Advantages of Water Birth
Water birth has been called “The Midwife’s Epidural.” Women who labor in water report feeling far less discomfort than with “land births.” Most of our clients choose to labor in water at some point during their labor. Some women prefer to just be in the shower, while many others prefer the relief provided by laboring in a birth pool.
Increased mobility – The buoyancy provided by immersion in a deep birth pool allows the woman to move freely and easily. This can help the baby get into an optimal position for the birth.
Less tearing – The equalization of pressure on the muscles and tissues involved in birth helps to reduce the likelihood of tearing, and also lessens the severity of tears that do happen.
Increased comfort – Women who labor in water report a significant reduction in discomfort during labor and birth.
Improved efficiency of contractions – The buoyancy provided by immersion in water helps the contractions to be more efficient by providing better oxygenation of the uterine muscle.
Better oxygenation for the baby – Buoyancy from being in water provides better blood circulation, resulting in better oxygenation for the baby.
Helps mother to conserve her energy – Since immersion reduces the influence of gravity and supports the mother’s weight, her focus can be more on coping with the contractions.
Encourages production of endorphins, “nature’s morphine” – Deep relaxation encourages the woman’s body to increase production of endorphins. Endorphins have a morphine-like effect, causing the woman to have a greater sense of wellbeing, and a reduction of pain.
Promotes labor progress – When tension inhibits labor progress, water can help ease that tension and help the woman’s labor to progress. It is not unusual for a woman to progress very quickly once she enters the birth pool.
Greater ability for the partner to participate – Birthing couples frequently labor together in the birth pool. Couples enjoy the intimacy and comfort of being together in the pool during labor and birth. Sharing those special moments together can also increase the flow of oxytocin, which further enhances labor progress and bonding as a family.