I'm almost 30 weeks pregnant () with my first and I'm really looking into labour options, pain relief etc. One thing I've not found a lot on is waterbirths! I was wondering, for those ladies who have had one, if they wouldn't mind telling me their experiences with them? Is it a good pain relief? Is anyone else in the pool with you? I don't know why, but I'm worried that the baby would drown?? That sounds so stupid, I know, but I just have this image that you have the baby and no-one gets it quick enough- almost certain it's just me panicking!
I'd really appreciate it if anyone who had a waterbirth wouldn't mind telling me their experience with it- many thanks!
I had a water birth 5 months ago (first child). She was back to back so my experience with pain relief may be a bit different to the lucky ones whose babies behaved and stayed the right way round!
But I found the whole experience lovely. No-one is in the pool with you- the midwife sat at the side when she needed to check me I think every hour checking pulse and temp. I was naked but if I wanted to wear a top I could have. The baby won't drown. Don't worry about that- until they are lifted from the water they won't take their first breath.
Hope this helps a bit
I had one - I thought it was great. Be under no illusion that it takes way the pain - it doesn't - but if you are the kind of person who relaxes by taking a bath then it may help you. I found it great to step into a warm birthing pool.
The baby won't drown because it won't take a breath until it makes contact with the air. You just need to make sure your hips are submerged when delivering so it doesn't get born into the air and then go under water again, for example. There's nobody in with you although I think some places might allow partners (mine would have been far too squeamish) but the midwife has a mirror on a long stick for looking to see how you're doing, and once the baby is born they reach down and gently bring it up to the surface of the water for you to hold. I thought it was really lovely.
Mine was back to back too and they were quite surprised that I had managed to deliver a first baby back to back with just the water and gas and air. So although I won't lie and say it wasn't pretty painful, maybe it would have been a lot worse without the water??
I was in the water until the last 15 mins so I didn't technically birth there but I loved it. I was VERY reluctant to get out so the midwives could manually check me. I had no other pain relief and it really soothed me. No one else is in with you unless you want your partner to be. I also went in naked.
Also as PPs said, don't worry baby won't drown.
I had a birth pool at home, I had to transfer in to hospital eventually for the actual but it was great pain relief and I would def have one again. I was in by myself but my partner could have got in. I think I was naked or maybe just wearing a vest. I had a bit of gas and air and recall chatting away very merrily like I was just chilling in a hot tub or something!
As per PP the baby doesn't drown because it doesn't realise it's been born until its in the air, the same way they don't drown in your tummy
I think it's also quite common for women to use the pool but then come out to give birth, so it can be used at all stages of labour.
I wanted waterbirths for all mine, but for my first two I laboured in the water, but ended up getting out in late stages because I wanted more pain relief or to be examined and things moved on too quickly or I was in too much pain to get back in so delivered on the bed. However I would say being in the water really helps with contraction pain. I think its because you feel weightless so there's no pressure on your back or belly. Other than in the water I found it impossible to lie or get comfortable in any position while labouring. I finally got my water baby with DC3 and I was amazed at how much the water also took the sting out of the actual delivery! Unfortunately DC4 came too quickly for them to even run the pool! I would highly recommend water births and there is no chance of the baby drowning. Babies are in fluid in the womb and go straight from that to the water. They don't take their first breath until they come out of the water. Its a much gentler introduction to the world in my opinion x
I got in the tub at hospital and it was lovely between contractions but did nothing for the contractions themselves so I got out. They don't like to deliver under water here because apparently tearing chances are worse.
The baby won't drown. It's going from water to water.
I had a home water birth (11 years ago) I've only had one child so I can't comment on which is better but I really can't imagine having done it any other way. Being in the water meant I could move more easily, I ended up only having gas and air as couldn't have pethadin (so?) while in the water but I assume you'll be in hospital so will be able to get out and access all pain relief if needed. I think it helped with the pain but as I say I've only had one birth. I felt calmer as soon as I got in the water. I had two midwives, exh and mother there and it really was a team effort. The two things that were a bit uncomfortable were floating turds and trying to get out of the pool while the afterbirth was also trying to get out.
Water worked too well as pain relief for me it stopped my contractions without fail.
I was pleased in a way as I wasn't 'allowed' to give birth in the pool as was high risk in all four pregnancies.
Yes yes yes! I cannot recommend them highly enough. I had one for DS (3rd). DD1 was born on a bed and DD2 was born on a birthing couch thingy.
When I arrived at the hospital with DS I was talking to a midwife and asked if water births were any good. The pool happened to be free so I went for it.
I got in mid contraction and the pain immediately halved! With DDs I was in so much pain I was barely aware but with DS I was totally with it and felt in control. And as for the actual birth? The water is lubricating and it did feel easier than my other births. No "grazes" or tears this time either.
I've delivered both my children as waterbirths; both fantastic experiences. The water is calming and does provide pain relief. You can still have gas & air whilst in the pool.
I didn't have anyone in the pool with me, preferring DH to be on the outside supporting me at the edge, but you can have a birth partner in the water if you prefer.
With regards to drowning, until your baby has surfaced and taken their first breath, they can safely stay underwater
I would love to see what evidence there is that tearing chances are worse underwater? I can't see the logic in it?
I had a home water birth with DD(4) and hope to do it again with this pregnancy. In my case, I was the only one in the water, the midwife was kneeling outside the pool and so was DH behind me, but he could have gone in too if he liked (although the pool ends up full of ick so I don't know many men who'd gladly sit in that!). I didn't find the water much of a pain relief, and in fact, it kicked everything off after a long, slow start. But the buoyancy felt great, making it easier to change positions and remain comfortable. The baby can breathe underwater for a little while once it's out - after all, it's spent its whole life in fluid up to this point. But the midwife catches the baby and passes it up onto your chest anyway, so it doesn't stay under the water long.
Oh, and no tearing at all, and no pain relief, so the water obviously helped there.
I didn't want a water bath but DH did. We had a pool in our maternity suite so unused it (because he was desperate too!). Labour slowed right down to nothing. I found it difficult to maintain any position and felt it was a distraction. When I got out half an hour later and started waking around labour started up again and took 3 hours. I wouldn't bother. Gas and air. Do yoga. Remain mobile. And squat. It will come out in no time. And my DS was back to back. I'm not a hippy by the way.
Another recommendation from me. I had planned to use water but the pool was unfortunately not available until towards the end of my labour but it provided great relief when I was finally able to get in. My daughter was delivered in the water and it was a wonderfully calm experience.
As others have said, baby is in water when inside you so they don't drown when going into the pool water. Additionally, the placenta is providing them all the oxygen until it is cut so there are no concerns about their breathing.
Definitely recommend. Even if you don't deliver in the pool, it really takes the ache out of contractions. I didn't have one with my first because I was induced but I would have killed for one because he was back to back. I had a home water birth for my second child - I didn't get in until the last hour because I was doing fine until then. When I did get in, my contractions suddenly ramped up and I went from 4cm to giving birth in an hour!
Hoping to have another home water birth (currently 35 weeks). My only real concern is that we won't get the pool up in time!
A recommendation from me too, if you have the chance it's definitely worth trying. I found it really helped with the pain, partly I think because of the warm water (like a bath if you have sore muscles) and partly because with the water supporting you it's much easier to move around and get comfortable. I was taking a long time pushing so the midwives asked me to get out so they could check things, and as I then found things progressed better out of the pool, I delivered my daughter on the floor. For me, labour seemed to speed up once I got in the pool, but I know it can slow it down for other people, I think that is the only potential downside.
Definitely recommend. I was in it for hours. Didn't require any other form of pain relief, being able to move around freely and into different positions massively helped with my pain. I'm due tomorrow and hoping to be able to do a water birth again. Had a slight tear. But being able to bring her up from the water was such an amazing experience. Only bit the midwife done was take my pulse and stitch me up after.
Pain relief? It's bloody amazing. DS 1 was a waterbirth. When I got in I let out a long drawn out aaaahhhhhh. The mw said everyone does that!
Bit of gas and air but really the water was enough. He was back to back and about 9lbs.
I had two midwives with me so no chance they couldn't get to the baby in time. I didn't have anyone in the pool with me. I'm not keen on being touched in labour!
I tried to have a water birth with dd but she was out before the pool had time to fill up, very quick labour! But I was on g&a, felt it wasn't working anymore as my contractions suddenly became crazy strong, and I needed extra pain relief and was given a choice of pethedine shot, trying the water or epidural. I thought I'd go for water to try it and if it was no good then I'd try the pethedine, and if that didn't help then I'd have an epidural. But she was out 15 minutes later...
With ds I got in the water, and it made the contractions slow down a bit, was having g&a before then got in the water and it relaxed me so much I didn't have another contraction for about 10 minutes (they were every 4 mins). But suddenly my contractions kicked in again and ds swam out.
I found the water good for getting into a really good birthing position as the water supported me and took some of my weight,
A yes from me too.
Ds1 was a natural labour, lots of time in the bath at home and a waterbirth with gas n air. Blissful calm & DH by my side.
DS2 was induced labour, 2 paracetamol & 2 co-codimol, 2 hours in the bath, baby was born in one push 15 mins after getting out. 4 MW dived in the door as I and they realised what was happening. Lacked the calmness of DS1.
For DS1 I had a tankini top although a t-shirt or vest top would work. The water is kept at 36 reg. Babies cord is not cut until baby is above water. As I was pushing they asked me to turn towards a light so they could see.
I've had two water births and they were amazing. Peaceful, relaxing, calm, just lovely!
The relief is amazing, I absolutely loved them. No one was in with me but your partner can get in if they like. When the baby is born the midwife will help you (advise you) to bring them to the surface - until they reach the air they are still getting oxygen from the umbilical cord. If you think about it, they are suspended in fluid for 9 months and don't use their lungs to breathe, so being born into fluid is fine for them. Neither of mine cried when they were brought up to the surface either, it seems a less dramatic change for them than being born into air.
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