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Can anyone share their waterbirth stories?

(108 Posts)
photographerlady Thu 24-Jan-13 10:18:29

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.

GinGirl Sat 26-Jan-13 15:41:09

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...

helebear Sat 26-Jan-13 16:22:00

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.

DesperateHousewife21 Sat 26-Jan-13 16:32:14

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.

MadInfoScientist Sat 26-Jan-13 16:36:46

Had a water birth at home with 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.

peanutdream Sat 26-Jan-13 16:51:37

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' hmm 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' hmm 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!

JugglingFromHereToThere Sat 26-Jan-13 16:51:44

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 grin 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 !

Meglife Sat 26-Jan-13 20:50:33

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.

FrankieMegMeg Sat 26-Jan-13 21:56:54


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

SeymoreInOz Sat 26-Jan-13 22:44:13

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.

zcos Sat 26-Jan-13 22:46:55

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 shock
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!

zcos Sat 26-Jan-13 23:09:04

5madthings it depends what hospital your in whether you need to get out to deliver placenta depends on their policy.

5madthings Sat 26-Jan-13 23:25:58

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.

NotADragonOfSoup Sun 27-Jan-13 08:42:59

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.

loverofwine Sun 27-Jan-13 09:19:42

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.

Equimum Sun 27-Jan-13 11:45:32

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.

Gemimapuddleduck Sun 27-Jan-13 11:47:09

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 smile
Go for it I would say, a lovely experience all roundx

LikeCandy Sun 27-Jan-13 12:16:56

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 blush

Daft question alert: if you do poo in the pool do they not then change the water?

easylife73 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:36:18

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.

easylife73 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:37:10

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!

LadyMargolotta Sun 27-Jan-13 17:56:31

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.

photographerlady Sun 27-Jan-13 18:59:55

This has been an amazing read thank you to the ladies who shared so far.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 27-Jan-13 19:43:32

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.

Lottie5mummy Sun 27-Jan-13 20:16:32

One word.....amazing!!

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.

Thirstysomething Mon 28-Jan-13 11:37:25

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.

Thirstysomething Mon 28-Jan-13 11:44:19

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!

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