Can I ask some weird Qs about water birth??

(30 Posts)
NumberTwoDue Tue 25-Jun-13 15:17:40

We're thinking about a water birth for our second baby, having had a bit of a rubbish time last time... (Briefly, DD pooed about a billion times en route to this world, had the cord wrapped round her neck, I caught an infection mid-way through, resulting in antibiotics, induction drip as contractions were rubbish and finally an epidural and ventouse birth as she was in distress before a bit of time in NICU) ... I wanted a water birth last time, but obviously couldn't when it all went wrong and having now been through labour, and knowing how disgusting it can be, have some weird (possibly TMI) questions about the pool and no one to ask them to. Can anyone help?

1. Is there a lot of birth yuck floating around with you?
2. How do they examine you? Do you have to get out a lot? (Or do they not examine you as much)
3. Who scoops the baby off the floor? If it's you, is that not quite terrifying?
4. What happens if you need stitches?
5. Who's in there with you? Just you? DP?
6. What's the deal with the placenta? Do you deliver that in the pool too?

And the most vain one of all...

7. What's your post birth pic like? Visions of my baby's first photo in this world being marred by my wet, naked, whale-ness....

Sorry if these are all daft, stupid, obvious questions, but I'm in a bit of a flap as desperately want this labour to be different from last time, but have nothing to compare it to but that.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 25-Jun-13 15:28:10

1. If you poo then yes, but the MW fishes it out. If you are proper minging like I was they may empty and refill the bath so baby is born into cleanish water.

2. I didn't get out at all to be examined. I think a mirror may have been used.

3. MW caught the baby underwater and handed to me. I think I would have been allowed to catch her too.

4. There was a bed with stirrups in the same room. I was stitched there with gas and air and local anaesthetic.

5. I was in pool by myself. DP and two or three midwives were in the room. And a doctor popped in at the end to check if I had torn through to my rectum.

6. With me, they were concerned with blood loss because it is really hard to tell how much blood you are losing in water. So placenta was delivered on toilet into a special bowl thing.

7. I love my straight after birth photos though I would be shy showing them to anyone other than DP due to nakedness. I'd also reccomend using a digital camera and changing to black and white so you can't see the colour of the water.

Not daft stupid questions! I also felt very safe and private in my own space, much more than on the bed with my feet in stirrups. And being supported by the water is so comfy - you can just float yourself around to change position rather than heaving your contracting bulk around.

NumberTwoDue Tue 25-Jun-13 15:44:16

Than you for the quick response. i never thought of a mirror! We'd mooted scuba gear....

Seriously though, thanks for being so frank - good to get a real perspective on it (as well as the black and white photo tip - I would never have thought of that). I'm glad to hear you didn't feel exposed as that's one of my main worries. I'm also very pleased that I wouldn't have to catch the baby - I'm just not very practical at that sort of thing!

Preposteroushypothesis Tue 25-Jun-13 17:22:43

I had a water birth with DD and it was amazing! It was pretty messy as I lost a lot of blood but there weren't bits floating everywhere and at the time it didn't feel messy at all. I didn't catch DD but I was the first person to touch her. She was born into the water and the midwife just said 'the baby's here, pick up your baby' so I just reached down and picked her up, I love that I was the first person to touch her! I was only in the pool for the last pushing part so no examinations, the midwife just used a mirror to check on progress.

I didn't have any photos in the pool with her, her first photos were on the bed in the same room. I think me and DP were both too dazed initially to think of photos but I will remember that black as white too for when this one I'm brewing is born!

I asked for the injection to speed up delivery of the placenta and so the midwife told me to get out of the pool for that, but when I stood up the afterbirth just fell out shock

SomethingNarstyInTheWoodshed Tue 25-Jun-13 17:30:55

1. Sometimes, but there's a handly sieve.

2. Depends how quick your labour is. Standard is 4 hrly V.Es and getting out to wee.

3. Either midwife or you reach down and catch. Its very instinctive.

4. Usually you'd need to climb on a couch or bed with leg supports for stitches.

5. In the room? Or the pool? Usually in the room a midwife or 2 plus your birth psrtners.

6. Placenta depends on bleeding and how long it takes. If no bleeding and no hurry you can wait until it's ready (depending on their timing policy)

7. You'll look fabulous. And no real nudity if you wear a bikini top.

awkwardsis Tue 25-Jun-13 17:32:04

I had a very quick water birth after a similarly hideous time with my first. It was lovely. I wa surprised at the lack of yuck actually, I know I must have pooed blush but they scoop it straight out. I was expenc ting the water to be full of blood, but I stayed in there quite happily after ds was born. I didn't have to be tout and wasn't examined, my labour was very quick and tbh they could tell I needed to push. I liked the hands off aspect of it, it really felt like my own little space of safety. I was on all fours most of the time but chose to kind of lay across the pool to push so I just scooped him up. Not scary at all, though I do think I had. A lot of reassurance from the midwives after his head was born at he was fine there it the next push. I didn't need stirches so I guess you'd have to get out for those after the placenta is delivered. Interesting I do think the water helped prevent a tear as I tore with both other dc. I was amazed that I climbed out if the pool feeling as if nothing had happened really, I had no discomfort in the fanboy area at all, no stinging when I weed. Again, I credit that to not tearing. I was alone in the pool, dp was tasked with giving me alternate gulps of gas and air and lucozade. I wouldn't have wanted him in there with me. I delivered the placenta in the pool, took about 45 minutes I think, but that was mostly because I just didn't want to push it out. Ingot o strait afterwards because the midwife dropped it into the water and it turned a horrible shade of red. My post birth pic in the water is e not one I love. The others I look a sweaty mess in a grubby nightgown. In this one I'm actually glowing and had a tankini top on anyway (am a prude even when giving birth). If absolutely recommend a water birth. All my dc lay posterior until labour, the water helped ds turn I'm sure. Good luck smile

NumberTwoDue Tue 25-Jun-13 19:25:19

Thank you everyone for your responses - actually feeling really good about this now, as is DP, so think we're going to go for it (circumstances permitting). Sounds exactly right to try and have a totally different birthing experience from last ine, which is exactly what we need. X

Shiraztastic Tue 25-Jun-13 19:33:29

1. Is there a lot of birth yuck floating around with you?

Depends on the birth. I had one pool that looked like it was full of blood (couldn't see the bottom. Dh said there was gunk in the bottom, probably membranes. Anyway, not pleasant for him to empty. One pool just had a tonne of vernix floating around in blobs and a teeny tiny poo' but water otherwise clear, and one remanded pretty much totally clear.

2. How do they examine you? Do you have to get out a lot? (Or do they not examine you as much)

I had no examinations.

3. Who scoops the baby off the floor? If it's you, is that not quite terrifying?

Dh climbed in and lifted up the murky pool baby, and I did the ther two (though the midwife had to properly sit on her hands to stop herself touching dd3 she really hovered hmm

4. What happens if you need stitches?
5. Who's in there with you? Just you?

I didn't want anyone else in my pool, but it's personal choice if you're at home.

6. What's the deal with the placenta? Do you deliver that in the pool too?

I got out for that part. Not keen to hang around in there once baby born.

7. What's your post birth pic like? Visions of my baby's first photo in this world being marred by my wet, naked, whale-ness....

Waited until we were both dressed. Did take some earlier after one birth, but they were poor quality and I looked shit

spongebunnyfatpants Tue 25-Jun-13 19:55:24

1, I don't remember any birth yuk! Midwife scoops anything out with a sieve.
2, our hospital only monitors baby in the pool, I was left alone, I only had a kneel so they could monitor baby. When I was ready to push, I told them.
3, baby came out and kind of floated until I grabbed him, it was lovely.
4, when you get out of the pool they stitch you, if you need it.
5, there was just me and dp and the midwife and the head midwife comes in when you are about the deliver.
6, I delivered the placenta in the pool, I didn't see the point in getting out, I was comfy!! Then I got out and had a shower.
7, I didn't do pictures in the pool I waited until I got out.

I loved my water birth it was so relaxing, it would definitely recommend it.

NovemberAli Tue 25-Jun-13 20:07:17

I was in the pool for ages, prob about 5-6 hours and credit it with getting me through a back to back labour.

I did get out of the pool to be examined a couple of times as things were going quite slowly and I wanted to know progress. And also to wee smile

Eventually I got out for PROM as waters hadn't gone at nearly fully dilated and they wanted to see if it would speed things up, but there was meconium in them so then couldn't get back in for the birth which was a shame.

I definitely will try using the pool again, I remember just wallowing about really helped with the pain plus I had gas and air poolside smile. Had DP on hand with nice cold water and fan as it was very hot!

1) not really, but I was weirdly competent between pushes and was scooping out stuff myself. If midwife and student had made it in time for labour and pushing hmm then I believe they would have done that.

2) when midwife turned up she told me I would need to get out of pool for examination. Given I was concentrating on birthing dd's head at the time I remember thinking that was a bit pointless. If they had turned up in time I would have refused routine examinations anyway.

3) i caught dd. it was completely instinctive, not terrifying, just awesome really. I had read up on it beforehand and knew to make sure she was lifted out face down, and to keep her body in the water to keep her warm, but instinct just took over.

4) no stitches, assume would have been on couch.

5) just me, had small la bassine birth pool which was the perfect size.

6) home birth kit contained bowl to deliver placenta into, I did so perched on edge of couch.

7)I had dressing gown by pool ready for when I got out so I am covered in that for pictures.

LifeOfPee Tue 25-Jun-13 20:31:45

1. Is there a lot of birth yuck floating around with you?

The M/W should scoop out anything really gross but yes, there will be stuff in there with you. It's only a bit of blood and fluid though, nothing minging. I managed to not poo so there was only blood clots and my waters when they went.

2. How do they examine you? Do you have to get out a lot? (Or do they not examine you as much)

I did a fair amount of labour out of the pool, got in at about 5-6 and once in had no vaginal exams. M/W used a doppler to listen to the baby every so often. The M/W knew when I was fully dilated because (you'll all love this one, I think I'll bold it) of anal pouting. Basically my arsehole was blowing kisses at her to herald the baby's arrival.

3. Who scoops the baby off the floor? If it's you, is that not quite terrifying?

I did. He was there, between my legs. It would have been weird for someone else to pick him up. It wasn't terrifying, it was the next natural step to take. It was lovely.

4. What happens if you need stitches?

I did have a 2nd degree tear but stitches were decided against so can't help you on that one.

5. Who's in there with you? Just you? DP?

For most of my labour it was just me and DP, the M/W came in every so often to check us. Once in the water the M/W stayed with us and once I was ready to deliver the senior M/W came in too.

6. What's the deal with the placenta? Do you deliver that in the pool too?

Yup, it pretty much flopped about 10 minutes after the baby.

And the most vain one of all...

7. What's your post birth pic like? Visions of my baby's first photo in this world being marred by my wet, naked, whale-ness....

There are only post birth pics of the baby. None of me.

I loved my water birth. It made it a lot easier. With my first I had a very trad birth on my back, in a hospital bed. The pool birth second time round was so much better.

Good luck OP. smile

Wolfiefan Tue 25-Jun-13 20:34:13

1. Never noticed. Didn't look grim!
2. Got in when labour well established. No vaginal exams but they told me if they wanted to listen in and I knelt up when between contractions so they could listen in on handheld thingy.
3. MW passed baby up to me for first cuddle in the water.
4. Got out. Delivered placenta out of pool and then on a separate bed for stitches whilst DH cuddled DS.
5. It was MY pool! DH stayed out and poured water over my back WITHOUT stopping! (Back to back labour!) he wouldn't have wanted to join me!
6. See above
7. First pictures of me and baby are out of the pool! I am never going to do a glamorous post birth shot. More a vacant (spaced on gas and air!) tired and hungry grin!
Highly recommend a water birth. Best pain relief ever. Good luck

ilovemulberry Tue 25-Jun-13 20:56:29

Can i add another question please? Do they top the water up with hot water often?

Thanks

LifeOfPee Tue 25-Jun-13 20:58:22

The water is kept at about 37 degrees by being regularly topped up with hot.

OdaBear Tue 25-Jun-13 20:58:36

I had a water birth just under two weeks ago - it was AMAZING!!

The yuck/muck - I think the sieve that the midwives use doesn't actually exist! I knew that I pooed during pushing, but she didn't fish it out, it just sank to the bottom. (It really wasn't a problem, and the last thing on my mind). There is a bit of debris that also comes out, but again, it is the last thing on your mind. The water only seemed rank after I'd got out and had a look at it from the bed!

They examined me with a mirror, and they used the doppler to check my son's heart rate every now and again, and they were able to do this around whatever position I was in in the pool.

I was able to fish my son out of the water. That was soooo amazing! If you think you might struggle, the midwife can help. I had an incredible hands-off midwife.

I didn't need any stitches, and was examined for this after I had got out of the pool.

In the room was just me, hubby and the midwife. She called in another midwife after I had delivered his head, as it was large and she anticipated she might need assistance. She didn't, he didn't get stuck at all. (She didn't tell me this until after I had delivered).

I had a natural 3rd stage, and delivered the placenta on the bed once I'd got out. I didn't want to be in the pool for much longer after my son was born.

I waited until I was showered and dressed before photos. My first son was a different story - hubby took pictures straight away, I looked like a cave woman!

It was a fantastic experience. Very chilled, very calm, very peaceful. I had a large weight son, and I was amazed that I didn't require stitches - just a graze and 1st degree tear. I also did perineal massage in the weeks running up to delivery, so that also may have helped. Try and listen to the instructions the midwife gives for pushing - I think this helped to have minimal perineal damage too.

Highly recommend! Good luck x

0pumpkin Tue 25-Jun-13 21:44:01

Sorry to tag onto this thread, have just found the info very helpful, well done for asking the questions that some are too afraid to ask! I just have one more though, if you are going for a water birth in hosp then do u need to take in extra towels??
Thanks smile

LifeOfPee Tue 25-Jun-13 22:00:31

I took in a big (dark) towel because although the MLU provided lots of towels they were small and not very soft.

For your owm comfort and peace of mind I say take in your own.

CheungFun Tue 25-Jun-13 22:04:08

It was 18 months ago now, but from what I do remember...

1. I think when something went there was a mini explosion of blood and gunk, but the midwife sieved this out. I didn't take much notice tbh! I think what bits where left sank to the bottom of the pool.

2. I arrived at the hospital 9cms dilated, so I just had one internal examination before I got into the pool. Once I was in the pool I stayed in until DS was born. My midwife checked DS's heartbeat every so often by putting something on my tummy. I don't think she used a mirror to check how things were going 'down there'.

3. DS's head was out and it was very surreal waiting for the next contraction to push his body out, my midwife helped bring him out with the next contraction...think I was a bit in shock at that point, otherwise I'm sure it would have been okay for me to bring him out.

4. I didn't realise I needed stitches until my midwife mentioned it to me (at that point DS was being cuddled by DH and I as eating toast and having a cup of tea in the hospital bed)! When I was ready I went into another room and had a local anaesthetic and gas and air whilst I was stitched up.

5. I had DH as my birthing partner and DM was there too, but she had a chair in the corner and came over to hold my hand when I had to push. Personally I loved being able to have DH and DM there smile my midwife as in the room the whole time as well (about 1.5 hours) and just before DS was born she rang the bell for a second midwife (one for you and one for baby apparently).

6. I wanted to deliver the placenta naturally so sat on a potty type of thing but got bored and asked for an injection and delivered that in the hospital bed.

7. The first photos were taken after we had got out of the pool. I'd recommend getting a tankini top for a pool birth. I could barely get myself dressed to get to the hospital between contractions so I had a skanky old baggy t-shirt of DH's, no bra and a pair of leggings. By the time I'd got out of the pool I towel dried and changed into my specially bought pj's smile

I would definitely recommend a pool birth, DM said she could see that I visibly relaxed when I got into the pool, and I felt it too. It was a brilliant experience and I'd want exactly the same again (but maybe a bit faster!).

CheungFun Tue 25-Jun-13 22:07:20

Just to add DM as a bit freaked out about water birth and thought it might be a bit yuck with bits floating, but she has since been telling everyone how wonderful it is and recommending it to all the pregnant ladies she works with!

The other bit DM freaked out about was when DS's head was out, bless her she thought he'd drown!

So remembering that, if you're DH or DM or friend is going to be with you, explain what to expect to them beforehand grin

MultipleMama Wed 26-Jun-13 21:33:02

I had a unexpected home birth in the bath with dc1 who was breech.

1. Luckily, I didn't pee or poo (DH would have scooped it out and ran me another bath.
2. No check, just went with instinct.
3. I caught the baby and placed him on my chest, warmed him with towels and blanket.
4. No stitches and no hospital to know.
5. DH was sat behind me holding my knees and their for comfort.
6. DH picked up the bucket and placed in the bath, when I delivered the placenta, he placed it in the bucket.
7. No photos but DH set video to record and placed it at the tap end of the bath at an angle. I wasn't the greatest looking thing!

But if I could I would definitely have a water birth with any furture dc!

MrsSpagBol Thu 27-Jun-13 11:52:46

Omg multiplemama - how big is your bath?!

cottoncandy Thu 27-Jun-13 13:49:44

I had a home water birth with DC2 and it was brilliant. In answer to your questions:

1. Is there a lot of birth yuck floating around with you?
There was a bit at the end but by that stage I didn't care. And not much compared to the volume of the pool. I think I peed but didn't matter and didn't poo.
2. How do they examine you? Do you have to get out a lot? (Or do they not examine you as much)
I didn't get examined at all once I was in there, they used a mirror in the later stages
3. Who scoops the baby off the floor? If it's you, is that not quite terrifying?
Once I had delivered the head, the midwife said to me 'next contraction, reach down and catch your baby'. It was the most natural thing in the world and I loved being the first person to touch her. The water means that they don't drop like a stone, they sort of drift towards you once they pop out!
4. What happens if you need stitches?
I had a couple of stitches done about half an hour after I came out of the pool (while sitting on the sofa with my legs on kitchen chairs!)
5. Who's in there with you? Just you? DP?
Just me in the pool, I offered DH to come in too but he firmly rejected!!
6. What's the deal with the placenta? Do you deliver that in the pool too?
They usually like you to deliver placenta out of the pool. Mine delivered naturally as I stood up to get out of the pool, they caught it in a bucket!

And the most vain one of all...

7. What's your post birth pic like? Visions of my baby's first photo in this world being marred by my wet, naked, whale-ness....
I love my post birth pic - much better than my dry land birth ones! I am cradling DD wearing tankini and it looks brilliant.

Good luck :-)

FeelingHorse Thu 27-Jun-13 17:08:15

I had a water birth 13 weeks ago, loved it!

1. Is there a lot of birth yuck floating around with you? I had a bit if poo before I gave birth, and afterwards the pool was a bit bloody - but I honestly didn't notice any of it (I only know because I had my birth filmed, otherwise I'd been none the wiser!)

2. How do they examine you? Do you have to get out a lot? (Or do they not examine you as much) In my birth plan I asked not be examined unless it was a medical emergency. I did not get out once, instead they used a waterproof Doppler to listen to baby's heart beat once or twice.

3. Who scoops the baby off the floor? If it's you, is that not quite terrifying? Me! I didn't plan to, but it just happened! It was the most
natural thing in the world. I just scooped him up and gave him a cuddle!

4. What happens if you need stitches? Once I gave birth and had a cuddle and photos, I gave baby to DP and the midwives emptied the pool to deliver the placenta. I was wrapped in towels so stayed warm. I then needed stitches, so they helped me out of pool and onto a bed where I got my stitches. All the time baby was having skin to skin with DP.

5. Who's in there with you? Just you? DP? It was just me, in my particular MLU they didn't allow partners in the pool. Although with home births you can have DP in pool with you.

6. What's the deal with the placenta? Do you deliver that in the pool too? Yes, but water was drained first.

And the most vain one of all...

7. What's your post birth pic like? Visions of my baby's first photo in this world being marred by my wet, naked, whale-ness...
My photo is just lovely. No make-up, hair scrapped back but a huge smile!

scoutfinch1 Fri 28-Jun-13 19:19:11

Sorry to tag onto this thread, it's very helpful but it has made me think. Lots of people have been suggesting tankinis which seems sensible but made me wonder how skin to skin works with a water birth. Could you do it with a tankini? Would it be a pain to get off? Do you do skin to skin in the pool or on a bed or in another room? Where do you go when you get out of the pool?

xlatia Sat 29-Jun-13 17:26:23

i just had a water birth, DS2 is 2 days old.

1. my waters went in the pool, before that the water was obv crystal clear. after that, it got a bit murkier, but i was too busy to worry about that. after baby's out there was blood and stuff all over the place but that weirdly didn't bother me at all, as i got DS to cuddle.
2. however they do it, it was very discreet because once i got into the pool, i don't remember being examined at all, definitely no internal examinations anyway. i was on all fours and the MW was behind me most of the time, so the mirror mentioned upthread makes sense.
3. DS bobbed up by himself, but MW and me were reaching for him at the same time. it's beautiful, really.
4. i didn't need any. people have mentioned that the water softens the perineum, but i don't really buy that. wouldn't you go all squishy when staying too long in the tub too? maybe it's more about the fact that you're more likely to be on all fours, which diverts the pressure away?
5. i had one MW, she only briefly popped out a couple of times. when baby was being born DP (who was around all the time, but outside, it didn't even ocurr to me to share MY pool!) had to press the emergency button and some more MWs came in. i think that's precaution so they've got enough people on hand if need be.
6. even though we wanted the cord to finish pulsating it had to be clamped quickly because DS was a bit pale and floppy. while someone looked after him, my MW got me out of the pool and onto a bed where i delievered the placenta. i don't know about a phisiological 3rd stage, though.
and as for the most important thing grin, we only took pics about 2 hrs after the birth, with me and DS wrapped in blankets on the bed and they honestly don't look any different from DS1 who i had on dry land.

i got as many towels as i needed and the water was regularly topped up so it was nice and warm. beforehand i wasn't too fussed about trying the pool, but i think i'll now be one of those annoying women who urges everyone to give it a go as it's so great, relaxing and generally the best thing ever <needs to calm down a bit>

xlatia Sat 29-Jun-13 17:29:27

oh scoutfinch1, i guess what you're wearing is totally you choice and what you feel comfortable with. if you don't want to be naked but cannot be bothered to fiddle with swimwear you might just use a towel, which can be quickly whipped off after the birth?

scoutfinch1 Sat 29-Jun-13 18:08:00

Thanks, using a towel might be a good idea xlatia. I'm taking a cheep primark crop top type thing that I could use or just go naked, I don't think it will bother me but it's hard to say.

BraveLilBear Mon 01-Jul-13 11:59:53

Hi NumberTwo thanks for really helpful thread - I'm hoping for a water birth in a few weeks but will have to hope my numbers come up on the (delivery suite) lottery!

Scout - if I get my water birth, I'm planning to wear a black bikini top - it's a tie-up one so can easily be untied if needed.

jbakedbean Thu 04-Jul-13 10:26:25

I had a natural, all be it back to back birth with my first and he had a poo in me so wasn't allowed the water birth that I wanted, ended up having an epidural much to the relief of my DM and partner.

Second time around I had my longed for water birth, was still a back to back, so was an 8 hour full on labour in the water but wow, was it the best pain relief and coping mechanism yet.

No poo, no mess.

Never got out to be examined, had quite a young midwife who asked me to get out and I refused, (know your rights, they should be able to do it in the water, or just leave you alone), she managed to do it whilst I was in the water.

My pushing stage lasted for a total of 1 minute!!!!, not kidding, I said I needed to push and she asked me to get in a position and pant, to which I got in position but said I couldn't control it, first push (waters hadn't broken at all til this point and I pushed what I thought was the baby's head out, when I reached down to feel it turned out to be the amniotic sack, still in one piece, (felt like a water balloon), second push the head came out, and third push the body followed, I scooped him up and it was just magic.

I'm so desperate to have a water birth for my third child that I will stay at home to guarantee that I can.

The most lovely experience, I'd say if you feel comfortable and relaxed in the water it is the way to go.

Good luck

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