Can I Have a Water Birth at Birth Center Stone Oak?
Water birth is not a new concept, but it is new to most people who are unfamiliar with natural birth. Water birth means giving birth in a pool or tub of warm water. You can either spend the initial stages of labor in the water and then come out when giving birth, or you can deliver right in the water.
At Birth Center Stone Oak, we offer deep-water immersion during labor that provides physiologic benefits and natural pain relief. It is done under the supervision of our expert midwives.
Is Water Birth Safe?
Water has long been acknowledged as a comforting place to be during physical discomfort. It helps lessen the force of gravity, giving us a feeling of “weightlessness.”
During labor and birth, both mom and baby can benefit from the added buoyancy of water. When you’re giving birth, the differential pressure between the inside and outside of the uterus is balanced by being submerged in water. This reduced pressure and reduced effect of gravity makes birth gentler for both mom and baby.
Many mothers worry about the baby getting water in the mouth or windpipe during birth. However, this is naturally avoided. As a baby’s head emerges, the glottis (the flap that covers the windpipe) automatically closes. This way, no water enters their lungs. Later, when the baby’s face comes in contact with the air, the baby initiates breathing.
For more information, you can visit www.waterbirth.org.
What Are The Benefits of Water Birth?
Submerging in warm water can help the mother relax, ease the pain of contractions, and provide a more gentle entry for the baby into the world.
Some notable benefits of water birth include:
- It allows the parasympathetic nervous system to release endorphins, which ease the sensation of pain.
- The warmth of the water helps the mother’s muscles relax.
- The buoyancy in water gives the mother a sensation of floating, contributing to pain relief.
- Water submersion helps lessen the force of gravity on the lower back, decreasing pain during and after birth.
- Since mothers experience less fatigue, they can push more effectively, leading to shorter labor.
What Are Some Risks Associated With Water Birth?
A water birth must be supervised. At the birth center, our midwives make sure to check up on you from time to time to ensure everything looks good.
According to the ACOG, a water birth under the correct supervision carries the same risk as any other form of birth.
That being said, here are some general risks associated with water birth:
- Infection: The water in the birthing pool could potentially expose the mother and the baby to infection. Hence, it’s important to ensure that proper hygiene and water quality are maintained
- Temperature regulation: Maintaining the right temperature of the water is crucial during a water birth. If the water is too hot, it can raise the mother’s body temperature, which could be risky for the baby. If the water is too cold, it might cause hypothermia in the newborn.
- Difficulty in monitoring: It might be more challenging for health care providers to monitor the mother during a water birth.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate for Water Birth?
Anyone who is a candidate for a natural, unmedicated birth can have a water birth. Here are some conditions you should ideally meet if you’re planning to have a water birth:
- You should want to have a water birth! Anyone who has a fear of water or submersion would probably not be well suited for a water birth.
- You ideally shouldn’t have had any complications throughout your pregnancy. i.e., no diabetes, blood pressure, preeclampsia, etc.
- You have had a natural, non-problematic birth before.
If you want to hear more about our care, send us a message!