More than 1 in 20 women in the US reportedly choose water birth as their preferred method of delivery, and even more choose to labor in a tub or pool of water to ease discomfort before giving birth. Could this be a good birth plan for you and your child?
At Ovation Wellness in Flowood, Mississippi, we have the information that helps you decide what kind of birth is right for you. Our goal is to give you choices and a safe, secure way to deliver, no matter which plan you choose.
Attractive water birth options
Some women decide to labor in the water, then get out of the tub to deliver their baby. This usually leads to a more comfortable labor process, relieving your weight and helping you relax through contractions until it’s time for delivery.
Studies show water labor can be shorter, reduces the need for pain relief or epidurals, and can soften your perineum, reducing the chances of tearing during vaginal delivery. Water birth is also associated with lower chances of needing a C-section and less likelihood of stress incontinence after giving birth.
Other women prefer to both labor and deliver in a tub of clean water. This can help you relax and reduce the pain of childbirth, and can specifically reduce the chances of a perineal tear by up to 60%. You can move around to find a comfortable position in the buoyancy of the water, and your baby will enter the world in a warm, calm environment.
According to some studies, babies born into water experience an automatic, closed-mouth swallowing reflex that prevents the inhaling of water, so you don’t have to worry about your baby drowning when you have a safe, attended water birth. You can get immediate skin-on-skin contact with your newborn and delay cord clamping until you're ready.
People who may not be good candidates for water birth
Most women without known complications can have a water birth. Usually, this means you’re healthy and between 37 and 41 weeks when you go into labor. You don’t have placenta previa or another dangerous condition, and your baby has no known fetal abnormalities. If this applies to you, a midwife-attended water birth could be something you plan on.
If you do have contraindications for a water birth, we sit down with you and discuss what options are possible. You might still be able to labor in water but need to deliver in a different environment. Alternatively, water labor might not be safe for you because of an underlying condition. Some reasons we might advise against water labor and/or delivery include:
- You’re past 41 weeks gestation
- We detect a category 2 fetal heart rate tracing
- You’re leaking meconium-stained amniotic fluid
- You’ve been experiencing undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
- Your baby shows signs of fetal growth restriction or macrosomia
- Your BMI is greater than 35
- You have a prior Cesarean section history
- You have diabetes or high blood pressure
None of these conditions on their own rule out an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, but they could preclude a water birth.
Want to know more about the option of water birth? Find out more by booking an appointment with us online or calling 601-326-6401.