water birth

7 Benefits of a Water Birth

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There are many different birth options available for expecting mothers. Understanding the many various options will go a long way toward providing you with the information that you need to make the best decision for your specific situation. From a water birth to giving natural birth in a birth center, it is vital to obtain all of the information possible about each birth type. Water births are becoming far more popular, due to the many benefits that they provide. Here is a little information about the benefits of a water birth.

What is a Water Birth?

Water births occur when at least part of labor or delivery is undergone in a birthing pool. They can take place at home, in a birthing center, or in a hospital. Water births occur more commonly in birthing centers or homes, but they may occur in a hospital that has the required equipment. It is important to obtain the services of a medical professional, like a midwife, to ensure that the water birth goes as smoothly and safely as possible. In some cases, women choose to go through labor in a birthing pool and move to land when it comes time to push, though there are multiple ways these kinds of birth can be accomplished. Water births allow for flexibility, so you can do what feels right and natural throughout the birthing process. 

Benefits of a Water Birth

There are many different benefits to water births. Understanding the benefits can go a long way toward helping you make the best decisions regarding the method you choose for your birth process. It is also important to keep in mind that electrical monitoring is not an option when you undergo a water birth, so it may not be an option for particularly high risk pregnancies. A medical professional will be able to inform you regarding any applicable risks or complications associated with giving birth in a birthing pool.

1. Increased Comfort and Mobility

The buoyancy of water helps to minimize the impact of gravity on the mother. This helps to facilitate mobility, as it allows the mother to move into whatever position feels most comfortable at the time. As the baby shifts, the mother will similarly want to shift to remain comfortable. Other kinds of birth often require assistance in order for the mother to move to a new position. Water birth allows the mother to move freely and maintain as much comfort as possible throughout the total process.

2. Speed Up Labor

A longer labor is inevitably a more painful and drawn out process. In addition, longer labors more often require medical intervention. Minimizing the time of labor can provide many benefits for both the mother and the baby. Water births have been shown to speed up the labor process and provide a more comfortable birthing experience for the mother. It also helps the mother to conserve energy throughout the process, which can help her to focus more effectively on the birth. Water births also inhibit the production of hormones that can slow or inhibit labor.  

3. Natural Pain Relief

water birth

Warm water is commonly used to provide natural pain relief. A great deal of pain is caused by muscles clenching in painful manners. Warm water can both physically and mentally help the mother to relax. Relaxing these muscles can similarly help to lessen the pain. Water births are done in warm water, generally around the same temperature as the human body. This can help to relax the muscles and relieve labor pains. Just like how heat is often applied to cramps, warmth can minimize birth pain, as well. This goes a long way toward minimizing the need for medical intervention, like epidurals, to help with the pain. Water births generally provide the most benefits throughout the labor process and natural pain relief is one of the biggest benefits that water births provide.

Giving birth in a birthing pool will also reduce the likelihood of perineum trauma. It allows the perineum to become softer and more elastic, which often prevents it from tearing. This can go a long way toward reducing recovery times and minimizing pain.

4. Lower Stress and Blood Pressure

Many people take baths to relax and lower their levels of stress. The same thing applies to giving birth in a birthing pool. Water births reduce stress released hormones that both raise blood pressure and slow labor. By minimizing these hormones, the body is able to release pain-relieving endorphins. Water births result in less stress for the mother, which is far healthier overall for the baby. These kinds of births can also lower the likelihood of a caesarean section becoming necessary.

5. Increased Feeling of Control

Due to the easier movement, water births have been shown to allow the mother to feel more in control throughout the birthing process. They also allow for more versatility. The mother may choose to remain in the birthing pool for however long she wishes. It will also allow her to do whatever feels most natural and comfortable for her. This can significantly improve the mother’s birthing experience.

6. Gentle Welcome for the Baby

A baby spends months floating in the womb’s amniotic fluid. Giving birth in a birthing pool can help to parallel this experience, which can result in a gentler welcome for the baby.

7. Additional Privacy

Giving birth in a tub adds a layer of privacy to the mother. This can minimize her inhibitions, as well as lower her feelings of stress. Increased privacy also allows the mother to feel more in control over the entire process, which significantly reduces overall levels of stress.

In addition to all of the benefits that they provide, many mothers swear by water births. Consulting with a woman who has given birth in a birthing pool can help you to make the best decision for you. Water births are just one of many potential birthing options. It can benefit expecting mothers to understand all of the options that are available to them to ensure that they make the best decision for their own process. Contact our experts at My Family Birth Center today to learn more about water births and other birthing options.

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