Using a birthing pool...

(28 Posts)
ohthegoats Sun 03-Aug-14 17:50:49

.. if you'd quite like to, do you just write it on your notes/birth plan and hope that one is available when you arrive at hospital? Or is it something you need to talk to someone about in advance.

Possibly a dumb question. Thing is, I've got to go to the delivery suite because I'm consultant led, and out of 13 rooms, only one has a pool, so getting it is quite unlikely, but it would be nice to have the option.

Iwillorderthefood Sun 03-Aug-14 17:52:35

Yes and mention it when you go in again.

LizzieMint Sun 03-Aug-14 17:53:19

I had a birth pool twice, but at home. However the number of labours/births that use a pool are a tiny tiny percentage (something like 2%?) so you'd have to be very unlucky to find the hospital one already in use.
I'd highly recommend them by the way, I found the water fabulous and didn't need any other pain relief.

ohthegoats Sun 03-Aug-14 17:58:04

I've swum a LOT during this pregnancy, and have found it such a huge relief for everything really - stress, heaviness, aching limbs, aching bump etc. It's been really freeing. It would be nice to be able to use one. I've got an appointment with obstetrician week after next, so I'll mention it then.

melissa83 Sun 03-Aug-14 18:08:06

Is it really 2% of births? Wow seems really low. I always have water births and they are fantastic

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 03-Aug-14 18:10:11

Ive notified my MW of my preference for a waterbirth (and to check I can as am Streb B+) and she said our hospital pool is barely ever used confused so am highly likely to be able to when the time comes.

Ive found swimming such a physical benefit in this pregnancy. Am.really hoping the water helps. My last birth was an interesting experience (!?) so itll be nice to try somethig new this time.

melissa83 Sun 03-Aug-14 18:23:22

Are people crazy? Why on earth do they not want water births? Honestly water births are the greatest

ohthegoats Sun 03-Aug-14 19:05:24

I think lots of people aren't 'allowed', lots of people don't have time, and lots of people worry that it might slow things down. Those would be my guesses.

You really won't know how you feel until you are in labour.

I've always been a water fan. Use hot baths to cure everything.

Put me in a bath during labour though and I just instantly freak out and vomit hmm

Mention it to the hospital but I'm sure you will be fine.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Mon 04-Aug-14 08:33:01

Melissa- huge numbers of first time mums plan a hospital water birth. it is generally not being allowed, not not wanting to.

SixImpossible Mon 04-Aug-14 08:45:28

Like everything on your Birthing Plan, you can only plan for it. You have to accept that nothing on a Birthing Plan can be guaranteed. Think about alternatives and be prepared to be flexible.

I finally managed to get a water birth with dc3. It was awesome. Everyone was perfectly accommodating in my desire to have water births for dc1&2, but, due to various circumstances outside anybody's control, they just did not happen.

ohthegoats Mon 04-Aug-14 09:18:32

As per my original post, I'm expecting that one won't be available. I just wondered what the procedure is if you would quite like the option. And of course I have no idea what I'll want in labour.

My 'birth plan' is 6 bullet points, 5 of which apply to after the baby is out - partner cutting cord, partner telling me gender etc, everything else is suck it and see.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Mon 04-Aug-14 09:40:39

goats- you don't need to do anything in advance but it is worth mentioning it when you phone triage before going in. They may allocate rooms or midwives differently if they know you are keen. smile

SixImpossible Mon 04-Aug-14 19:03:32

Just ask. Talk to the midwives about it. A lot depends on who is on duty and how busy they are. My feeling was that the midwives were doing their best to get me the waterbirth, but I know that has not been the case for other women.

Redling Tue 05-Aug-14 05:43:57

I've requested a Waterbirth and have been to to mention it on the phone before I come to the midwife unit so they can sort it out before I come. Also I asked about likelihood of it being occupied and they also said it wasn't used loads. I have adored baths and the feeling of weightlessness I get at Aquayoga so I'm hoping it all goes to plan, although if baby doesn't get a move on I can't have it if induced.

Marnierose Wed 06-Aug-14 09:43:03

It's worth discussing with your mw. Often a lot of the reasons did being consultant led mean they would recommend a wb. Worth finding out now so you can look into it.

Marnierose Wed 06-Aug-14 09:44:19

Sorry terrible spelling and grammar. I was trying to say if you are consultant led they often won't recommend a water birth which is why there are so few pools on the high risk wards.

ohthegoats Wed 06-Aug-14 10:38:08

I spoke to a midwife about this yesterday (just in conversation, not at an appointment). My reason for being consultant led isn't much of an issue for the actual birth bit - at one point I was hopeful they would downgrade me to MLU, but not yet. It seems that the pool at the delivery suite where I will be is rarely used, and in fact the midwives would like it used more, so chances of it being free are actually higher than I would have thought. Interesting.

FromagePlease Wed 06-Aug-14 10:44:30

Yes, I just asked when I went in. No problem in getting one, they were all free at the time.

Just a slight word of caution, in that my consultant and midwives have subsequently said that water births can lead to worse tears/damage. I had no idea before my water birth, hadn't heard this opinion. (I didn't ask for their data source but 4 unconnected people have all mentioned it) It was lovely in many ways, but if I were to do it again I would labour in the pool and push outside it.

Hope all goes well for you

Eminybob Wed 06-Aug-14 10:51:11

I had it on my birth plan, and I mentioned it when I went in to hospital. I was in the assessment ward for a bit, and when they took me through it was into a room with no pool! I said is there no pool available and they said oh yes would you like one? confused
As it happens I was only in it for 20 minutes as I then needed a catheter and a drip with syntocinon so didn't actually get my water birth sad

While in the water I did feel a lot better, but it may have slowed my contractions down.

My advice is just keep mentioning it as ime no one looked at my birth plan anyway!

Cariad007 Wed 06-Aug-14 13:19:17

Fromage I had a water birth and had a secnd degree tear that healed up pretty easily. I don't think being in a pool contributed to it at all. I have friends who gave birth on beds and had worse tears.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Wed 06-Aug-14 13:37:20

Fromage- I think the issue can be that, depending on the design of pool, they cannot see as much to guide you through crowning. But all being equal, water is meant to soften the tissues and reduce tearing.smile

LizzieMint Wed 06-Aug-14 13:39:48

I'd heard that water reduces the risk of tearing, not increases.
In my own experience, my first birth (on dry land) I tore and needed stitches, my other two in water I didn't.

FromagePlease Wed 06-Aug-14 13:59:55

That's what I had heard too, before I delivered, that the water makes is less likely to tear. But subsequently (and my issues weren't due to crowning) I heard that they actually see a disproportionately high number of women who had water births with issues. I was told it was because the water can mask some of the signals that would otherwise be picked up on, and that because it's harder to see what's going on (as the other poster mentioned)

This was from two separate obstetric consultants (granted they might their own agenda), a snr registrar (likewise), a midwife friend of mine and a pelvic floor physio.

If doing it again I would labour in the water but deliver out of the pool. But many women have lovely deliveries in the water. I just wanted to share another viewpoint.

SixImpossible Wed 06-Aug-14 16:54:18

I have always been under consultant-led care, for reasons that never affected my labours. It never stood in the way of water birth. The one time I had an 'unhelpful' consultant, the senior midwife talked her around for me.

As I understand, being in water relaxes you and allows you to take up optimal positions where gravity can help you. If you are able to relax and connect with your body, following your instinct to push - or not push- rather than push when instructed, you are less likely to tear.

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