All about Water Birth

All about Water Birth

  Autor NN Team Data: 08.06.2010

All about Water Birth

Therapeutic properties of thermal waters are known for centuries. Bathrooms, showers, warm water pools formed over time ways of relaxation and even therapy. The possibility of giving birth in heated water in recent decades awakens the interest of many countries. Experts in the field have devised lots of studies on thousands of women and babies in order to compare firstly if there is any risk of birth in the water and secondly if the mother and child can have any benefit of this method.

Immersion in water, in such circumstances, must be defined as placing the mother in high enough water so that it covers her abdomen, reaching to the breast or knees positioning to cover up sub mammary line. After an initial exposure of 30 minutes, the body is hormonally stimulated by oxytocin downloading. Yet it is well known that an early immersion slows labour. It was established that a dilation of 4 cm represents the optimal moment.

The benefits of water birth

  • Increased comfort of mother during labour that will be able to concentrate on pushing motions;
  • Labour speeding;
  • Blood pressure lowers;
  • It provides relaxation;
  • It reduces the consumption of drugs;
  • It prevents energy takeover;
  • It increases mother's confidence in the success of birth.

Not all mothers can benefit of this experience; it is imperative an uncomplicated pregnancy, over 37 weeks, normal fetal heart activity, no bleeding. Absolute contraindications are related to prematurity, the association with anesthesia, the presence of infection, fever, vaginal bleeding. There are dilemmas related to establishing the optimal water temperature in birth pools, recommendations range from 34-37 degrees Celsius, but a Swedish study concludes that the ladies should be encouraged to adjust water temperature according to their own comfort.

There are many advantages of birth in the water, from reducing the pains perceived by the mother and decreasing need for analgesic drugs, to shortening labour time.

Indications recommended by specialists target healthy women, with term uncomplicated pregnancies. Although we need new trials and new details pro or against, the current data do not contraindicate immersion in water for women during labour.

There is no evidence to prove a higher prenatal mortality of babies born this way. Incidents like drowning, respiratory problems, cord avulsion or water-borne infections have existed throughout history. Although very few pregnant women give birth in water, much more choose to use pools during labour.

Labour and birth in water is practiced in many developed countries such as U.S., Canada, Australia but also Europe in countries like UK and Germany. Those in charge of educating future mothers repeatedly reported their desire to give birth in a more natural manner, devoid of outside interventions as much as possible. From here comes the idea of using the aquatic environment which substitutes a part of prenatal medication. Many pregnant women in the West appreciate the opportunity to give birth at home. And this is considered an irreplaceable advantage of the labour in mobile pool mounted in the living room, ready to help the coming of the youngest guest of home.

Read the English version of this article: All about Water Birth