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thinking of a waterbirth? do they REALLY reduce the pain? experiences?

(101 Posts)
needsanswers Sat 30-Jul-11 02:15:14

hi there, im currently 20weeks with number 2, 1st labour was litter ally traumatizing for me, i had nightmares for months and even my new midwife said i have 1 hell of a story and its unlikely for me to get a labour like that again.. anyway i have hurd alot of stories about water births and how they are ment to reduce the pain? some people tend to agree and some tend to think it slows labour down? i dont think i actually want to have the baby in the water but i would like to spend a majority of my labour in the pool with just G&A as pain relief, has anyone had any experiences with a 'normal' birth and then a waterbirth? would really love to get some feedback..

Solo Sat 30-Jul-11 04:27:30

Yes they do IME. First time I laboured in water, but Ds got stuck and I ended up in theatre and forceps delivery. Second time, I was only in the water for about 25 minutes before I was holding Dd, but the relief in the water was great.
If I had 10 babies, I'd want them all born in water.

kiteflying Sat 30-Jul-11 04:58:47

I am 22 weeks with number two and I definitely am going for a water birth this time. I was in the pool labouring for my first, but was there too long and got cold (something to watch out for - how warm is the room the pool is in?) so this time I am going to hold off until transition if I can so I can deliver in the pool. The pain relief is terrific but it did slow my labour down first time around. As soon as I got out the contractions came on thick and fast and felt doubly painful. I was a mess by the time I delivered.

mumatron Sat 30-Jul-11 05:09:05

First 2 dc born on dry land. 3rd born in the pool. Much better imo.

I got to the hospital, was examined, straight in the pool. DD2 born 3 hours later.

No issues with it getting cold, mw kept it topped up.

Definitely worth a try.

BlameItOnTheBogey Sat 30-Jul-11 06:00:16

I think it is a very individual thing. I tried a water birth with DC1 and it didn't help me at all. Did nothing for the contractions and I felt is restricted my movement. I was quite disappointed by it because I had heard so much good stuff and had high hopes. But it has to be worth a try because it clearly does work for some.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 30-Jul-11 06:43:32

I had a water birth with my first so have nothing to compare it to. I was having constant contractions and was starting to panic, getting in the pool made me feel much much calmer and slowed the contractions down (still only took 2 hours so God knows how fast it would have been otherwise!)

I liked the feeling that no one could invade my space. The midwives kept a low profile. Dh held the gas and air mouthpiece over the side of the pool to me.

I did find that the water helped with pain relief - very soothing like having a warm bath.

I had heard that water births resulted in less stitches but sadly this wasn't true for me! I think this might have been because I lay back in the pool rather than leaning forward over the side to give birth.

It was lovely when dd swam out into the water - I wish I had caught her myself rather than the midwife . . .maybe next time!

upurs Sat 30-Jul-11 07:06:32

thecountess i caught my dd in the pool. It was lovely. definitely the high point of my water birth

Primafacie Sat 30-Jul-11 07:45:34

It didn't do anything for me. I found the pain excruciating. Second time around I ad a lovely epidural. Now that really reduces pain!

CrazyAlien06 Sat 30-Jul-11 08:27:34

Thanks for this post :0) in hoping for a water birth too and its been really useful to read people experiences.

Primafacie Sat 30-Jul-11 08:43:25


RickGhastley Sat 30-Jul-11 09:08:47

I did nott have a waterbirth but sat in my bath when my contractions got painful. One hour later I got out of the bath, went to hospital and found I was 7cm dilated and not in too much pain at all!

Was a very good start to my labour I think. Would have liked to have got into the birthing pool at hospital but they were all in use. So had an epidural instead smile

outthere Sat 30-Jul-11 09:10:22

What are the downsides of actually birthing in the pool? Does the water get particularly disgusting? And what happens if I need an epesiotomy? Is it likely to go unnoticed and mean I might tear instead?

nannyl Sat 30-Jul-11 09:12:25

I am 34 weeks so not given birth yet lol.

We were talking about this is this weeks NCT and our NCT teacher said along the lines of "being in the water can have the same effect as an epidural" (ie some mums who were going to transfer from midwife unit to hospital, got in the water, and then didnt need anything else.

I havent given birth so have no idea what it is like, but i have my birth pool all ready at home for my homebirth.

A couple of my very good friends have given birth in water in the past couple of months and both have said how wonderful it was to be in the water.

WeLoveHaribo Sat 30-Jul-11 09:23:15

I was hoping for a water birth with DS1 but when i got to hosp was 6cm and in alot of pain and panicking... Instead of calming me down, reassuring me that my feelings were 'normal' they offered me more pain relief, which i gladly took but resulted in not being able to go into water sad
Then didnt feel the pain relief did much!
Prenant again and really want to try for a water birth again. xx

WeLoveHaribo Sat 30-Jul-11 09:23:54


belgo Sat 30-Jul-11 09:24:24

I've had three births, the first one on a bed, and the second two in water. Water is not a pain reliever in itself. What it does help with is mobility to get into a comfortable position and it can help relax you, which in turn can suddenly increase the intensity of the contractions (which is why my friend jumped out of the water, because contraction suddenly got worse.

Primafacie Sat 30-Jul-11 10:23:20

I find it a bit disingenuous of the NCT woman to say being in the water can have the same effect as an epidural! It is like saying squeezing a stress ball is the same as a local anaesthetic when you go to the dentist. Yes, a birthing pool can help with positioning yourself and helping you relax, but water does not suddenly develops magical properties just because you are about to give birth. And I say this as someone who had an uncomplicated, fairly short labour and did not tear, caught my baby in the watr, etc. I think you need to really embrace the pain to enjoy a water birth.

MrsMichic Sat 30-Jul-11 17:23:20

I had a textbook waterbirth using gas and air and hypnobirthing with DS1. The environment was great, kept me very calm, and being in the water was comforting but in no way is it pain relief in the same way as an epidural and think NCT teacher is irresponsible to say it is IMO!! Expecting DD1 any day and planning to do the same unless the labour is as long (40 frickin hours from start to finish last time) in which case, I am definitely having an epidural. You get great care in a pool as it has to be 1 to 1 and it does help, but you don't get a rest from the pain at all. I was 9 hours in the water (went in at 5cm dilated) and midwife was great at keeping it hot. Don't forget to get out and wee every so often!! Good luck! x

MrsMichic Sat 30-Jul-11 17:24:00

ps also helps with not tearing - I didn't tear either x

belgo Sat 30-Jul-11 17:27:11

I did tear in all of my births, water and land births. I didn't use gas&air for any of them if that's relevant, no pain relief for any of them, and I don't consider water to be pain relief.

It did contain the mess however!

Toobluntforboss Sat 30-Jul-11 17:39:09

Totally agree with belgo and primafacie - I had 2 on dry land (1 without any drugs) and 3rd in water. The water didn't ease the pain at all imo but it made me very relaxed between contractions which was nice and that made it much more comfortable. I was in the pool for about an hour and a half and the midwife kept it topped up to a llovely temperature. The midwife only came into the room when the contractions were quite bad and then for the delivery I had 2 midwives (1 for me and 1 for baby). I didn't realise however that you have to get out to deliver the placenta so that was quite horrible - dripping wet and the cord hanging out of you as you clamber out of the pool and over to the bed! It was a great experience overall but the nct are lying to compare it to an epidural (I had a walking epidural for my first birth and a water birth is not even in the same league regarding pain relief!). All the very best with whatever you decide and good luck for as pain free a birth as possible.

ragged Sat 30-Jul-11 17:54:07

Yes it helped with my pain, no cure, but even a 2-5% reduction was worth it for me.

FoodFascist Sat 30-Jul-11 17:57:21

I LOVED it in the pool. Sadly I had to get out for the pushing stage as the baby's head got stuck and the midwife could only get it moving by putting me on my side which you can't do in the pool. I gave birth on dry land but the pool bit was GREEEEAAAAAT!!!!!!

it doesn't reduce pain that much but it's so much easier to move in the water and take positions that are comfortable, which in itself helps to cope with the pain.

FoodFascist Sat 30-Jul-11 18:01:05

BTW sorry if someone's already mentioned this, but once you get into the pool you really won't want to get out so you should decide on whether or not you want to actually give birth there. I, like you, was hoping that I could get out just before the crowning stage but it's simply unfeasible - if the baby's head has moved into your vagina there's no way you'd be able to get out of the pool. So the choice really is, either you only use the pool for the 1st stage and tehn get out, or you go the whole way.

bananamam Sat 30-Jul-11 18:03:04

DS was a traumatic, cord around the neck, tear, cut and forceps job. 31 hours in total. Not in a pool.

DD was 3 hours, one of those in a pool, very easy indeed....still painful, but totally different pains...sort of think that's related to 2nd time labour and knew what to expect. Water def helped me relax. It felt natural to catch DD and just be in the water.

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