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Preparing For A Water Birth - What You Should Know

Image Courtesy: Denver Metro Moms Blog

The day you give birth to your baby is a very special one. Different women deliver differently. One of the up and coming delivery trends these days is water birth. Water birth is when a woman gives birth in a tub or pool of water rather than on dry land. It has become popular due to claims that it makes labour less painful and keeps the mother relatively comfortable during labour and delivery.

This blog will take you through some tips to prepare for a water birth, why it’s good, and what risks it may include, so that you know better and are able to make an informed choice when it comes to giving birth.

How To Prepare For A Water Birth

1. Water Temperature:

Make sure that the water temperature is just right. Usually, the temperature will be around 32-36 degrees centigrade. It should be warm, not hot. The reason for this is that cold water will make your body tense up as it tries to stay warm.

2. Clothes

Until active labour begins, women choose to wear a birthing skirt and shirt. Something that is light and comfortable also works. But once active labour begins, women prefer to go into the tub without clothes. Some prefer to wear a bathing suit top or a sports bra depending on their comfort and preferences.

3. When Do You Get In the Tub?

You should get into the tub when you are in active labour, which means contractions around 3-5 minutes apart and dilated to 6 cm. If you get into the tub too early, it may stall your labour. If this happens, get back on land, and wait for your labour to progress into a later stage before getting in the tub again.

4. When Do I Get Out of The Tub?

It is a good idea to get out of the tub when you have to deliver the placenta. Some women stay in the tub and bond with their baby, but it is safer to get out of the tub so that your placenta can be delivered. You should also get out of the tub in case of diarrhoea, stalling of labour, or in cases when your doctor advises it.

The Benefits of A Water Birth

Water birth has benefits for both, mother and baby.

- Warm water helps the mother relax, and the buoyancee makes you feel lighter, allowing you to move a little more and position yourself in a comfortable way.

- The water reduces your stress-related hormones and helps you relax. It also helps release endorphins, helping you deal with the pain. This helps lower high blood pressure caused by anxiety.

- For the baby, it helps as it creates an environment that resembles that of the womb. So the transition for the baby’s system is easier.

- It also helps your baby feel secure and reassured during this transition.

Risks Of Water Birth

Not much is known about risks. However, in very rare cases, there is a chance for some risk.

- Although there have been no reported cases, some doctors believe that there might be a risk of water embolism i.e., when water and amniotic fluid enters the mother’s bloodstream.

- In rare cases, if the umbilical cord gets twisted, the baby may gasp for air and inhale water.

- It is also not recommended in case of multiple births, breech births, or if you are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia or herpes.

Although not common in India, water birth is a great option if you’re opting for a non-medicated birth. You should speak to your healthcare provider while making the call so that you know about all your options, and can find what works best for you.

Would you opt for water birthing? Let us know!

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