Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Waterbirth v non-water - which is best?

(14 Posts)
KiwiKate Thu 23-Jun-05 07:13:09

Is waterbirth or non-water birth best?

Has anyone done both? Which is quicker, less pain, less likely to need intervention or result in tearing?

roisin Thu 23-Jun-05 07:19:04

I've had two waterbirths and one "on dry land". Water birth wins hands down every time for me on all counts. But it doesn't suit everyone.

Is this your first?

KiwiKate Thu 23-Jun-05 07:26:46

My second. I wanted water birth with the first, but the midwife was nuts! I had a slight leak of amnio fluid before getting to the hospital, so she said I was not allowed water birth, and she made me lie on my back even though I wanted to move around. The reason she gave was that baby needed constant monitoring (but the monitor only went on for the last 30 minutes). I should have been more assertive! She also tried to give me an epidural without even asking me(luckily DH intervened). I did not want or need the epi.

Needless to say we have a different midwife this time.

What worked well for you in water? How do you position yourself?

pupuce Thu 23-Jun-05 07:57:08

I did both and I support women who have both.
On the whole I would say that women who have waterbirths (whether they deliver in water or not - the vast majority do) absolutely love it.
The pros are you are more relaxced in water, ypur hormonal release (more oxytocyn and more endorphins) helps labour along. You have more privacy which is also key to a better labour. You feeel lighter so are able to move into more comfy positions, you can swap for long periods (helps baby's position), you soften perrineum which on the whole helps against tearing (no guarantee of not tearing though).

The con is that if you have no back up plan or really work yourself into having a water birth and if for some reason that isn't possible than you will be disappointed.

As this is your 2nd I say ABSOLUTELY go for it, you are likely to need to pool once in well established labour and you won't stay in pool for ever as you will progress quickly.
Most women squat but you can easily change position.

pupuce Thu 23-Jun-05 07:57:46

you can SQUAT (not swap!!!)

kgc Thu 23-Jun-05 12:28:05

I had my fourth child 4 weeks ago and have had non water births with all of them but baby number 4 I had a water birth and it was an experience I am glad that I was able to have. Having a water birth does speed the process up and before I got into the birthing pool I was a very thin 3cm dilated but as soon as I got into the warm water my contractions speeded up and became more painful than non water birth contractions, but this was also due to my cervix dilating so quickly from 3cm to 10cm - and within 10 minutes I was wanting to push.
I would recommend a water birth to anyone who is thinking of doing it, having our baby in the birthing pool was a wonderful experience, the lights in the room were low and there was music and the midwife left me alone and I helped to deliver the baby - so if anyone has the chance to do it - go for it.

Littlefish Thu 23-Jun-05 13:29:31

Hi there Kiwikate

I had a waterbirth 7 months ago. I had put in my birthplan that I would like to try it, if the birthing pool was free, but I hadn't set my heart on it. We were very lucky to have a midwife who loved doing waterbirths. I found it incredibly soothing, and felt really safe. Walking around the delivery room left me feeling very exposed, but the warm water, dim lights and our own choice of music was just wonderful. Having had contractions for 4 days (DD was spine to spine), when I did get into the water things moved very quickly. I got in at 4.00am and DD was born at 7.00am with only 25 mins of pushing. I used gas and air and spent most of the time on my back with my feet pushed against the end of the pool. I tried getting on all fours, but it wasn't as comfortable for me. The only downside was that I tore and had to have lots of stitches. However, this might have happened on "dry land" as well.

I would definitely recommend it and will certainly hope to have a waterbirth next time too.

KiwiKate Fri 24-Jun-05 00:09:05

Thanks for all your encouragement. As this is probably going to be our last, I'll definately tell mw that I'd like to give water birth a go.

But I agree that you should not have your heart too set on a particular type of birth as it all depends on how things go on the day.

Water birth is not very common here in New Zealand, but the local maternity unit has facilities available. Because it is not too popular (new) mw says she's never had to turn anyone away from water birth because of unavailability (although, of course, there may be other circumstances requiring birth on dry-land). Anyway, I'm only due mid-Sept, but your encouragement has really helped.

kgc Sat 25-Jun-05 03:13:27

Good for you got for it - our 4 week old was our last baby after 3 others and I had a water birth as I stated and it was the most amazing event ever over all my other births.

Kiwifruit Fri 01-Jul-05 15:48:35

Hi KiwiKate - was checking out your thread as I'm interested in trying a waterbirth too, and noticed that you're due in September. Come and join us on the September Ante Natal thread here

Where abouts in NZ are you? We're moving back to Auckland from the UK at the end of November.

shhhh Tue 05-Jul-05 21:47:56

Hi, I gave birth 7 weeks ago and also had a water birth..well a water labour ! I so wanted to go into the pool and was lucky it was free when my waters broke. I got in at 4cm's at about 6am and dd was born at 2.46pm the same day. Total length of labour was 10 hr 50 mins and this was my first (Apparently this is a good time for 1st baby).
The only problem I experienced was that my contractions slowed down after about 8/9 hours when I was at 10 cm's and I was not prepeared to walk about to start things going again (too comfy !) Anyway after 2 hours of pushing I got out & I had to deliver on "land" with the help of sytocyn (?) to increase the contractions again.
Like everyone has said before the experience is amazing and so relaxing but be prepared for possible "issues".
I hope that when i'm ready to have more babies that the pool is available again.

ps I did tear (2nd degree) and I managed all this on gas & air only ! Well worth it.

kgc Tue 12-Jul-05 23:59:09

Hi kiwikate

I have had three non water births and with my last just 6 weeks ago had a water birth and for me the waterbirth was the most painful...not sure whether this was due to it being my fourth child and my body knew what to do and dilating so quick or whether it was the water....but before I got into the water I was a thin 3cm dilated and upon minutes of getting in I was fully dilated and pushing....gas and air did not work and the pain was the worst over my other births.....but when my DD came out and we were both floating in the warm water together and having a cuddle....well....nothing could take that memory or experience away from me or my DH.....if I was to do it again I would have a waterbirth......

merglemergle Sun 17-Jul-05 17:20:06

I tried a waterbirth, unfortunately the labour stopped once I got into the water. This was probably more becasue it got light than anything else (once it got dark again, labour got under way very fast indeed) but I have a niggling doubt that it might have been that I got too relaxed in the water. For this reason, I don't think I'd go for a water birth again.

It definately reduced the pain though.

ladyjess Mon 18-Jul-05 22:05:14

I laboured in the water with my first child and it really did help with the pain. Made me feel so much lighter and less self conscious (although to be honest I was not too bothered who saw my bum that day!).
Unfortunately my son was posterior so I had to get out and have a drip, ventouse and episiotomy!
I am due my second son in 2 weeks and am hoping for the water pool again.
we'll see...!
good luck.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: