Can anyone share their waterbirth stories?(106 Posts)
Anyone willing to share the ins and outs of their labor while having a waterbirth. I keep reading up on it but would love to know the nitty gritty first hand.
I have only had a water birth so nothing to compare it too but it was amazing.
As soon as I got in the water I felt so much better. I never did anything gross
no poo. I was the first person to touch/hold my baby
Was amazing definitely recommend it to anyone. Good luck
I had ds4 in a pool. Was in lab our for an hour and in the pool for most of that. The contractions before I got in the pool were really strong and ahem I spent a bit of time on the loo having a clear out.
Practically leapt into the pool as soon as it was ready and took my bra off once in, already knickerless.
Spent time on all fours mainly and sitting/squatting, I clung on to dp's arm during contractions and had lots if gas air.
My body took over for pushing and I didn't consciously push at all.
Ds4 was 10lb 13oz and the midwife scooped him up and I held him in the pool whilst I delivered the placenta, natural third stage, once it was delivered we clamped and cut the card and the pool was a bit murky by then so dp took ds4 and I got out and showered etc.
It was lovely, best birth of my five, wanted a pool birth for no 5 but Madame had other ideas and was back to back and I needed syntocinon drip, it was still a natural lab our but I missed being in thee pool as its so soothing and much easier to move etc.
Plus I didnt tear at all with ds4 despite his size, sure the water helped with that!
I had one at home with DD having had her 2 brothers on dry land on hospital.
IME it was just as painful as the other 2 births and I still tore However, it was far better than the dry land births. The buoyancy of the water was fabulous and supported me in whatever position I wanted. I also liked the sense of "privacy" it offered.
There is absolutely no way I am having another baby but I would choose a waterbirth over dry land.
My friend tried and she said it was horrible and had to get out,
I couldn't even sit in the bath even though I really wanted a water birth I thought I better not even try considering how much I hated being in water and in loads of pain
But everyone else seems to have loved it I have spoken to
Thanks ladies, mind if I ask how dilated you were going into the pool? Did the midwife give you restrictions on when you could get in etc.
You can move about so easily - I had SPD and could actually move around in the pool to get comfy in between and for contractions. I've used a heated pool which was fantastic - no worries about waiting to get in, or topping it up during labour. Although we have a combi boiler that was a concern with an unheated pool.
I could be as close to DH as I wanted, holding hands etc but I was in my own warm cocoon. And there was no 'interference' from MW. On dry land i'd previously had a MW reach over and give me an internal without consent - none of that in the pool.
I caught DC and brought to the surface, then held on until placenta came out - although I then cut the cord which led to a farscial few minutes of me having to fish round the pool trying to find the placenta ... eventually I caught the end of the cord and had to pull to find it, and it was slippery and huge and quite frankly i'd got the giggles by then and dropped it back in a few times. So, don't cut the cord until you have both baby and placenta out of the pool!
It was lovely.
I had SPD as well and the pool really helps, I didn't gave an internal before getting in, it was obvious to me and the midwife that things were moving quickly!
I think they like you to be at least 4cm before getting in? As sometimes iut can slow down labour.
I've had 2 home wb for my 2 daughters.
First dd was 10lb 12oz and born using only the water for pain relief barring the odd swig of G&A. It was hard as it was a first birth but the water made a huge difference to the pain. When I got out of the water it was much less comfortable.
2nd dd was also home wb and amazing. Only restriction/ intervention was waiting for the mw to arrive before getting in the pool. Other than that she didn't touch me until afterwards. It was much much easier second time because i knew what I was doing, what to expect and I also used a hypnobirthing programme.
Pm me if you want to read my birth story in full.
To add I also had SPD and the water was wonderful for that as i could get into birth positions I'd never get into otherwise eg flipping from being on my front to my back and over again.
I spent several hours in a birthing pool. Once I was 4cm I was allowed in, and I spent most of the day in there. It was very relaxing and definitely helped with the pain. Unfortunately I had to get out as DD wasn't moving down and I ended up with forceps but I'd still recommend a water birth for that stage of labour.
I had a water birth with DS2 and it was magical - honestly one of the most lovely (if intense) experiences of my life so far. I went into labour and spent 3 hours at home in the bath then got to hospital where I was examined - I was 8 cm dilated and jumped straight in the pool. I had him 50 mins later, no tears and only a little gas and air at the end. I found it really private, like being in a little cocoon and barely remember the midwife being there. I spent most of my time leaning fowards almost on all fours as it felt the most natural position. I pooed in the pool just before DS2 appeared - it wasn't a issue, I couldn't help it and I presume the midwife removed it as there was no floaters! (they have a little net thing by the side of the pool I noticed....). I was first to lift DS2 up and cuddle him after he bobbed up - magical! They then drained the pool and I had to waddle out with him attached to deliver the placenta on the bed. Go for it if you can!
Oooh watching with interest....
Do you just rock up at hospital (in labour obviously) and ask for pool? DD came out in a rush so i wasnt bothered about anything else but pushing when i got there but id like to have a water birth or at least the option this time
prob should have asked all this before getting overdue
As I understand when you phone to say you are on your way you advise them you would like the pool.
My local hospitals only have 1 so its pot luck if its free
May be different depending on hospital. Could you add it to your birth plan?
It depends on the hospital. Mine recomended you.phone beforehand and say you want the pool and then they get iy ready for you.
Thanks ladies, if this baby ever comes out ill ring and request one.
I had a home birth for my first baby and only got to use the pool for an hour or so because it slowed my contractions down
I was devastated, it was so helpful with the contractions!
I got in at around 7cm dilated
Next time (did I just say next time!?!) I'm just going to stay in it whatever they say
I used a pool for all three of my (home) births. The first two times I got in at about 5cm - 9/10cm dilated, and then both times I wanted to get out and give birth on dry land. So I did.
For our last baby, DH wanted to catch DS in the pool as he was born, so he encouraged me to stay in. So at the point of no return I pushed DS out in the water on all 4s and DH fished him out and put him on my chest.
All perfect births at home. I felt like a manatee each time, but was absolutely lovely.
Also agree with the person who said up-thread that it feels a lot more private labouring in a pool - kind of like "this is my space and you're not allowed in it" which gave me some control back during the contractions which felt like they were controlling me!
I had a water birth with DS (again only had him so nothing to compare it to) but I'd do it again.
I spent the early part of my labour either in the bath or with my tens on. Got to the mlu at about 6-7cm and got into the pool shortly after with gas and air. DS was born just over an hour later.
You do feel like you have a bit more privacy and it was easier to move myself from sitting to kneeling in the water.
Thanks ladies for sharing great reading
I had a water birth with DS 1. Got in at 6cm not long after arrival at hospital. Warm water really helped psychologically although he was back to back so obviously still painful! Once I was in there was no way I was moving! When he came out he just sort of floated up to me, which was lovely. I had asked for pool when I phoned and they said there was another woman wanting it and waiting, but luckily for me my labour went much faster than hers so I got in first and then when I got out they cleaned it out and she had it next! For DS2 I requested it again but they'd only got as far as turning the taps on when he popped out before anyone was expecting him (least of all me!). However, after the placenta etc the pool was then full of lovely warm water so they asked me if I wanted to get in just to relax, which was great. I would really recommend trying it.
I had a waterbirth, in hospital with my first.
It all happened pretty quickly when we arrived in hospital and the midwives had to help fill the pool up with buckets of water as I was stripping off and saying "it's time, it's time!!"
I really liked the fact that it was so "hands off" for everyone else. I delivered my dd myself, no one touched her until she was on my chest.
I wanted a home water birth with my second. I got my home birth, but the pool arrived about 4 hours after ds did as I was told not to order it before I got to 37 weeks. ds arrived at 37+2!
I ended up just using the tens machine with ds and it was all very calm and quiet - think the hypnobirthing book and cd I used helped with that. I felt very in control.
I got into the birthing pool at the hospital after being in labour already for over 24 hours. It was lovely in terms of easing pain, but I ended up just v.hot and wrinkled so got out after two hours and found I was no further dilated. Would definitely try it again though.
waterbirth at home. Great birth, but just as good was putting it up some nights for a few weeks beforehand and having a lovely comfortable laze in supportive floaty warm water.
My body INSISTED on getting OUT NOW NOW! to deliver. but it was lovely to have for the labour.
will be stalking this thred, currently debating water birth too
i had 2 waterbirths,one in hospital oe at home,both were amazing but home had the edge.
One thing i didnt like was both times i had to get out the pool quite soon after giving birth because they werent sure how much blood id lost,it can look like a lot in the water,it was ine both times though.
I didnt poo either,i think i did all that in early labour.
was in labour around 2-3 hours both times and was in the pool for most of it,got in at about 8cm as thats how far i was whe the mw got here to examine me.
I caught my babies myself,it was amazing and lovely and i would recommend it to anyone!
I read somewhere that they can put something in the water to stop you going wrinkly? Does anyone know if that's true, and if hospitals do it as standard?
Also (sorry to boycott the thread) what did you wear in pool?
I thought I would prob be more comfortable naked as if I had a t-shirt or tankini top on, and i ever needed to get out pool for the toilet or examination etc then I would get cold quickly. Is naked easier to then just chuck a dressing gown or towel round you when you get out?
OP, I was 37 hours into a 38 hour labour
and I'm still bitter about that when I got in to deliver DD, so yes, 10cm and definitely onto the pushing stage. This wasn't through choice - a pool became available at the 11th hour and was rolled in. My labour was horrendous but getting into the pool was the most amazing relief (albeit because it co-insided with the pushing rather than transition). I was on my knees facing the wall of the pool for the main but once DD's head was nearly out they spun me around so that I could see her being born (so, sat down on my bum but kind of tilted upwards and knees bent). Babies do that lovely thing of slowly turning their heads round before the shoulders come out and I have to say it was the most magical experience of my life, seeing DD's little face turn round underwater. It's an image I'm going to take to my grave and the most wonderful thing imaginable. I'm so grateful to my midwife for suggesting I turn round.
Tip: I actually found the water quite hot - I don't know how they regulate these things - and I asked the midwife if I could have more cold. She said no, that's the temp the baby needs it to be, but luckily I had a little spray bottle with me and DP was able to spritz my face with it throughout.
LOLZ @Littlemissexpecting. Really you won't care about going wrinkly or clothes, but FWIW, I wore a long T-shirt, but yes, naked is also good, like I say, I was very hot.
I had my dd in the pool in Sep. I was nervous about taking my TENs machine off, as it was helping, but as soon as I got in it was fine. I spent 4 hours in the pool. The sense of weightlessness really helped. I delivered in the pool and was the first person to hold my baby.
I did poo but I didn't notice at the time (I asked DH recently). The only downside was a sore chin the next day from resting it on the edge. Take a flannel to help with this.
It was amazing. I actually quite enjoyed my labour and birth experience. I felt empowered.
I was 8cm when I arrived at the hospital. TENs machine and birth ball at home really worked for me!
I had DS at home in a water pool I got from eBay and bought new liner for.
I used it a lot during a three day labour.
Went into labour Friday and had baths and walked and stamped about.
Sat afternoon sat in it, very hot water,zoning out and contracting.
Very exhausted but found water slowed it down. Got out and drained pool. Used TENS.
Finally had 9lb baby on Sunday morning in it. Water was a bit tepid second time around but liked the privacy - midwives arrived about 4am and wanted to exam me but I was in transition and wouldn't get out. Then started pushing whilst they sat in other room and wrote notes about how I wasn't cooperating and they might be justified in leaving!
They came in as could here something was different, DH me and my fab doula were all knackered by then!
Monitored with handheld Doppler and looking for the purple line as I squatted and was on all fours. Gave gas and air but I didn't use it properly until I was stitched up later - when you push it is hard to use the gas properly because you breathe differently. I didn't actually try and push,my body just went into spasms that delivered the baby.
Baby swam into my arms and then I got out of the pool and delivered placenta very efficiently without injection into a bucket.
I tore but I am still very glad I had our baby at home in the pool.
Afterwards we got into bed and had tea and toast.
The toast was the nicest thing ever eaten.
My hospital has lots of pools and advises that anyone who wants one can have one. But when I got there they said there was only enough staff for one person to be having a water birth and someone else was already having it. I ended up with an emergency c section anyway. Good luck.
"Then started pushing whilst they sat in other room and wrote notes about how I wasn't cooperating and they might be justified in leaving!"
I had a Maternity unit water birth and then a Home water birth, both lovely experiences that I'd recommend to anyone. I have also looked after many women having water births and generally find that if you enjoy water for relief in late pregnancy, ie lots of baths! Then you'll love it for labour.
I had a water birth in the MW unit for my second.
The pool took so long to fill up that I only went in once the urge to push had started, but DS took ages to come out, so I was in for quite a while.
I too found the warm water really soothing. And DS swimming up to me was amazing. I actually found the height of the pool wall really good for pressing down on when I was pushing.
And yes, definitely what others said that it felt more private. But then DD two years before had involved what felt like 100 medical professionals so it wouldn't be hard!
DD1 was a waterbirth
Laboured and delivered in the pool (was in there for about 5 hours in total so they had to keep refilling for warmth.
Very positive experience for me - with no pain relief, the warm water was the most relaxing thing you could hope for and as soon as i got in I didn't want to get out.
I was naked and that was fine. I agree with the poster who said it helped me feel in control and a little dignified (bits all underwater)
The most amazing aspect though, had to be the actual birth. DD took a few contractions to get out so there was this extraordinary few minutes where the head was out but not the body. Her eyes were open and she was just starting up at me through the water, then she came out completely and swam straight up to me. I will never forget that moment and I get butterflies thinking about it now seven years later.
And bonus upon bonus, she looked clean
I had two babies in water and like the other posters on here, the memories of them are haunting - in a good way. I can relive those amazing moments with absolute clarity.
I would not have stayed so calm without the water, it really helped me stay on top of the contractions. (mostly -with a little tantrumming in transition) This meant that I was completely focused and aware at the moment that each baby was born.
If you get in too soon and the MW thinks it is slowing down your labour, she will make you get out again, which I would think might be a bit cold and annoying in the short term. (didn't happen to me)
If you have the pool at home you are guaranteed to have water, but not in a hospital or MLU. Without the water I don't know if I would have coped so maybe have a pain relief plan B if not at home?
I had dc2 in a MLU and was told I was not allowed in the water till I had had a trace for an hour. This was painful - being still and flat on my back in full labour. I was ok because after dc1 I had the firm and absolute belief that the water would solve all my problems and I just had to get through that one hour. Came as a surprise to me though, don't know if this is standard.
Whether at home or in hospital you can be naked in the pool as there will be no one else there but your partner and the MW. I didn't think I would be, but that is what was obviously expected and that is what I did. No one will stop you wearing clothes though if you want to.
You might poo. Oh well. Only at the end though when you are about to have your lovely baby and get out anyway.
you can still do anything you want in the water. My lovely MW brought me toast from a trolley when breakfast came round, about 2 hours before dc2 was born, in case I was flagging. I nibbled it over the side of the bath like a cow. It's not like a swimming pool where you are cut off from civilisation!
Of course: if you don't like it, all you have to do is get out. It's not like an injection, where if it makes you feel sick, you're stuck with it.
We had our dc1 in a pool in the dining room at home. dp said a few days before, "are you allowed to give birth in rented accommodation?" I said, "What's he going to do, put it back in?" you do need to put it on a ground floor though unless you are very very sure about the floor. (There is numerical info about weight-bearing stuff that comes with the pool. We just decided to keep it on the ground floor)
I just had a waterbirth on Wednesday. I was already fully dilated when I got to the birthing centre, and thought I had missed my chance but the lovely midwife said there was still time to fill the pool if I wanted it. By that time, the pool didn't really make any difference to the pain but did feel more comforting and it was easier to move around and change position than on dry land.
The actual birth was a great experience, I could see baby's head in the water and with the next push she turned and then with the following contraction I gave birth and lifted her on to my chest myself. It was amazing to see it happen despite the pain which was no different to with my first dc (birth on bed).
The water was really comfortable and warm, they checked the temp regularly and topped up as necessary. It was also surprisingly clear even at the end, despite the fact my waters hadn't gone until I actually gave birth to her.
I had a WB and I would definitely recommend it. It was a lovely experience. As other posters have said you feel like you have more privacy- the midwives sat quite far away so my partner and I felt it was just the two of us.
The contractions were more painful when I got out to go to the toilet a couple of times so I'm sure the water helps.
It was a little bit freaky when my DD's head popped out and she had to stay there under the water until my next contraction pushed the rest of her out but I figured they wouldn't offer water deliveries if babies sometimes open their mouths under water!
Agree with everyone!
DS born in a pool at home, no checking on how dilated I was, the mw just said get in when you want.
What I would say is when I got in the contractions suddenly upped a notch or two in intensity, but the relief I felt was immense. Hardly any pressure at all.
Massive poo, so have a sieve ready
and a dh who doesn't laugh too much
Agree it felt hot, I drank so much cold water, made dh fill a bowl because THAT"S NOT ENOUGH
And leaning over the edge of the pool was the perfect position to grab onto DH and hold him by the belt
giving him a massive wedgie
Bringing my DS out of the water was still the most wonderful moment of my entire life. I will never ever ever forget it.
"It was a little bit freaky when my DD's head popped out and she had to stay there under the water until my next contraction pushed the rest of her out but I figured they wouldn't offer water deliveries if babies sometimes open their mouths under water!" Yes! DD's head was out but under water for what seemed like ages until the next contraction. With her little glassy eyes open. Freaky but so beautiful!
I had WB with dd (DC3) and it was amazing. I can clearly remember the first moments after birth but can't really with my DS 1&2 who were born on dry land.
The pool is really warm, I was shivering and shaking before I got in (even though it was the hottest day of the year) and getting in the pool stopped that.
Only things I'd warn you about are I had to keep standing up for them to listen to the baby's heartbeat with one of those microphone things (?!) because the underwater one was very wonky and kept crackling. Also during the crowning stage the MW brought out this mirror on a long stick and a big flashlight to see if everythings coming out properly. Although that could be because I insisted the room was dark, as couldn't I stand the light. I was only vaginally examined once during the 4 hour labour and IMO that can only be a good thing .
I absolutely hated it, but I was forced into it by the MW, who refused to give me the pain relief I wanted unless I tried it. I am still furious about it, and felt bullied and violated by her attitude. It was my fourth birth, she was 9lbs10oz and back to back. Luckily I labour very fast so it was over quickly but I am full of sadness that my last birth was so awful. I try hard not to think about it.
DD1 was a water birth. I've always been a bit of a fish so it was perfect for me! I was induced so wasn't sure i could use it, but as i laboured naturally post-pessary they treated me as if i'd turned up in labour! Was in the pool from 5cm, about 4am-8:30am.
DH and DM had to hold me up between contractions at the end, as I was so tired i kept blacking out. MW pretty much stayed with me and left me to it.
Couldn't do the same with DD2 and DS as i was induced on syntocin.
Hi there, I have had four water births and I think that they are marvellous! The two best things about water births are the blissful distracting warmth and the ability to move about freely when you are at your most cumbersome. Another bonus is that your baby is given a bit of a wash on his or her way up to be held, so are really quite clean when you get your first glimpse of your little angel! I also think that the warm water can slow labour a bit, which I liked, because it was less of a shock when the birth actually happened and I don't think the contractions were as intense. Good luck!
I laboured in the pool for 3 hours from about 5cm dilated, but then got hauled out for the last hour due the pain when getting out of the water was awful and made me realise how much the water was helping - I was gas and air throughout. The last hour was a bugger on dry land and I really wanted DS to be born in the water but he was safer out.
I vomited in the pool so much while in labour with dd2 that I had to get out of the pool. I ended up with emcs. All up, I've had four sections. Oh well. They are here and they are safe. Each first look at them has been magical.....
I had a water birth with my youngest. It was so much better than the other births from a pain management and feeling in control perspective
Both my DDs were born in the water, first in hospital and second at home. The moment I got in with DD1 (at the midwife's suggestion) there was no way I was getting out. I was about 6cm when I got in and she was born after about 40mins in the pool. Had gas and air. I found being able to float on my back/in a sitting position very nice. After that, I really couldn't conceive how I would give birth on dry land so we hired a pool for the home birth and I spend about the same amount of time in the water again. I did do a poo in the water with DD2 but my wonderful DH scooped it out! TBH I wasn't really in the right state of mind to care or be embarrassed!
Awwww my waterbirth with DC3 was the easiest of my four, it was lovely. Think I was around 6cm when I got in but progressed very quickly from there and she was born about 40 minutes later. I was induced due to my heart being a bit unhappy with late pregnancy so I was being monitored fairly closely (BP & O2 sats every half hour or so) but even with that, I still felt left to my own wee private space.
I wish I'd had one with DC4 but I thought I knew everything and maintained for the last 6 hours of labour that her birth was imminent because that was the point where DC3 had been born
I did about 3 contractions in the pool then had to get out. felt like I kept floating around and I couldn't stay still and concentrate. also, I kept worrying that I would not be able to reach my gas and air mouth piece...
I had a water birth with DD (my first) back in June. It was at a midwifery unit rather than the local hospital
cattle market though. They have about 3 births a week there so it was pretty much guaranteed it would be available. (Have you looked into any units locally? I really would recommend them, as we had three midwives all to ourselves, it was like being in a hotel!) I think you have to have had a fairly trouble free pregnancy, a good HB/blood pressure and be pretty low risk.
I went to the unit at 3pm, after having contractions all morning (and on and off the day/night before) it was 40miles away so was quite worried about leaving it too late.
When we got there I was examined and was only 4cms, so was encouraged to go for a walk around the grounds for an hour or so. It was a lovely warm summers afternoon!
I was in "established labour" by 8pm, and stayed as active as possible, I wanted to really try my pain threshold and not give in too soon iyswim? They began to fill the pool around 11, and while waiting I started on the gas and air.
Getting into the pool was the biggest relief from the pain, and I was more comfortable than I had been my whole pregnancy.
I gave birth at 10.20 in the morning, and stayed in the pool the whole time (occasionally getting out to be examined and go for a wee!!) it was the most incredible experience, that pool was my bubble that no one could invade. My mum and 20 y/o (extremely body conscious) sister could also sit in the room chatting too me without me without awkwardness and come and go as they pleased. I found labour a lot slower than I expected and I don't think I would have been able to do it on dry land. When it came to pushing my body just took over, she was born in the water and placed straight into my chest while OH cut the cord.
Gosh, it's made me a little emotional. Really hope you get that water birth OP, it really is magic.
I got in at 5cm and then labour slowed down to a standstill and had to transfer to hospital - whether it was due to the pool or not I'll never know but I do think that I got too hot.
Other down side is that you have to take off your TENS machine, so not sure I'd do it again.
Oh and I didn't poo (had managed to expel prior to getting in) or tear (just grazed apparently so no need for stitches) although as it felt like I'd just given birth to the stern of the Titanic and was convinced I'd need stapling up!!! I have no doubt the water definitely helped that.
I had DD2 at home in a pool, and as far as giving birth goes, it was lovely! I get some kind of weird mental paralysis when in labour and I really struggle to move. I can't stand, I can't walk, I can't move myself about on a bed. This made DD1's birth very traumatic, flat on my back on a hospital bed.
With DD2 I was on the sofa when the midwife asked if I wanted to get in the pool. I said yes, but that I would need help. So she and DH helped get me undressed and into the pool. Wow, it was amazing! It was so much warmer than I expected it to be, and I could move about freely. DD2 was back-to-back so the MW kept asking me to change positions to help get her out. And it was so wonderful being able to just float into new positions! Out of the pool I wouldn't have been able to do that.
It was nice having that rest with DD2 half out, knowing she was safe and snug under the water, and then the sensation of her floating free and lifting her gently up through the water to snuggle on my chest. All very peaceful and gentle.
If I were to do it again I'd probably get out before delivering the placenta (I chose a natural third stage so there was plenty of time to get out) since it got a bit messy at that stage. But otherwise, it was fantastic and I can't recommend it enough.
I had DD at home in a pool. It was great for pain relief, but it did slow things down. At one point the midwives made me get out and walk up and down the stairs, and then DD appeared very soon after.
I wore a tankini top, whoever it was up thread that asked.
I am just making my birth plan and had thought that I wouldn't like a waterbirth cos I thought it would end up like some kind of weird grim soup by the end... this thread has totally changed my mind! I love how often the word cocoon has been used - and the thing about being in control - one of the things i'm scared of is not being in control of the whole thing - my MLU has one pool so i think it's pot luck if it's available. also I think it would be cool to feel like a manatee
i ended up with a 4th degree tear
I've had two water births and would highly recommend them, especially if you're the kind of person who finds baths relaxing or soothing.
I agree with those who say the pool adds a slight separation from the rest of the world. Considering that there were three other people (MW, student MW and DH) in the room the first time, plus another MW popping in and out, it felt very private. I could move around much more easily in the water, and it just felt good.
I had a slight tear (no stitches) each time but the second one was mostly due to the speed with which DD2 arrived - I don't think anything could have prevented that from happening!
In terms of clothing, I'm normally very self-conscious but by that point so many people had examined me that I had had no modesty left and just wanted to be comfortable so went in the pool naked. The midwives have seen it all before. I was also surprisingly unphased by the tiny bit of poo, as beforehand I'd been really anxious about it. In fact, it was quite funny so eased the tension (in any case, it's good practice as dealing with poo will be a BIG part of your life for the next year or so!)
One thing I hadn't thought about beforehand was that the water would wash off the blood and gunk from the baby. I'm sure I wouldn't have been bothered if they hadn't been 'washed' but it was kind of nice that they were (hope that doesn't make me sound like the kind of person who's really neurotic about cleanliness - it's just one of those random thoughts that popped into my head when I first held DD).
The one bit I didn't like is that you have to get out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I was still quite wobbly so getting out was a bit tricky. Also, I was comfortable and didn't really want to get out, and certainly didn't want to let go of my beautiful baby in order to lug myself back into 'the real world'!
Just noticed that I'm not the only one commenting about clean babies. Phew!
You don't have to get out to deliver the placenta, I didn't, midwife happy for me to deliver it into the pool, then they clamped the cord and cut it and she just fished it out if the pool.
tried it and it did nothing for me so got out again. I think it is mainly because I like hot baths and it felt lukewarm to me. I couldn't use the tens machine which did help.
I wanted one so badly with both mine! first time the pool wasnt available, second time (boxing day!) it took us an hour to drop off our toddler and drive through a rain and hail storm to the hospital (bloody car broke down) and as I walked into the room I said 'pool!' emphatically. They started the water but the nice MW asked me to hop up on the table while it filled so she could examine me, and suddenly I had to push and DS2 was born 15 minutes/three pushes later!
The pool LOOKED lovely. I gazed at it while they stitched me. . . I am not having any more but if I were it'd be a home wb. I've done one long labour with all the drugs and one under 2 hours with none, and infinitely prefer the latter.
zzzzz "I absolutely hated it, but I was forced into it by the MW, who refused to give me the pain relief I wanted unless I tried it. I am still furious about it, and felt bullied and violated by her attitude. It was my fourth birth, she was 9lbs10oz and back to back. Luckily I labour very fast so it was over quickly but I am full of sadness that my last birth was so awful. I try hard not to think about it."
Me too! It was my first birth and I was forced into it by evil triage MW who refused to give me painrelief.
For my second one I had an epidural which was the Best Thing Ever.
I had dd2 in water. I went into the bath to labour while the MW filled up the pool for the water birth and I had her in the bath.
Very fast, very painful, and i still tore, but she was out in 3 pushes ( and in the sac)
I would definitely do it again if I was going to have another child ( I am not)
I had a water birth for dd2, it was lovely! Got in at 8cm, baby out less than half hour later! Highly recommend it!
Had 4 babies - last 2 in water. Did it with the hypnobirthing CD in my head that I'd done both times. Much calmer, less painful experience but no drugs allowed.Was a big tens fan to point of getting in water and was worried about losing the tens but once in water there was no way I was getting our. Delivered both in the water butt naked and to be honest I couldn't have cared less. MW sitting on the loo and DH over the side holding my hand. Amazing - I would highly recommmend it.
I had DS2 in the pool at the hospital. DS1 was born with me flat on my back after hours of monitoring and was quite stressful. Felt very out of control. So with DS2 I almost refused to go to the hospital at all, but panicky mother persuaded DH to force me in! Nearly didn't get to use the pool as someone else wanted it but we got there first. Also I was very shaky and shivery and had been sick - apparently my body goes into a kind of shock state during labour, happened with both of them. Midwife was reluctant to let me in the pool while I was in shock, but wonderful DH put his foot down on my behalf.
Once in the pool the relief was amazing. Thought I would be embarrassed about being naked but just stripped off and got in and never gave it a second thought! With hindsight I wish I'd put a top of some sort on as we can't really show the first photos to many people as my boobs are rather on display in them!! Had gas & air and felt like I was in my own little world. Midwife asked several times if it was okay for student midwives to come and watch for a bit..."Whatever..." So chilled! The contractions did still hurt, but sort of felt like they were happening to someone else, or that I was removed from them somehow.
Seem to remember a little net being used at one point, but very discreet. DS2 was born in the water, still in his sac. Don't remember seeing him come out TBH but that could have been because my ginormous bump was in the way! Got out to deliver the placenta as that's what midwife requested...it was a bit grim walking across the floor trailing blood behind me...looked like something from a horror film .
Altogether a wonderful experience that if I was going to have another I would definitely want to repeat...can't recommend it enough. Also, just to add, I'm not normally a bath kind of person...I get to hot and lightheaded, and was worried this would be a problem with a waterbirth, but wasn't like that at all, just lovely. DH says he felt a bit redundant though, so maybe I should have made more effort to involve him. I say go for it...like someone else said, if it turns out you don't like it you can always get out.
I have had both my kids in a birthing pool. I can highly recommend.
With DD I arrived and was about 3-4 cm dilated so they started filling up the pool while I got undressed during which time I rapidly dilated to 9 cm and staggered into the pool. The relief was was immense when I finally got in.
It was a bit awkward at first to find a comfortable position but there were lots of options and I quickly settled. At first I was wearing a baggy maternity nightdress in the water but this quickly got in the way so in the end I was naked. Birth was painful but not unbearable and I didn't tear as at that point Id been in the water for about an hour and a half.
With DS I arrived at the hospital and was again 3cm so got into the pool. My contractions had been a bit sporadic but as Id dilated so fast with DD I didnt want to stray too far. We sat in the room for 4 hours with me in the tub. Not much was happening so they got me out and re examined me and I was still only 3 cm. They said I would have to get dressed and go for a walk or something. I think my body knew this was not an option and again I rapidly dilated as I got off the examination couch. I was stuck between the bed and the pool unable to move and going through Transition with DS about to make an appearance. My MW and DH literally picked me up and chucked me back into the pool. DS was born less than 20 min later and with 3 pushes.
With both births the worst thing was being examined afterwards for tears etc. I had to be out of the pool (obviously) for this and therefore had absolutely no painkillers on board. It was excruciating- much worse than either birth had been. Thankfully the water had softened everything nicely and I had grazes only in each case.
After each birth, the pool was drained immediately by the midwives. A bit of blood and poo was left in the bottom of the pool. I had a shower in the en suite bathroom and they cleaned up baby and weighed them and did first feed, tea and toast etc. For my first labour I was staying in overnight, so was then transferred to the post natal ward. For my sons birth they didn't have any beds at first so I begged to go home and stayed in the birthing pool room. Whilst waiting to be discharged all my family came to meet the new arrival and had to put up with the sight of the remnants of birth lying at the bottom of the pool. I kept trying to get DH to rinse it out a bit. My DD was fascinated and wanted to take a closer look! It was amazing to think she had been born in the same spot only two years earlier!
If you go for a pool birth I can recommend wearing a small vest top in the pool and remember to bring a dressing gown in case you get made to walk around for a bit and for straight after the birth as you will be freezing.
For me, the pain relief the warm water gives is indescribable.
Remember that you if you don't like the water you can get out. You can still labour in the water and birth on dry land.
Have laboured in the water with all 3 of mine (1 hospital and 2 hb) but got out to deliver each time. I'm sure that it is why I have yet to tear as surely soaking in the water softens everything up!
I wanted to get out to deliver each time, I felt too spaced out and relaxed in the pool to push effectively! Then also avoided the placenta waddle/clamber mentioned above...
Dd was a water birth in a MLU and it was great. I got in the water after being in labour for about 5 hours and was about 6-7cm, I'd been walking around lots and my legs were getting very shakey so it was a real relief to get in the water & feel supported. I found it instantly took the edge of the contractions but I started using gas & air after a while too. I found being on all fours the best position & dp's job was to hold the gas & air over the edge of the pool for me to puff away at. Dd was born in the water after about 2.5 hours of me being in there. I remember it feeling quite dreamy but that could have been the g&a!
One word of warning, DP still talks about the pool & room (where id staggered out of the pool & onto the bed to deliver placenta & have a few stitches) looking like a scene from Jaws after a shark attack, which I was obvious too but I think he was a bit shocked by! The midwives cleared it all up really quickly though.
DS was a normal on the bed on my back labour. Only had gas and air but was pushing for ages and needed stitches.
DD was a water birth, was out in a few pushes and needed no stitches. This was without a doubt the better birth (helped by the fact it was in a brand new birthing centre).
We're not having anymore children now but if it were to happen again I'd def go for a water birth again.
Had a water birth at home with DC2...it was amazing! She was back to my back (DC1 was the same), so labour was difficult, but once I got in the pool, it felt so nice to stretch and float. The water was so good, I didn't need the gas and air!! I would recommend it.
i got in a pool at 3cm with the midwife going, 'er you are not technically in established labour' but contractions had suddenly upped a gear and a pool was available. the relief was incredible. water is clearly my thing. about an hour later a different midwife bloody said it again 'well you've got a long way to go - you are not even in established labour' i said can you stop bloody saying that please! and the next contraction i started pushing!
it actually all got a bit complicated after that even tho said midwife said 'ooh delivery in 10mins' and i did end up with a cs (refused forceps - i was a vbac and they were going to have to rotate him too er no thanks) ds2's head was tilted/swollen/he was back to back/there was a cervical lip that kept returning/i had to get out of the pool noooooo!/loooong 2nd stage etc etc
basically soooo many variables to a birth story sometimes!
but the pool was excellent. just be informed. hope for a good midwife!
I had a waterbirth with DD and would definitely recommend it, the water is very relaxing and I agree about it giving you a degree of privacy. It's still labour though !
Moved to the backward provinces before I had DC2 and waterbirth not available as apparently they were re-decorating the room. This resulted in me staying at home in bath for most of first stage and then a quick dash to hospital round the corner where DS was born half hour later !
I had planned a home watherbirth with my son, but ended up have a dry land hospital birth - didn't make it in to the water as I had to go in to hospital for monitioring.
With my 2nd birth my daughter was born in to the water at home. It was an amazing experience. I was in the water for about an hour before she was born. I didn't have any examinations and was able to get in to the water when I felt I needed to.
I agree with several others that it felt quite private in the water and the painrelief it provided was great (just had a little gas and air).
It was a bit of a bloodbath afterwards and I had to get out to deliver the placenta as the Midwives were worried about bloodloss.
If I have another birth I would hope to do so in water, scooping our baby up out of the pool and in to my embrace was so special.
It was summer, I was too hot
It eased the pain slightly, but also made it harder for me to ease the remaining pain
When I gave up and got out, things had hardly progressed (the water slowed everything down)
Wouldn't do it again
I had a hospital water birth with DC3 (I had epidurals with DC1&2) and I loved it. I would definitely want another one if I was going to give birth again.
I was 6cm when I arrived in hospital and got straight in the pool. The warm water was very soothing and it was so nice to be so floaty and mobile after months of sciatica and a huge bump weighing me down.
I had gas and air throughout and kept dropping the mouth piece in the pool as the contractions were quite intense. This wasn't a problem. The MWs kept an eye on DS using the doppler under water and a mirror to see where the head was up to. They also kept bringing me cups of water and a straw which I really needed! I ended up in the squatting position leaning over the side, clinging on to DH. I was only in the water for 40 mins before DS was born, luckily I'd had a <ahem> clear out before labour so there was nothing to sieve out of the water! I didn't do any pushing, my body seemed to take over. The only slight difficulty was that when the crowning started I was half standing because of the intensity, it's really important to keep the whole head under water and the midwives were trying to talk me down into the water in the midst of my shouting. They were able to sort it (after I moved down slightly) by filling the pool to the brim. They had to ease his body out because he was quite large but he was passed through my legs to me and we cuddled in the pool. He was shocked by the speed at which he'd come through the birth canal so he was given some oxygen while I held him in the water. I had a small 2nd degree tear, I didn't feel it at the time though.
All in all it was lovely.
hi I have only just had my first and was lucky enough to get a pool birth as I had wanted. the words "the pool is ready now" is the best sentence I have ever heard!
as soon as I entered the water I felt so relaxed ...did it naked which assisted with that ...within minutes my body was pushing all on its own! I was so relaxed between contractions I almost fell asleep and the inbuilt pillow that I thought was so comfy turned out to be a handle that I bruised my head pushing against. I didn't poo though I kept thinking I was going to but I had nothing left in me
from my experience and other tales as it was a water birth and things were going well there was little interference from the midwifes just heart monitoring of baby. and when her head came out my h could see her and me at the same time and babys head moved to adjust soldiers for birth all on her own with help of the water. I touched her first but needed help to pick her out she was like a bar of soap! I didn't have any gas and air during the birth had lots for the stiches and to celebrate afterwards!
think d was very relaxed during birth and now loves baths. midwives said they love pool born babies cos they are nice and clean! they don't bath newborns for 24hrs. nexttime I would love to have pool birth at home! midwives said I should after I finished next time and I was like hell yeah! gave birth to placenta naturally midwives pursuaded me cos they said if I was doing birth naturally I should try that took ages and felt as hard as the birth at some points wouldn't recommend it!
5madthings it depends what hospital your in whether you need to get out to deliver placenta depends on their policy.
They can't make you get out.
The consultant told me I had to, the midwife who was actually there when I delivered said it was fine to stay in.
I delivered the placenta naturally in the pool. There was no mention of getting out.
One thing - I did have to wait to "dry out" before they could stitch my tear. Not a problem really but they can't do it whilst the tissues are all soft from the water apparently.
I had waterbirths at home for DS3 and DS4. They were two of the happiest moments of my life.
The midwives encouraged me to let go and let my body do what it wanted and I flopped around in the water, listening to my favourite tracks whilst riding through the contractions. The water really minimised the pain and it was a truly pleasurable experience both times.
Best was being the one to catch the baby, put him straight on my breast and cuddle. Both of us slightly shivering and shocked but suddenly two people rather than one.
I think the key was the midwife team whom I had got to know throughout my pregnancy. They were relaxed and friendly. Like having friends, holding your hand through what was a completely wonderful process. In fact for the second time my DH was fairly redundant. He handed out canapes to the midwives and posted twitter/facebook updates because I was getting the keys too wet hopping in and out of the water.
If you have a straightforward pregnancy and a supportive home birth team, live quite close to a hospital (just in case) I would recommend it. When DS was born in the evening we cleared up, had a curry, went to bed and woke up with a slightly larger but very happy and relaxed family.
I laboured in water about four weeks ago, but got out to deliver. I spent seven hours in the pool (first baby) and cannot describe how beneficial it was as an analgesic. By the time the midwife arrived, I was in quite a lot of discomfort and getting in the pool was a massive relief. It was only a couple of hours later, though, that I realised just how beneficial it was. I got out to go to the loo, had a contraction and it was complete agony. Got back in the pool and everything was completely manageable again.
Although I had wanted to deliver in water, I wasn't able to get into a position that allowed the baby to drop down. I did end up with a serious tear, but it was a big baby and I feel the whole experience would have been much less manageable had I not been in the water for long, and, therefore, been so relaxed. If we have another baby, water will definitely been involved....I would defiantly have needed other pain relief had I not been in the pool.
One thing to think about, though, my husband spent a lot of time topping up the hot water. If you are having a HB, it might be worth considering making sure you have an extra person around who can deal with that, as losing your primary birthing partner constantly can be one a bit difficult to deal with.
Amazing experience, had both ds 1 and 2 in water and wld thoroughly recommend, helps with the pains, easy to move around in the water and i delivered my second ds by myself
Go for it I would say, a lovely experience all roundx
So glad this topic has come up! I'm 30w+4 and have been considering the pool.
Glad to see that it's possible to labour in the water and then come out to give birth, I think I'd be too nervous
of her drowning to actually give birth underwater
Daft question alert: if you do poo in the pool do they not then change the water?
Baby can't drown by being born in water....when they are inside you they are in a sac of amniotic fluid, so until they take their first breath of proper air their lungs are already full of fluid. They can't take that first breath until they are out of the water.
No, don't drain the pool for a small amount of poo...scoop it out really quickly with a net...bit like the five second food rule I guess!
LikeCandy - the midwife will keep the temperature of the water. Cold water could potentially stimulate the baby's breathing reflex, which is why the baby should be born into warm water, the same temperature as the body 37 degree C.
I've had two water briths.
This has been an amazing read thank you to the ladies who shared so far.
I did'nt have to wait to have my stitches done luckily, although I was only in the pool for about 45 minutes. The midwife drained the water before I delivered the placenta, and then a couple of minutes later I had my stitches done for a second degree tear.
Feeling of weightlessness fab...I was already 8cm dilated by time I got to hospital (first baby). I was able to use the gas and air in the pool and she was born in 40 mins. I did do a small 'oopsie' ;) but was all dealt with very quickly and with humour (midwife produced a kitchen sieve and scooped it out). Also water nice and warm, great handles on side to grip when contractions in full flow and handy ledges to use for your feet. I don't have a land birth to compare it to but would choose water again.
Had water births with all three of mine, one in hospital and two in birthing centres (MLUs). Pg with number 4 and couldn't consider not having a water birth, even though it means there is absolutely no access to drugs (MLU is twenty mins by car from hospital).
My first time I stayed on a bed for ages, but was hating it, just couldn't get into a comfortable position. Finally got into the pool (a big shamrock shaped thing with handles and ledges etc) and it was bliss - suddenly I could stretch when I needed to, curl up when I needed to, was warm, supported by the water, etc etc. Gas and air over the side of the bath, husband holding my hands (or rather I was gripping his), I was on my front most of the time.
The same for the second (except for a hairy moment when i overheard the new midwife tell the outgoing midwife that she had never done a water birth before...) and third was the best of all.
In each case I gave birth in the pool, on all fours, and turned around to be given the baby, which I cuddled in the warm pool, heaven. I got out onto the bed for the delivery of the placenta each time because it was a managed stage - and didn't notice anything going on because I was far too busy getting to know my babies. I tore with no 1 and 2 and not 3 - which I put down to being more relaxed and a quicker pushing stage.
(I also had pethidine on a bed for a previously known still birth - obviously horrid, but made far worse by being on 'dry land' and the yucky pethidine, so I do have something to compare water births to.)
The downsides are something I hear from other people -
Husband/midwives/the cleaners have told me that it looks like a bloodbath (ha).
A friends husband is 'hilarious' describing how the midwife gave him a fishing net to fish out any pooh (don't know if I did, I have never asked...)
It can slow things down - although I don't think that happened to me.
As I say - neither of the first two things are important when you are actually giving birth, you simply don't notice - and if it is slowing things down, you just get out...?
If you are the sort of person who loves wallowing in a hot bath, then I think it is wonderful. I have a friend who is a short shower active type girl, and she tried the bath and didn't like it at all. She ended up squatting on the floor...! You just don't know till you try I suppose.
The last thing to say is that I have been very lucky to have three water births with decent size and shape birthing pools. I have heard stories of girls who haven't seen the pools before they went into hospital, who have ended up in a small bath - not much good imho.
PS, I can't remember how long I was in the pool for each time, but hours and hours... midwives kept water at lovely temperature. Much hotter in 3rd birth and that helped a lot. Agree with the post which said less invasive if you are in the pool - I HATE those midwife 'inspections' - one midwife was so rough on my first labour that it hurt more than anything else!
With dc3 I went into the MLU at 7pm, was in the pool by 9pm, had him at 12.40 and was bizarrely at home by 2.45am... the midwives literally threw us in the car. Bit shellshocked!
thank you again to all the kind ladies sharing their stories
This has been amazing to read.. Am now starting to want a waterbirth after all your stories
My 7 week son was born in the hospital birthing pool (8lb 4oz) and the birth went smoothly with no pain relief required (I believe that the Marie Mongan Hypnobirthing course I went on made a huge difference to my approach). I wore a long t -shirt with buttons down the front for skin to skin contact immediately after delivery. Have been told that my delivery was quick for a first baby. Would def recommend- maybe you could go take a look at the one in your hospital?
I had a waterbirth at home with my little girl & as I've only had one baby so far I have nothing to compare it with.
I had a relatively long labour (27 hours) but will say the pool definitely eased the pain. I was only allowed to get in when I was 4cm dilated. Spent most of the time in the pool, occasionally getting out when the midwife wanted me to move around or go to the toilet.
My waters wouldn't break so even though I was 10cm dilated for a while, nothing was happening so they got me out the pool, broke my waters & the baby was born 40 minutes later. The pushing part was easy as pie! I actually didn't consciously push because I was worried I was going to poo in the water. I just let my muscles push her down the birth canal. I gave one tiny little push at the end & unfortunately tore (it was a 2nd degree tear) but otherwise she slipped out really easily. Unfortunately, the placenta wouldn't deliver afterwards so I had to be transferred to hospital but I would definitely do a water birth again.
DS born in a pool. Best pain relief EVER! Felt calmer in the water and able to move as I wanted nice and easily. Room quiet but two midwives there and DH so felt well supported.
Just remember getting and and breathing out a slow "ahhhhhh" of relief. Midwife said everyone does that.
DD. wanted home water birth. She had other ideas!
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