The What's What on Water Birth

There's no right or wrong way to deliver your baby.

Our support system extends to cover any birth plan without judgement. 

Each birth option has its share of positives and negatives, and while you work alongside your team of labor doulas, you can navigate your choices with confidence. 

Water birth is a popular choice for mothers on a route for low or no-intervention birth plan.

Water births are quite literally what they sound like, delivering your baby in a bath of water.

The type of bath space varies from location to location and can include everything from a bathtub to a small, portable swimming pool.

The general concept behind water birth is to relax the mother and deliver the baby in a gentle and less stressful way.

Some people choose to spend their labor in a water bath and deliver outside the water, while others prefer to labor and deliver while submerged in the tub or pool.

What are the potential benefits of water birth?

Aside from relaxing muscles of a woman straining through labor, water births can also promote circulation and minimize pressure on the abdomen during contractions. 

While submerged in water, the body doesn't have to challenge gravity and changing positions during the baby's descent becomes significantly easier the mother. 

Water births have also been known to soften tissues, promoting stretching and flexibility of the perineum to avoid tears and medical interventions like episiotomies. The water gives the laboring person control and confidence while minimizing pain and discomfort.

What are the potential risks of a water birth?

With anything, there are pros and cons.

Water births tend to have a relatively small list of potential risks, however, they catch a bad reputation from many medical professionals because of the lack of medical research supporting the benefits of water deliveries. Not every hospital or birthing center supports decisions regarding water births and water therapy during labor. 

Even though your baby is used to an aquatic environment in the womb, when a baby is delivered they could take a breath of air, or in this case water. A gulp of water in the lungs of a newborn could put them at risk for drowning and meconium aspiration. 

The concern of contaminated water also poses concerns for infections. While this risk exists, bacterial infections are rare unless water inhalation occurs. Birthing areas should always be professionally sterilized if liners or new pools cannot be used.

 

While looking to craft a birth plan that works for them, we encourage every family to learn more about the pros and cons before deciding what is right for mom and the new baby.

If you are considering a water birth for your delivery, consult with us to find out more details of the water birth process and how our doulas can offer our support.