved the warm water. To me, it was like taking a warm bath. Very relaxing :-)
    Last edited by 5Homebirths4Kate; 24th November 2015 at 08:20 AM.

  8. #8
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    Ok, warm water it is. Think I need to start prepare a checklist or something. Thanks

  9. #9
    Hi there,

    I am a midwife and researcher who is completely focused on water immersion. Baby's have what we call a dive reflex which stops them from breathing.

    When born into warm water they go from the warmth of the mother to another warm environment. This means that transition to outside life and breathing is delayed. They will only go through this process when they are lifted to the surface. Hence why many babies born in water appear bluish in colour when they first reach the surface. The oxygen supply is maintained through the cord during this process also because it is not exposed to cold air which causes the jelly like stuff to contract and result in cessation of blood flow.

    I hope this helps ��

    Megan
    Last edited by MeganCooperRM; 22nd November 2016 at 06:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Thank you for sharing your expertise about waterbirth here on the Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond forum Megan. That's fascinating.

    I have personally found birthing in water to be relaxing and helpful in labour. I plan to use water in my next birth too.

    I wish you all the very best with your waterbirth research.

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

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