Water births are not just an option for home or birth center deliveries, there are hospitals that also offer women the option of a water birth with a trained midwife. With each pregnancy being unique, the first step in deciding whether to have a water birth and where to have it, is to consult with your midwife. A midwife will be an invaluable resource for helping you choose the best birthing option for your labor, while offering insight into the best birth and delivery options available to you.
Why choose a water birth?
The general theory behind water birth is that being born into warm water is a gentler transition for babies who have been in the amniotic fluid sac for 9 months. Water birth pools also offer a soothing, warm environment for laboring women. Delivering in water is not the sole purpose of a water birth pool, it can also be a therapeutic space that women use during labor with the option to get out for their delivery if they choose to.
Being informed is the most vital part of any birthing process, and understanding the pros and cons of a water birth will help parents decide what the best route is for them. So here are some great points noted by the American Pregnancy Association on the Benefits and Potential Risks of Water Birth:
Benefits to Mothers1
- The effect of buoyancy lessens a mother’s body weight, allowing free movement and new positioning.
- Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
- Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, reducing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
- Since the water provides a greater sense of privacy, it can reduce inhibitions, anxiety, and fears.
When Water Birth is Not Ideal2
- If you have Herpes: Herpes transfers easily in water. Discuss this risk thoroughly with your healthcare provider.
- If your baby is breech: Though water birth has been done with bottom or feet first presentations you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your healthcare provider.
- If you have been diagnosed with one of the following: excessive bleeding or maternal infection.
- If preterm labor is expected: If a baby is pre-term (two weeks or more prior to due date), water birth is not recommended.
- If you have toxemia or preeclampsia: You should thoroughly discuss this risk with your healthcare provider.
- If you are having multiples: Though water births have been successful around the world with twin birth, you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your healthcare provider.
Choosing a Water Birth Pool
With a variety of water birth tubs available for sale and even the option to rent them, choosing the right birth pool basically comes down to understanding what features will make you most comfortable. From Birth Pool in a Box to La Bassine, each option has unique features to suit your needs.
Tips for Easy Set-Up, Use and Clean-Up
- Test your birth pool by inflating it before your due date to make sure no air is leaking.
- Use a liner to ensure good sanitation. Plus, liners make it easy to clean up, eliminating the need to dry the tub.
- Make sure you have all the necessary supplies to fill up your pool - air pump, drain pump, hose.
- Choose a tub with handles comfortable for you.
- Use a cover to keep the water's warmth in once filled and for times when you aren't in the tub.
- Choose a tub with a built-in seat or use a stool for comfort during labor and for ease while holding your new baby without sumberging her/his head in water.
At Cascade HealthCare Products we offer Birth Pool in a Box in both mini sizes, ideal for tight spaces and full sizes that can fit birth partners and midwives inside too. Why we exclusively carry Birth Pool in a Box is easy:
- It's the only tub designed with a built-in seat for comfort during labor & bonding with your baby after birth.
- The handles are placed on the outside, out of the baby's way and ideal for a good, sturdy grasp.
- It is adjustable and can be adjusted to the right height for you.
- They are reusable and easy to clean when you use a disposable liner, eliminating the need to dry the pool.
- 100% backed by the manufacturer for quality. We have never had a complaint about the quality of these tubs in the 6+ years we've carried them!
To see our selection of water birth pools by Birth Pool in a Box, just click here!
If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'What to Consider When Buying Your Home Birth Kit', 'Entering the New Age of Midwifery', and 'Why Do We Use Plastic Cord Clamps?'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.
Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products