Water Birth Pros and Cons: Everything You Need to Know
Water births are my
If you have never experienced a water birth before you will definitely want to after reading this, ha!
Well, truthfully I’m not here to convince you that having a water birth is the only way to go because it’s not.
There are plenty of ways that you can give birth, you just have to choose one which suits you best.
I’ve given birth to 4 children and not all of them were water births but certainly the last 2 definitely were and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Childbirth is never going to be an easy task so you have to make the most of it (so to speak).
If you are a no-nonsense “hit me with all the pain relief you have” type of girl and that works for you then great!
If you’re not that girl but you don’t necessarily want to feel the full force of the transition phase during labor then perhaps a water birth is what you need to be thinking about.
Just remember that there are water birth pros and cons.
What is A Water Birth?
A water birth quite simply put is when a woman enters deep water in order to give birth to a child.
Some women like to get in to the water as early as possible and some like to get in just before they are ready to push.
It’s your labour so you have to decide what feels right at the time.
If you decide to have a water birth there are a few things that you need to know and also how to prepare for it.
To start with not everyone can have a water birth, unfortunately.
A water birth is considered to be a natural birth therefore if you are thought to be having a high-risk pregnancy then you would not be able to give birth in this way.
What is Considered a High-Risk Pregnancy?
A high-risk pregnancy is one where it is considered that there is a threat to the mother or the child. Some of these risks include:
- High blood pressure
(This list is not exhaustive)
If you are able to have a water birth then here’s what you need to know:
Water birth pros and cons
1. The water must be deep enough to cover most of your stomach area in order for it to be fully effective.
2. The temperature of the water must remain constant at between 35C- 38C.
If you have the water any cooler than this you could get a chill and that will make it more difficult for your body to relax during
3. The water must be as pure and as clean as possible so that when your baby is born they don’t pick up any harmful bacteria.
As I mentioned before my first 2 pregnancies were not done in water.
During my first
My second child was natural but I tore and had to have stitches as she decided to come out with her hand resting on her cheek.
As you can imagine I was terrified of tearing again with my third born.
I had already been told that the chances of me tearing again after having torn once before were much greater.
Someone mentioned to me about having a water birth.
I didn’t think much of it
As soon as I heard it could possibly prevent tearing during childbirth I jumped at the chance and mentally had already entered the water.
It was the best birthing decision I had ever made because I was able to give birth naturally except with a bit of gas and air and in the end, I didn’t tear at all!
The great thing about having a water birth is that there are far more benefits than just avoiding tearing.
Water birth pros
1. The warm water can actually help you to be better relaxed enabling your body to release endorphins to help manage the pain.
2. It can help with reducing your blood pressure as this can be slightly raised once you go into labor.
3. The water can also help to relieve back pain and the pressure of the baby’s head coming down.
4. It relaxes the pelvic floor
5. It also allows you to conserve energy as the water helps to carry your weight.
6. It reduces the likelihood of you needing to take drugs.
So far we have covered all the good things about having a water birth but there are a few negatives that come with it too that you will need to consider.
Water birth cons
1. If you get into the water too early it could cause your contractions to slow down.
I didn’t actually know this when I did my first water birth so I got in the water as soon as I hit 6 centimeters dilated.
It did help me pain wise a great deal but I guess I could also have delivered a lot quicker too if I hadn’t got in so soon.
On my 4th birth the midwife advised me not to get into the water too early otherwise my contractions might slow down.
I waited as long as I thought that I could but the pain was too much so I went in the water.
Sure enough, after a few minutes, we could tell that my contractions had indeed slowed down, not significantly but enough that we could notice.
2. You also have to know that some types of pain relief are no longer going to be accessible to you once you opt for a water birth.
A tens machine for example.
You can not use this as the electrics conflict with water.
3. If a complication arises you may need to leave the water very quickly.
What Can You Wear in the Water?
This always baffled me, before going into labor you always feel quite modest.
Once that labor pain hits you it’s an entirely different story!
I don’t think in that moment you will care what you are wearing so don’t stress about what to wear beforehand.
But to answer the question I usually go bra-less in a light vest top obviously with no trousers on.
Some people feel comfortable being naked and some prefer to wear a bikini.
Whatever you decide to choose just make sure you are comfortable.
If you are the natural mama type then you must give water birthing a try, it will completely change the way you look at childbirth.
If you want to know what to expect from your body after you have given birth then you need to have a look at this article to explain things: Interesting Facts About Your Body After Childbirth