Anyone wanted waterbirth but couldn't have one? What happened?

(41 Posts)
BraveLilBear Thu 07-Feb-13 15:57:49

I am a very long way away from B-Day as I'm just 16 weeks, but thought I'd ask this now as it's been bugging me for a while.

I really like the idea of a waterbirth - to me it makes total sense as a natural way of controlling pain, achieving relaxation (as much as possible) and reducing damage.

But I am also painfully aware that my chances of getting a waterbirth appear to be slim at best. There are 20 labour rooms at the only - and evidently incredibly busy - maternity unit near to me (next nearest are 35 and 50 miles away since closure of MLU), yet the ward has just one pool available for waterbirths.

This suggests I'll have a 1:20 chance of getting a waterbirth, unless I have one at home. Unfortunately, OH has ruled this out because of the mess.

So I was wondering, if you wanted a waterbirth but couldn't have one, how did you manage on dry land? How common is it to not get a hoped-for waterbirth?

atrcts Thu 07-Feb-13 16:42:16

I wanted a waterbirth for the same reason as you - seemed a logical and comfortable way to relax as much as possible! I didn't have a birth plan because I didn't want to have any hard and fast ideas about childbirth, I just asked for it on the day because it appealed to me.

However I was not able to because my waters were broken by the midwives and immediately there was an awful lot of meconium. They said this shows the baby is distressed and needs monitoring, so I was strapped to electrical equipment and not safe to go near water.

I had heard rumours that the water pools are limited and so if they're already in use, then you can't use it anyway. So it seems to be pot-luck as to whether there is a queue.

I also had a friend who was in the water pool very early on, when she was barely 4cm dilated, and it set the labour back to 2cm dilated for hours, and she had to abort and I think she might have even been induced if my memory serves me well. So nice though the idea is, I think it's probably sensible to try and hold the idea lightly with an open hand, so you're not too upset if for any reason it doesn't go as you'd hoped. Same with all aspects of giving birth really!

wouldyoupleasemove Thu 07-Feb-13 17:12:49

Two water births here. One in a MLu
, one at home two weeks ago. Chose the home birth because there was absolutely no chance of me doing a natural labour without the pool. Borrowed pool and bought a single use liner. Absolutely no mess, DH just pumped the pool and chucked the liner away in a bag midwives bought. Would highly recommend

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 07-Feb-13 17:17:57

I don't have an answer to your question but I would like to say that there isno mess with a HB. A home water birth is even better. If you deliver the placenta in the pool there is even less of a chance of mess.

PickleSarnie Thu 07-Feb-13 17:46:23

I agree with iliketomovrit . There's no mess with a homebirth. The Midwives cleaned everything away. They even unpacked our ocado delivery that ee ddidn't get a chance to cancel.

Unfortunately, homebirth don't guarantee a pool either. My son arrived on the living room floor before DH was able to fill the pool up.

bumpybecky Thu 07-Feb-13 17:58:06

how much mess is he expecting?!

I planned 4 home water births. The first we ended up transferring to hospital as there was meconium in the waters. The other 3 were all at home.

For #2 and 3 I delivered the placenta in the pool, there was absolutely no mess outside it. The water in the pool afterwards was a bit murky (blood, bits of vermix) but drained away fine. The liner did need cleaning afterwards. You can get disposable liners to use to avoid that.

For #4 I had the placenta out of the pool in a bucket afterwards. The pool water looked no different to before the birth. The midwives took the placenta away and cleaned the bucket.

BraveLilBear Thu 07-Feb-13 18:00:08

Thanks everyone - trying not to fixate on the idea, but it just seems so darn logical. I'm not a full-on vulcan, but I'm a pretty logical kinda gal!

My OH is very squeamish - can't tolerate other people's sick or blood and so him pumping out a blood-y pool would be out of the question plus he raised the very valid point of 'where do you pump it? Doesn't seem very hygeinic'...

ginmakesitallok Thu 07-Feb-13 18:05:47

I was all set to have one in the dmu. Went in around 2 o'clock, had a look in the pool room, got sent home add too early. Went back around 6, in assessment room till just before 8, when mW examined me I was 9cm, too late for the pool.... Had did at 8.45

BraveLilBear Thu 07-Feb-13 18:05:47

x-post Becky - our baby won't be his first and he was present at his son's birth 11 years ago. No idea about the details but he seems horrified by the idea of any blood (in water or not) in the house.

We live 5 minutes normal drive to hospital (less with blue light) so if I can convince him that a) it would be safe at home and b) it wouldn't look like something out of Psycho/Cabin in the Woods/Texas Chainsaw (delete as applicable) there is an outside chance he may reconsider.

He, however, seems to think that a 1:20 chance is fair odds!

Missingthemincepies Thu 07-Feb-13 19:54:12

Wanted water birth and got room with a pool, unfortunately pushing when pool was only half full! Quick first delivery and all ok so not disappointed. But will still try for one again this time.

Floweryhat Thu 07-Feb-13 19:56:47

I wanted one for dc1, but no such luck in hospital. With dcs 2, 3 and 4 I had home water births. Bliss. I wouldn't entertain the notion with dc1, as I felt it wouldn't be as safe, and hospital was the norm. I wish I had taken the time to do more research and actually looked at the evidence. The three home births were vastly better for me and the babies than the hospital one. All were normal low risk pregnancies.

Floweryhat Thu 07-Feb-13 19:57:39

Ps, one pool birth had v bloody water, the other two no blood visible.

Floweryhat Thu 07-Feb-13 19:58:49

No mess for home births. The midwives put down disposable absorbent things, and clean it all up and take it away grin

iwillsleepagainsomeday Thu 07-Feb-13 20:03:54

Didnt get one as all went too quick. Pool was still filling up when dc3 was born.

Dorisday13 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:18:15

No mess at my home birth and guaranteed pool

I had the same issues as you but I got lucky and just as I got in the pool My waters broke with meconium in them.
DD got distressed and I had to get out and have vontouse.
I was so disapointed but by that point I just wanted my baby. You will just want your baby too OP grin

mummybare Thu 07-Feb-13 20:36:14

Your DH doesn't get to decide this - YOU are the one pushing a human out of your body, you decide how and where that happens. No matter what you decide, you being comfortable with the circumstances/environment will likely lead to better outcomes, so it's worth putting your foot down if you feel strongly.

If he is more concerned about his own squeamishness than your comfort and your wishes, it might be worth thinking about whether DH is the best person to have as a birth partner. It may well be that he is, but it doesn't have to follow that it has to be him just because you're married if his presence would stress both of you out!

I wanted a water birth and couldn't have one as our local hospital also only has one and it was in use. I would definitely consider a home birth if and when I have another.

emsyj Thu 07-Feb-13 20:40:38

I wanted a pool birth but ended up with crash section with DD1 (and was 9cm on admission anyway, so wouldn't have had time to get a pool filled for delivery even if I hadn't been whisked to theatre) - second time around (just on Tuesday this week smile) I borrowed a birth pool from the home birth team but didn't bother with it, I wanted to be upright and mobile and the pool just wasn't what I wanted in the end. You never know how you'll feel once you're in labour so what you love the idea of now might end up not what you want at the time.

My home birth was unplanned (pool was intended for use during labour pre-transfer to hospital for delivery) and it was quite messy (sorry) - but only because we weren't prepared for it. The midwives had pads etc which they took away, they also disposed of the placenta (and my washing up bowl, which I deposited the placenta into from a very glamorous standing position blush) but there was blood all over a lot of towels and we've had to bin the living room rug (hard floor underneath thankfully). BUT this would all have been 101% avoidable if we'd been prepared for a planned birth at home.

CitizenOscar Fri 08-Feb-13 19:55:18

I was booked into MLU but when I arrived to deliver, they were full so had to deliver in the consultant led suite. It was absolutely fine! I gave birth on all fours, on a mat on the floor. The CD player didn't work either, so no music, but it really was fine.

I hadn't had my heart set on a waterbirth but I'd have liked to have tried. Can't have one this time because am "high risk" due to haemorrhage last time.

I had decided to be as open minded as possible about the birth process & I think that helped when things didn't go as I'd have chosen.

BraveLilBear Mon 11-Feb-13 10:35:31

Thank god for that open mind CitizenOscar! Think that will be my approach. It'll have to be!

Tho I think OH is finally understanding that 1:20 is very low odds for pool availability opportunity as he's been making comments over the weekend that suggest that it is somewhat harsh to not have the choice when everything you read says 'waterbirth is best for pain relief and tear-reduction' etc. I might yet talk him round!

Snowydrift Mon 11-Feb-13 10:48:02

I had one with DC1 and wanted one with DC2. There was a pool available but not enough time to fill it. I ended up giving birth sitting up on the bed, almost wasn't time to get me on the bed!

megandraper Mon 11-Feb-13 10:57:07

I wanted one with DC1 - there was a new pool built and ready at the hospital but the midwives hadn't all done their training so it wasn't open - so I had a (straightforward) hospital birth.

2 years later with DC2, I thought that was my chance - but when we came in, the pool was in use and he came very quickly so no time.

2 years later, with DC3 I decided to have a home waterbirth to be sure of it. Got pool, all the equipment etc. etc. Then DC3 arrived 4 weeks early, so the midwives said I had to go into hospital.

I think I was not destined to have a waterbirth...

Emsyboo Mon 11-Feb-13 14:41:10

Always wanted a water birth but with DS was induced with bleeding so they wouldn't let me next week I find out if I get a c section or normal delivery but consultant thinks due to circumstances a water birth is unlikely -sobs
I had a bath when was being induced it really helped the pain but only where bump was in the water had a bit in the top very painful while the rest was nice lol if you can try for a water birth - I was ok as got high on gas and air but given the choice would have a water birth

GreenOlives Mon 11-Feb-13 18:55:25

My labour ward only has one pool too so I was fairly convinced that it would be in use when I was in labour - but you have to remember that not all women want a water birth so the chances of it being free are far greater than you think. As it happened when I was in labour with DS the pool was just being cleaned after the prev lady so I went in the bath while I was waiting. I got into the pool at 6cm and laboured in there until fully dilated and pushing. Unfortunately things went a little belly up and I had to come out and ended up on a drip with a forceps delivery but Im still glad I was able to labour in the water and am desparately hoping I can do the same this time round! (currently 38+1)

openerofjars Mon 11-Feb-13 19:07:02

Now look. Until he has a vagina that a baby will come out of, he has no sensible views on the matter. Silly man.

I had a go in the water with DS in hospital (but had to get out to have him by ventouse) but had DD in water at home. The MWs cleared up and it was awesome! I got to hold my baby girl straight away in the pool and it was such a calm experience. I swear this is why she is less of a stress monkey than her big brother! An hour or so afterwards I was tucked up in my own bed, too.

Just check you have a strong enough floor for the pool - the weight is equivalent to 12 adults all standing on that bit of floor. Put cheap shower curtains down and you're in business.

PS I had a white sofa at the time which didn't get a single bloodstain on it even though that was where I delivered the placenta. Home birth midwives are awesome at the cleanup (and you get 1-1 care throughout labour and 2-1 at the delivery, often much better than you get in hospital).

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now