Birthing is one of the most intimate things that will happen in your life. As long as you do it in a safe and supervised way, there is no wrong way to bring a baby into this world. Each woman has her own feelings towards the birthing process: some would like to do it naturally, while others ask for an epidural the second they check in. Another idea that has been gaining popularity lately is the idea of birthing a baby in water. These are the reasons why I chose a water birth for me and my baby.
It’s no secret that birthing a baby is one of, if not the most, painful things that can happen to a human. Labor pains are so bad that your body releases a hormone that makes you forget how bad the pain was. While the discomfort is not completely gone, water birthing does help to relieve a lot of the pain involved in contractions. Moms who have given birth by water, swear by it, and some scientific studies have corroborated that, next to an epidural, water birth is the best way to detour labor pain.
Child birth is a stressful time for everybody, but for no one more than the mom to be. Warm water is comforting, which is why we enjoy hot baths and time in the jacuzzi. The soothing effects of the water help reduce anxiety as well as elevated blood pressure stemming from that anxiety. Being in water also gives the mom a sense of privacy, which allows her to focus on the task at hand rather than how many people are getting a full view of the birthing process.
Easier Transition for your Baby
Birth is stressful for mom, but it is also stressful for baby. Birthing into water makes for an easier transition for the baby coming out of your body and into the world. Many mothers, worry about their baby inhaling water in a water birth, but if the water is kept at an appropriate temperature, your baby won’t take her first breath until she is removed from the water.
Speeds Up Labor
A water birth can facilitate elasticity and movement along with the aforementioned reduction in stress and increase in privacy release labor hormones that help speed the process along. This is not a magic cure-all that will have labor over in an hour, and just like any birth, there are a lot of outside factors involved in the length of labor. If you ask any laboring mother though, they would shave off any time they could from the experience.
Prevents Intervention and Unnecessary Tissue Damage
Giving birth does some serious damage to your body, some of which will never recover. There’s no reason to do more damage than necessary, which is why water births are so great for keeping your body intact. Water births make the perineum more elastic and relaxed, which lowers the incidence of severe tearing and decreases the chance of an episiotomy. Mothers who choose water birth have been shown to have less damage to the perineum and fewer stitches when damage occurs.
Water birthing may not be right for everyone, and that’s ok. What’s most important is that moms-to-be are fully informed of all of their options, which will help them make the best decision for themselves and their families.
It’s worth noting that there are some risks involved in water birthing, so be sure to talk with your OBGYN before making your decision. The most important thing to remember in your birth plan is that it’s not about what everyone else is doing, it’s about doing what’s right for you and your baby.