Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Water birth

I reserved the birth tub for the next baby's birth today. This was kind of late, but thankfully they still had a tub available for me. It will be delivered and set up on Oct. 4 (my due date is Oct. 15 or Oct. 17, depending how it's calculated). All our babies were born within a few days of their due date, so I feel good about that delivery time.

There are many benefits of laboring in water, most notably the pain relief it offers. It also helps speed delivery because the buoyancy of the water helps the baby and mom move freely and with ease. I had a birth tub at our last three births, and the last two times I actually also gave birth in the water. There is no danger of the baby drowning, since he/she does not breathe at that point and is also being supplied with oxygen via the umbilical cord. Besides, the baby pretty much shoots to the top of the water surface immediately. The transition for "water babies" is so gentle that they often do not cry at all, but rather just look around and start breathing calmly. It can be frightening if you are expecting the baby to cry (as I did the first time).

You do not have to have a home birth to have a water birth, as more and more hospitals will allow you to set one up in the delivery room if you make prior arrangements with them. Different hospitals have different policies, so you could pick a hospital based on whether they will allow you to bring a pool or not. A few hospitals even offer birthing suites with birth pools, but this is still rare. I am not talking about a bathtub with jacuzzi jets but an actual BIG pool. Although the bathtub is better than nothing, it is usually not deep enough to cover your belly and not wide enough to let you move and turn freely.

This is a great alternative to using heavy pain medications and epidurals, all of which increase your chances of having a C-section and can also increase the likelihood of the baby suffering immediate negative consequences such as poor breathing and fetal distress, and long-term illnesses like allergies and asthma later in life.

1 comment:

  1. Traditionally, babies were spanked at birth if they didn't come out crying.


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