What is Water Birth?
Water Birth is the act of a mother spending their final stages of labor giving birth in a birthing pool. Performing a Water Birth is said to reduce the stress of the parent and increase the comfortability for the baby since the conditions are similiar to being in the amnotic fluid sac for nine months.
History & Research on Waterbirth
Legends from around world talk about babies being born in water throughout recorded history. More recently, in the 1970’s, care providers in Russia and France began to explore the benefits of waterbirth. Since that time, waterbirth has spread throughout Europe and Canada, and has become available in the United States.
Research on waterbirth shows that in low-risk mothers and babies it is a safe and desirable way to give birth. Waterbirth expert Barbara Harper, RN, CLD, CCE, CKC, DEM, summarized a collection of research in the Summer 2014 issue of J Perinatal Education with the article, Birth, Bath, and Beyond: The Science and Safety of Water Immersion During Labor and Birth.
Who Is a Candidate for Waterbirth?
Low-risk mothers who do not wish to use pain medication are typically a good candidate for waterbirth. Circumstances may arise during labor that would make waterbirth unsafe. We encourage you to talk with your midwife directly about your personal situation, as well as circumstances that would prevent a waterbirth during your labor.
What Are The Benefits of Hydrotherapy (laboring in water)
Whether you choose to give birth in water, laboring in water can offer benefits.
- The use of a birthing pool during the first stage of labor might:
- Help ease pain
- Keep you from needing anesthesia
- Speed up your labor
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces stress hormones, encouraging the mother’s body to produce pain-inhibiting endorphins
- Conserves mother’s energy, as buoyancy lessens a mother’s body weight
Benefits of Waterbirth (Delivering in Water)
In addition to the benefits of hydrotherapy (laboring in water), giving birth in water:
- Enables the mother to birth in a variety of positions
- Gives the mother a private, protected space
- Reduces perineal trauma and episiotomies
- Is highly rated by mothers and providers
- Offers baby a transition into an environment similar to the amniotic sac
- Promotes immediate skin to skin contact of baby and mother
Midwifery Services and Waterbirth
The midwifery team at Grace Obstetrics & Gynecology is trained and experienced in assisting you during a waterbirth. Our staff can monitor you and your baby’s vitals while laboring and birthing in water. Patients working with our Cleburne OBGYN & Midwifery services have the option to deliver via waterbirth at Texas Health Cleburne hospital. Waterbirth and hydrotherapy (laboring in water) are well established at this hospital, with built-in tubs available for your use.