Water Babies: A Water Birth for a Peaceful, Happy Labor
A water birth is truly one of the most beneficial ways to experience labor and bring your baby into the world. Many women who give birth to their first baby in water, choose to give birth to their children’s siblings the same way. The idea of having a less painful birth tends to be the main reason women choose this method, but the promise of giving birth in peace and privacy at home or in a birthing center is also a powerful deciding factor.
Why Women Choose Water Birth
Being pregnant makes our bodies become awkward and achy. When you go into labor, immersing yourself in a warm pool of water reduces a lot of the back, leg, and tummy pain you’ve been living with for the past few months. Once you immerse your body in the warm water, which usually is heated between 95 and 100 degrees for your comfort, you’ll feel like you can move around more easily. Moving into various positions, such as leaning forward, squatting, and kneeling in the warm bath makes gravity work for you, because it helps your baby make his or her way down the birth canal.
Positive Impact on Mama and Baby
It’s not only a reduced or pain-free birth that women can look forward to. Giving birth in water is an emotionally uplifting and empowering experience. Women who give birth by this method have always known it, and experts agree that giving birth in water has the following benefits:
- Reduces your blood pressure.
- Increases your oxytocin levels, the hormone that makes new moms produce breast milk.
- Makes your perineal skin — the skin in your vagina — softer, meaning less potential for tearing and no episiotomy.
- Alleviates pressure off your back and hips.
- Breathing and pushing comes naturally because your body knows what it needs to do and you know instinctively when to do it.
- Gentle, calm awakening
- No crying
- Easy transition to breastfeeding
Your baby is attached to the umbilical cord and knows innately how to breath underwater until you or your doula gently lift her or him out of the water. Your doulas will be there with you to monitor you and your water babies the whole time — another important aspect of water birth that helps you relax.
How to Plan a Water Birth
You can rent a pool for home birth through your midwife or use your own tub, just remember to check the temperature. Birth centers will also have water birth available.
A lot of expectant moms want to know when to get in the water. Typically, you’re ready to immerse yourself in the water and relax when you’re dilated about 5 cm. The rest of the time you’re in the water, it’s all about relaxing, meditating, and doing what comes naturally. It’s a great idea to play soft, soothing music, if that sort of thing helps you, and to dim the lights. As for the rest, your doula and loved ones with help you so that you and baby can heave a peaceful, happy labor.
If you’re looking to find a doula to assist with your water birth, Debra is a certified professional doula for both labor and postpartum, helping you through pregnancy, birth and beyond. She specializes in assisting mothers to have a calmer natural birth.
To learn more about water birth at Holistic South Pregnancy & Birth Center in Miami, or to find out about parenting classes and Prenatal and Postnatal w/Baby Yoga classes, contact Debra.