Your Questions About Water Birth Answered
homebirth, labor and delivery, Midwife, water birth

Your Water Birth Questions Answered

Your Water Birth Questions Answered

This blog post contains affiliate and referral links which may reward me in the event of a sale. I use this funds to feed my dog.  Thanks for the dog food.

 

Do you do water births?  Why would I want a water birth?  Is water birth safe?  What are the benefits of water birth? What supplies do I need?

Do You Do Water Births?Your Questions about Water Birth Answered

Yes, I do.  I love water births.  All the pictures on this page are from just a few of the lovely water births I have done.

 

Why Would I Want a Water Birth?Your Questions About Water Birth Answered

For some people, the answer is why not.  In the studies done and by anecdotal evidence, it has been found that water birth can contribute to:

  • Less pain and higher satisfaction with the birth experience
  • Possible shorter labors
  • Higher rates of normal vaginal birth
  • Lower rates of episiotomy
  • Higher rates of intact perineum
  • Possible lower rates of severe tears (3rd or 4th degree)
  • Possible lower rates of postpartum hemorrhage

Some people feel that it can help ease the newborns transition into life, but studies are inconclusive as to any real health benefits.

Is Water Birth Safe?

Evidenced Based Birth recently updated their information about water birth.  They have compiled information from randomized trials, observational case studies, and the statistics from the Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project on water birth.  Their website has a lot of great information.  The studies include possible pros and cons for the mother including:

  • Normal Vaginal Birth
  • Episiotomy
  • Perineal Tears/Trauma
  • Pain/Need for Pain Relief
  • Length of Labor
  • Postpartum Blood Loss
  • Upright Birth Positioning
  • Hands-off Delivery
  • Maternal Satisfaction
  • Pelvic Floor Function
  • Maternal Transfers to Hospital and Hospitalizations
  • Maternal InfectionWater Birth Questions Answered

And the possible pros and cons for the baby:

  • Newborn Death
  • Apgar Scores
  • Breathing Difficult
  • NICU or Special Care Nursery Admissions
  • Newborn Transfers to Hospital and Hospitalizations
  • Umbilical Cord pH
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Newborn Infections
  • Group B Strep
  • Newborn Microbiome
  • Umbilical Cord Tears
  • Newborn Resuscitation
  • Newborn Hypothermia

The evidence shows NO increase in newborn deaths or other bad health outcomes including NICU stays, low Apgar scores, breathing difficulty, need for resuscitation, infections.  Their conclusion was that there is no reason to deny low risk women an opportunity to birth in water as long as care providers with experience are on hand.

The Texas Department of State Health Services devised guidelines water birth to insure neonatal safety.  Their  Infection Prevention Guide is found  here.

What Supplies Do I Need?

If you have a garden tub or other larger bathtub, you can use that.  A standard size is usually not deep enough to get the pain relief that you want.  It also makes for very cramped quarters.  If you do not have a bathtub or have a smaller one, there are many options to explore.Your Questions About Water Birth Answered

I personally own and rent out the Birth Pool in the Box to my clients.  It is the blue pool pictured on the right. I own the regular size which is great if you are tall.  I think the mini is a better option as I get more clients that are short like me.  It has handles all over it for those that need something to grip onto.  It has a seat, but I rarely see that get used.  It even has a cupholder.

Buoyant Birth is a local company that sells and rents birth pools in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.  They offer a lot of different options.  I believe that they also ship outside of the area too.  Some people are looking for a cheaper option.  A blow up kiddie pool can be used instead of a fancy birth pool.  You have to be very careful to get one with the right dimensions.  In winter months, it is harder to find one because most places do not keep them in stock.  This one on Amazon is the one that I prefer.

If you are renting a pool, hope to reuse the kiddie pool, or are just concerned that you can’t bleach your tub well enough, you will need to purchase a one time use pool liner.  You will need a hose.  It needs to be brand new.  Mold grows very easily in rubber hoses that have been sitting out.  You don’t want the bacteria from it getting into your birth water.  An air pump is necessary for blowing up the inflatable pools.  A drain pump is handy for emptying the pool.  Before I got mine, some dads would syphon the water out with the hose.  Others just use buckets to drain it.  A small goldfish net is nice to have on hand in case you poop in the water.  If you are renting your pool, find out what, if any of these accessories are included in the price of your rental.  Accessories can be purchased at most birth supply companies.  I get mine from In His Hands.Your Questions About Water Birth Answered

You will need to test out your set up ahead of time.  The hose can be attached to a kitchen faucet, a washer hook up, or a shower after the shower head has been removed.  You do not want to use a water heater as sediment lies in the bottom and will make your birth water nasty.  An outside hookup will not offer the heating option that you need.  You want to make sure that your hose will reach where you intend to put the pool.  You may need a hose adapter to attach your hose to your sink or shower.  I provide one to my clients, but not all faucets are built alike.

Do you have any questions that I missed?  Are you interested in a water birth?  If so, contact us for more information.

 

Want more info on how to have a healthier pregnancy?  Check out my list of nutrition tips by clicking the link below.

Pregnancy Nutrition Made Simple

 

 

 

 

 

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Mercy Eizenga LM, CPM

Mercy Eizenga LM, CPM is the head midwife and owner of Comforts of Home Midwifery. Mercy was first exposed to homebirth when she witnessed the birth of her little brother at the age of 7. Her interest in natural childbirth grew with the birth of her first child and then attending Bradley Natural Childbirth classes with a friend a year and a half later. Attending her first birth as a doula verified that she was called to be a midwife. Mercy attended the Association of Texas Midwives Training Program and completed an apprenticeship with what is now the Corpus Christi Birth Center. She holds a Texas state license, is listed with the state of Oklahoma, and holds her Certified Professional Midwife with the North American Registry of Midwives.

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18 Comments

  1. These are such great answers to important quesitons. What a great post!

    1. Thanks.

  2. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    This is so interesting, I had considered it for my births but wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. Very good information here!

    1. Thanks. Did you have hospital births? Not every hospital offers water birth as an option.

  3. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    Very nice article

    1. Thanks.

  4. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    This is so amazing that moms have these options.

    1. One of the reasons that I became a midwife was to give women options like this that they couldn’t get anywhere else.

  5. I had a water birth with my second and I found the whole experience much more soothing, compared with the first time around! X

    1. Nice. I hear that from others.

  6. Sarah - Mud Cakes and wine says:

    Really great post full of important information I had never thought about

    1. Thanks.

  7. I would have loved a water birth, unfortunately I was induced with both of my babies so it wasn’t meant to be 🙁

    1. I had planned that two of my births would be water births. Due to certain circumstances, I missed out on my water birth too.

  8. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    I wanted to have a water birth. Three times over it didn’t happen for different reasons! I’ve heard such good things about them though 🙂

    1. I also had attempted two water births that ended up not happening.

  9. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    I almost had a water birth with my 2nd daughter. I was thinking about attempting it, while laboring in a tub. But I became very nauseous with transition and the water just made that worse.

    1. In my experience, not everyone that attempts a water birth ends up birthing there. For one reason or another, it just ends up not working out.

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