What is a water birth?

The amazing Home Waterbirth of Lucca (October 2018).


What's special about having a waterbirth?

The relaxing effect of the water through its buoyancy and warmth can greatly help you from the opening to the expulsion phase. If you are tense, contractions may be more irregular or disruptive, delaying childbirth. But if you lie in the warm water, you can concentrate better on the labor of birth. This is less stressful for both you and your baby (Cluett and Burns 2009).

In a relaxed state, you can breathe more calmly than you would under stress, allowing you to breathe flatter and faster, and this can increase your labor pains.

Water can stimulate your body to release less adrenaline and more oxytocin that strengthens and regulates labor (Simkin and Ancheta 2011).

Your body also produces endorphins that increase your pain tolerance and make your labor more bearable (Buckley 2010, Simkin and Ancheta 2011).

By immersing yourself in warm water, you can focus on taking care of yourself and your labor. Dimmed light and quiet can increase this effect and you feel in harmony with yourself and your baby.

The buoyancy of the water helps you to feel lighter and more mobile. So you can always go back to a comfortable position without help. The best position is to make it easier for your baby to sink into the pelvis.

A rule of thumb is: Position your knees lower than your hips. Whereby you can stretch a knee in between, while you do the other. That way, gravity can work better and your baby can slip into the pelvis (Harper 2012).

The warm water can ease your contractions pain (Cluett and Burns 2009). You may know this from back or stomach pain. Even there, a warm bath can relieve the symptoms.

The guidelines in the clinics state, among other things, that you should never be left alone while you are in the bathtub. So either your birth partner / birth partner or midwife must be present.

Using the bath during labor is such a positive experience that many mothers want to have a water birth again for the next baby (Cluett and Burns 2009).

What is it like to give birth in the water?

In a water birth, it is easier to take a comfortable upright position. The upright posture allows you to take advantage of gravity to help your baby make it to the birth canal.

The ejection phase is easier in the water than in the delivery room. On the one hand, it supports the lightness in the water and in addition you can cling to the side edge of the bathtub for support during labor.

You may feel uncomfortable if chair should leak uncontrollably during the swelling. But you should not worry about that at all. On the one hand, before every water birth, a cleansing enema is performed, on the other hand, many mothers do not even notice it and for the midwife it is easier to remove the excreta from the water than from a sheet.

Once your baby is born, it will be lifted out of the water, preferably headfirst. So it can start with the self-contained breathing.

Women who have given birth to their baby in the water find this experience a very positive experience. Waterbirth is especially helpful during the exploitation period (Cluett and Burns 2009).

What is it like for the baby to be born in the water? Of course, no one can say for sure what babies feel during a birth. However, water-born believers are convinced that this way of seeing the light of the world is less traumatic for babies (Harper 2012).

The basic idea for a waterbirth is that the heat of the water in the bathtub matches the heat of the amniotic fluid in the uterus. Babies born in the water are often relaxed and cry less often.

Are you worried that your baby might breathe water at first breath? Do not worry, healthy babies do not breathe until certain nerves in the face, mouth and nose signal that they are in the air.

Newborns are also protected by a congenital ""dive reflex"": Instinctively, your baby closes his airway to prevent water from entering his lungs (Harper 2012, Johnson 1996, cited Cluett and Burns 2009).

Your midwife also controls There is no evidence that babies born in the water are less well cared for than babies born in the delivery room (Cluett and Burns 2009).

Experts believe that Babies can only breathe in water if:

The child's head is brought to the surface of the water before the whole body is born, for it overcomes the dive reflex.

  • the placental oxygen supply is not sufficient Midwife will take care to ensure that your baby does not reach the surface of the water until it is fully born, and that your child will be monitored throughout the birth (RCOG / RCM 2006). When should I get out of the tub?
  • If you do not want to relieve pain and get painkillers by lying in the water, you can try laughing gas first. This is an air-oxygen mixture, the supply of which you can control via a breathing mask and thus at least reduce the sensation of pain. Your labor is not limited by this. However, not all clinics offer this. But if you want a PDA (Epidural Anesthesia) or a Walking Epidural, you need to get out of the tub.

You also have to get out of the bathtub when a situation occurs in which the child signals that it must be born quickly.

You can not resume waterbirth if:

your child's heartbeats are a cause for concern.

labor contractions or birth does not precede. In this case, the midwife may ask you to leave the tub for a while until your contractions get stronger again.

in the first birth section in your amniotic fluid meconium (the first excretion of your child) is discovered. At a later date you may be able to complete the birth in the water. Your midwife will decide after checking your baby's meconium level and heartbeat.

  • You feel sleepy or weak.
  • Deliver her to the hospital and arrange the house rules. Read our article on how to plan a water birth more about it.
  • Most waterbirths are very contemplative. But in an emergency, it must be fast that you come out of the water. Since this is not so easy, midwives receive special training on how to quickly help the woman giving birth to the woman in order to take further action.
  • sources

Biasucci G, Rubini M, Riboni S, et al. 2010. Mode of delivery affects the bacterial community in the newborn well.

Early Hum Dev

86 (Suppl 1): 13-5

Buckley S. 2010. Ecstatic birth: nature's hormonal blueprint for labor. www. sarahbuckley. com [as of May 2014]

Burns et al. 2012. Characteristics, Interventions, and Outcomes of Women Who Used a Birthing Pool: A Prospective Observational Study. Birth 39 (3): 192-202

Cluett ER, Burns E. 2009. Immersion in water in labor and birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD000111. online library. wiley. com [pdf, as of May 2014]

Cro S, Preston J. 2002. Cord snapping at waterbirth delivery. British Journal of Midwifery 10 (8): 494-7

Harper B. 2012. Seven secrets of successful water birth. Essentially MIDIRS 3 (5): 32-36

Huurre A, Kalliomaki M, Rautava S, et al. 2008. Mode of delivery - effects on good microbiota and humoral immunity. Neonatalogy 93 (4): 236-40

RCOG / RCM. 2006. Immersion in water during labor and birth. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists / Royal College of Midwives, Joint Statement 1. www. rcog. org. uk [pdf, as of May 2014]

Simkin P, Ancheta R. 2011. The laboratory progress handbook: early intervention to prevent and treat dystocia. 3rd ed. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell

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