For all first time pregnant mums (and others) - WATERproof(38 Posts)
Just published - more information about the power of water for pain relief in labour
I really thought that I would benifit from a water birth I couldn't have been more wrong. I don't know what people are going on about when they rave about its painkilling effects. I found it impossible to concentrate on my contractions when I was bobbing about naked in a pool. I'm sorry I just don't get it.
My friend wanted a water birth for her second child the the minute she got in the bath to see how it felt the pain got loads worse so she gave up on the water birth idea!
I think for some it works whilst others it doesn't..like TENS machine (I found fab..friends got nothing from it)
With pain you have to brace yourself for it so it lessons the impact. But when you are in water you're floating around and theres nothing to grab onto and you're out of control. Why would you want to relax before a contraction hits you?
I suppose its whatever gets you through it.
How 'natural' is a water birth exactly?
I'd love to try one this time mears! Last time I was told it would cause "an unacceptably high level of professional anxiety"!
You are right BekkiKay - it isn't for everyone but when it works, it really works
If you tense up waiting for/or during contractions the pain is intensified. If you can relax and breathe through them, you are more in control. Water aid that relaxation without the need for drugs. If the delivery takes place in the water, the baby literally delivers itself with no guiding by the midwife.
It is a beautiful sight. The babies are so tranquil when they come to the surface. Wish I could have had one Didn't do them in my day
Sorry to be nosy Beetroot. I'm fascinated by different births. Why did you find your water births more private?
If someone told you they were going to punch you would you think 'right let me get relaxed first' or would you tense your body and muscles?
Its funny everything you liked about your water birth is everything that I disliked.
For me tensing my body was a way of displacing and controlling the pain. When I relaxed like the mw told me over and over again, I was overwhelmed by the pain and I felt quite scared by it all.
When I was in the water I didn't feel it was at all private. I was starkers, floating about and feeling quite helpless. And the thought of my waters breaking in the water and me still in it was quite sickening to me. Infact sitting in there thinking about that made me immediatley call out for someone to take me out and break my waters. I was also terrified of my waters breaking and breaking my concentration. Therefore scaring me witless.
I've just answered my own question. Thanks Beetroot.
That's interesting. I'm going to try for a water birth this time (in July!). Don't know whether they'll let me give birth in the water with a minor heart condition and given that DS was over 9lbs but it can't hurt to try.
Can anyone point me to a birth story of a water birth?
The only draw back for me is that TENS machines aren't waterproof. I thought that was wonderful last time - till it broke!
In my experience its the mw who go on and on about the miracle effect of water. All I hear are mw saying its so beautiful! Is that because they don't get to see the gory bit?
People often say its the only 'natural' way to give birth. But really how many cultures from how many countries jump in water when they start contracting?
From books that I have read the common childbirth element is upright in a crouching position. Water is never mentioned. Am I reading the wrong sort of information?
I am curious about this. I'm not entirely sure why but I am hankering after a natural birth at some point. I feel like I failed last time around because yet again my waters had to be broken for me and I didn't deliver in water like the mw suggested I should.
I wonder how many women don't like being in the water but stay there because the mw are pushing them into it (not literally btw )
In my case it slowed my contractions down even though I was 8 cm. I have heard that this is a normal effect of water, but who wants labour to slow down at that stage?
Sorry I am going on aren't I? I'm just curious as to what I missed out on last time. If it is as good as everyone says then perhaps I would reconsider it next time around. Or perhaps I should give up my obsession with the perfect birth
Life would be boring if we were all the same. -Z( another one who found water effective for pain relief)
And another who swears by water - did it twice myself.... and totally agree about the privacy
I don't know if I tensed or relaxed or what. I got in when I was pretty well ready to deliver (partly because dp had only just finished filling it up) and I could feel the burning sensation of the baby beginning to crown and I really wanted to push even though the midwives were telling me not to because I wasn't fully dilated; I climbed onto dd1's little step, got in, felt a whacking great contraction during which I took an enormous drag of gas and air and thought 'oh damn, it hasn't made *any* difference, that was incredibly painful'...and then the m/wives shoved the stool under me and told me - at last - to push and I pushed and I pushed again and the baby swam out. And I don't remember any burning sensation as I pushed, so presumably the water was working...?
I really found the pool helpful as well, but I can see what you mean, BekkiKay, about bobbing about and not having anything to hold onto--I wouldn't have liked that sensation. I think I mostly kneeled or squatted on the bottom of the pool, and held onto the side, so no bobbing. Maybe the pool you were in was too deep for you?
Bekkikay - you make a very important point about the midwife wanting you to stay in the water. That is NOT what waterbirth is about. It is the WOMAN who should WANT to stay in the water. Many women instinctively want to get out because they need to feel the security of dry land when they give birth. A 'natural birth' can take place in or out of water. It just means that the birth has taken place without the need for drugs/intervention.
You could always try the pool again to see if you feel differently. However, you might find that it is not the experience for you
The reason why contractions feel more intense and painful in water is because when you get in the pool, your adrenalin levels drop dramatically (as you immediatley feel better.... before the next contraction) which means your oxytocyn levels (that's the hormone that makes you contract) will be raised. Oxytocyn release is inhibited by adrenalin.... this is one reason why some women's contractions slow down or stop when they arrive in hospital.... they start being more fearful.
This is why it is often the case (but not always) that women get in the pool and dilate and deliver their baby faster in pool than they might have on dry land. Also the pool will usually help you build your endorphins too.
As Mears said some women really need/want to get out to deliver outside of the pool and some have different needs/feelings from one birth to the next... so you may well have a different view next time.
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