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water birth questions

(31 Posts)
blondiep14 Wed 19-Sep-12 20:24:53

I'm booked in to local MLU for a waterbirth for DC3 (due yesterday!) And just realised as I wallow in the bath, I know nothing about them!

How warm is the water, is it adjusted to how you like it? Does it stay warm?
I hate luke warm water...

Most importantly, does it really help with the pain?! I'm not usually a bath girl, I only bathe when preggers if my back is sore.

CamelKnees Wed 19-Sep-12 20:43:40

Had water birth with DD and loved it (hoping for another one this time around)
I was a bit sceptical about water really helping with the pain but I had to get out of the pool a couple of times to have MW examine me and boy did I feel the difference!
Water is warm. 37 degrees from memory as I think they like to try and keep it the same temperature as inside you so baby doesn't get a shock when it comes out. They had a little thermometer in there and kept topping up with hot water. Good luck!

CamelKnees Wed 19-Sep-12 20:45:03

Ps - random tip - don't bother painting your toenails! I did mine hot pink the night before I went into labour only for it all to rub off on the bottom of the pool as I laboured on my knees. Looked very scabby having half done toenails. Annoyed me every time I got a glimpse of them (frivolous moi?)

Flisspaps Wed 19-Sep-12 20:46:18

Top tip - make sure there's a sieve handy wink

CamelKnees Wed 19-Sep-12 20:49:34

Ha Fliss I saw the MW surreptitiously use the sieve a couple of times and didn't dare ask her what she was fishing out...

Ps - your user name always makes me chortle

blondiep14 Wed 19-Sep-12 20:52:24

Haha, thanks ladies!

Toenails no longer accessible and there was a sieve on the side of the bath/pool when I had a look round...any other tips?!

Did you wear any clothes?!

PebblePots Wed 19-Sep-12 20:54:03

Oooo yes I found it lovely to get in the pool. Good for pain relief, I had nothing else. Could not imagine giving birth on dry land!

PebblePots Wed 19-Sep-12 20:59:54

No clothes! I had a tankini bought & am usually a shy person, but you really won't care & I just threw off my clothes & tens machine & lept in. Being in the water actually gave a feeling of privacy.

Take an inflatable cushion to rest your head on. Water in a sports bottle for dh to squeeze in your mouth. Tie your hair back.

CamelKnees Wed 19-Sep-12 21:03:02

Wore a weird little cotton crop top thing that I happened to have on when I went into hospital. Was nice to be able to sit back occasionally without exposing the enormous mammaries.

Good tip re drinks. We took straws so DH could hold a bottle from the vending machine and I could use my hands to cling desperately to the side/gas and air puffer

TarkaLiotta Wed 19-Sep-12 21:05:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blondiep14 Wed 19-Sep-12 21:06:15

Great tips - thanks.

Will try and find an inflatable pillow - that sounds a very good idea.

Will add cotton bfeeding bra thing to bag as that may be handy then. Have tankini top but don't like the feel of swimming cossies at the best of times!

monstergoose Wed 19-Sep-12 23:06:38

Can i hijack the thread with a quick question...I'm hoping to have a water birth but how does it actually is it just 1st come 1st served when you turn up? Do you have to let them know in advance that you want one? I'm going to a hospital ouside of my local PCT as my local hosp only have 1 pool but not sure if I need to do anything else?

helsybells Thu 20-Sep-12 08:36:28

Thanks for starting this thread blondie! I am hoping to have a waterbirth or at least use it for pain relief before delivery (due in under a week! eek!) too so this is really helpful.

monstergoose - I can sort of answer your question. It is first come first served I think in most hospitals but if you phone in as soon as you think you are in labour to check symptoms/let them know you may be along in a few hours (hopefully not days) etc then also tell them you'd like to use the pool. This gives them time to fill it up, ready things etc before you arrive. According to my local hospital which is quite small (4 delivery rooms) it's very rare that you cannot get use of the pool if you want it.

As to what to wear. I have stolen a bit black t-shirt (I thought light colours might show up things I didn't want to see....?) from hubby which I'm planning on wearing and also taking a long black strappy top too. Pluus ANOTHER T-shirt which I can change in to if, for whatever reason, I want to get out of the pool onto dry land... I don't think I'll go "nekkid" as I'm usually quite prudish about that sort of thing but it wouldn't surprise me if I was so preoccupied with pain and labour that I didn't care when the time comes...!

GracieGirl Thu 20-Sep-12 08:46:41

I had a water birth with DD. It really really helped with the pain. Was a first come first served allocation to the pool, but apparently it's empty most of the time at my hospital as lots of people arrive at hospital wanting epiduals.

The water was drained from the bottom and topped up regularly at a nice warm temperature.

I just kept my bra on, as that made me more comfortable.

I recommend that your birth partner pack a spare set of clothes in case you splash them a bit or they get soggy passing you things or holding you up if you get a bit tired.

I wanted a water birth with my DS this year, but I delivered him in the doorway of the maternity unit instead as things were a bit quick! blush

Good luck!

ShoeJunkie Thu 20-Sep-12 08:54:26

Another water birth veteran here! I spent most of my labour in the bath at home then hopped into the pool once we arrived at the MLU. Can't recommend it highly enough. It did give a feeling of privacy even with midwives popping in and out of the room.
I wore a vest top that I had on when I arrived.
I also packed lots of cartons of juice for DH to feed to me while in the pool which worked well.

Brockle Thu 20-Sep-12 09:48:09

I am hoping for a waterbirth with DC3. Can you breastfeed straight away whilst you are in the pool. I gave birth to DC1 and 2 on dry land and fed pretty much straight away. Is that possible?

glendathegoodwitch Thu 20-Sep-12 10:04:58

hi girls - i work as amaternity care assistant on a midwifery led birthing unit so i'm the one who runs the pool for the ladies (and cleans it out after lol)

the water is run at a temp between 37 & 38 degrees - not as hot as you usually have at home but is warm enough even in winter - its to match the temperature baby is coming from into IYKWIM?? the water is topped up regularly to maintain this temp

yes it does help with the pain - midwives advise women in early labout to take a warm bath and a paracetamol if contractions are not as regular as they need to be.

painted toenails - big no no as camel knees said the paint ends up on the floor of the pool and believe me it is a b** to scrub off when cleaning the pool after - we get the ladies to remove nail polish and make up and sometimes fake tan before getting in the pool as it all leaves a horrible mess that is hard to clean - sorry!!!

wear what you like - some mums wear a bikini top/bra/vest top or nothing its what ever you feel comfortable in

sports bottle v good idea but we do have straws on the ward - midwife will keep you drinking to hydrate you as its thirsty work!!!

on our ward women can get into the pool as long as the are 5+cms dilated, this is because if you get tin the pool too soon it can knock off contractions and slow things right down, so if there is more than one person wanting to use the pool it is who ever gets to 5cms first unfortunately, midwives will ask you about your feelings on using the water for pain relief as some mums are happy to deliver in the water while others want water for pain relief but want a land birth

if you deliver in the pool - you can cuddle baby etc.. but the midwives will get you out of the water to deliver the placenta on land so there might not be time for feeding in the water.

hope that helps a little but of course this is what happens on my ward not sure how it varies trust to trust etc.....

i am 33 weeks and on maternity leave but hoping to return to my ward and hopefully get in the pool myself when the time comes!!!

good luck ladies and hope you have beautiful water births xx ive seen a few and they are the most serene, calming, emotional births i have seen.

blondiep14 Thu 20-Sep-12 10:08:25

That's massively helpful Glenda.
Starting to get a bit nervous so liking the idea of calm and serene!

helsybells Thu 20-Sep-12 10:21:48

Glenda - you are a star - thanks so much for all that info! smile

LeggyBlondeNE Thu 20-Sep-12 10:24:37

I'll second Glenda - I wasn't a bit calm or serene until I got into the pool (before the midwife arrived, not knowing how dilated I was and with DH on the phone to the maternity ward saying "I can't stop her!")

Then suddenly ... everything just seemed easier. The MWs both remarked later on on how calm I was. Partly I was drawing into myself, but I know I couldn't have done that succesfully without the water.

If you're the kind of person who can stand and lose themselves in a hot shower, even if you don't bathe (I rarely do) then hopefully water will work for you.

Saphiesgirl Thu 20-Sep-12 10:33:06

How long does it take to fill? I really want to try the pool. But laboured so fast with ds that I reckon number 2 is going to be quick. Ds was back to back and labour 3 hrs start to stitches.. Did a lot of damage and I'd like to slow this one down if poss?!

glendathegoodwitch Thu 20-Sep-12 11:27:44

glad i could help!!!

it takes about 10 minutes to fill - very rarely have we been told to pull the plug cos its too late lol!!

i have quick labours too but as i had a gbs baby 12 yrs ago i need to have antibiotics 4 hours before delivery which didnt happen last time - so this time the minute i have a twinge im driving to the hospital and getting abx up while dh sorts kids out and meets me there!!!

Brockle Thu 20-Sep-12 11:31:03

thanks glenda that is great.

I am a huge lover of wallowing in the bath or under a shower so really hoping it is free when the day eventually arives smile

missjackson Thu 20-Sep-12 22:20:38

I've laboured in the pool twice (but got out for actual birth both times) and it was amazing pain relief, but one thing I would add is that being in the water for so long did mean I got quite dehydrated - so make sure you drink plenty from the start.

PebblePots Thu 20-Sep-12 23:25:31

Got my inflatable pillow from a camping shop, might have been Blacks. Had a fleecy orange cover if you see that one, worked well with dh holding it steady for me.

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