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Talk me through your waterbirth!

(97 Posts)
moomin35 Tue 25-Feb-14 17:31:40

Am thinking of having a waterbirth - I like the idea of it being slightly "private" below the water and also helping that the water brings some kind of pain relief although I plan to use gas and air too. Can you tell me about your experiences (good or bad) so i can make my decision for good!

Namethischildplease Tue 25-Feb-14 17:40:16

I don't think that you can make a decision 'for good'. All you can really decide is that, if circumstances allow, you will try it and see if it helps you.

Particularly with your first there are lots of reasons a planned water birth might not happen. And equally no one can tell you in advance if you will find water helpful.

That said, I found it great.

Cariad007 Tue 25-Feb-14 18:03:22

I had a water birth last week and it was amazing. The warm water plus gas and air really helped and baby was out within an hour of getting into the pool. It wasn't all wonderful though - the 24 hours of contractions I had before getting to hospital were pretty awful and no one tells you that you feel like the baby is going to come shooting out of your bum! But once I got into that pool instinct seemed to take over and I pushed him out without much difficulty. I did tear but it wasn't a third or fourth degree one and I'm already feeling much better. After reading all the horror stories about birth I was so glad I was able to have a positive experience, and would highly recommend water birth.

ithoughtofitfirst Tue 25-Feb-14 18:19:53

I planned on having a water birth and then had one. I thought it would be really chilled. And it was to be fair.
It's good that you started this thread cause other people will probably wonder the same thing and it's good to have a mix of stories. I watched a few on youtube too.

I'd been dilated 2-3cm for about 4 days, having stop start contractions for about 2 and the night i went in i.was booked for an induction the next day. Begged them not to send me home again so they let me lie down in an empty bed and i fell asleep and when i woke up at 1am i was 4cm (midwife decided to inform me the baby had a 'tidy size head' which scared the crap out of me). They started running the water and i made my way down to the pool room. It was so exciting!

They (midwife and student) taught me how to use the g&a while i waited. It was actually really effective i thought. It really takes the edge off the pain.

Got in the pool and there i stayed for about 5 hours. They make you get out every so often for a wee and to examine you. The first time they did i was 8cm and my waters had gone although i wasn't aware of it. By this time the contractions were really uncomfortable si i had to experiment with positions to get comfy.

Then they examined me and the midwife was like 'the baby's there you just need to push now!'. I wanted to stay lying on the bed but she firmly insisted i get back in the pool. I was pretty knackered by this point but got back in and tried to push on all fours for about 15mins then it was pretty clear it wasn't working so i turned over. Pushed him out after a few goes. Had a bit of skin to skin but i wanted to just get out of the water and see what kind of mess my fanjo was in.

A tiny 'graze'. I honestly thought he would have torn me in 2 cause of the head size comment! He was a whopping 6 lb 11.5 hmm

Trying to think what else...

I'd love to do it again this time but i'm consultant led so i might not be able to. If i can't i might treat myself to an epidural lol.

LucyB1 Tue 25-Feb-14 18:29:07

Thank you for starting this thread. Watching with interest. grin

CityDweller Tue 25-Feb-14 18:37:34

I had a home waterbirth and couldn't have done it without the water. It was amazing pain relief and I could move positions easily, something I was finding difficult on dry land.

Mw put me in pool when I was only 2cm dilated as she thought it would help me 'calm down'. Baby was born about 2 hrs later, if that! So for me, it worked to get things going and relax me so I could dilate (which I did very quickly from that point).

It was also amazing pushing the baby out - she can half way out on one push and there was quite a long gap before next contraction. MW said DD opened her eyes and looked up at her whilst half way out (I couldn't see as was kneeling up, clinging onto DH for dear life!)

shimmymummy Tue 25-Feb-14 18:45:34

With my last labour I didn't have a good time. Very long, lots of intervention (because it was long) and a 3rd degree tear that still didn't feel right 3 years later. I was part of a study at the time whereby they noted every few minutes what was happening in my labour to review birth experiences at the hospital. My file is MASSIVE but as a result the consultant I have been under the care of this time round and the consultant midwife have both reviewed the notes and recommended a water birth is my best option and that it should have been made an option to me before induction drips last time around, and in fact they probably shouldn't have intervened until much later!! I've been signed over to the midwives now and have filled out the paperwork for a home birth as it is the best chance of getting the water birth (in case I can't get in the MLU), with only one pool on the delivery suite it's a real risk if you desperately want one. Would also live to hear ppls experiences, good or bad!

SweetPeaPods Tue 25-Feb-14 19:21:57

I had planned a water birth with ds but couldn't as I was strapped to a monitor through out labour instead. So be prepared for it to not all go to plan! Hoping to get a water birth this time though, we'll have to wait and see.

stargirl1701 Tue 25-Feb-14 19:33:31

I went into labour overnight around 2am. I stayed in bed and rested, but I was too excited to sleep! I read the paper on my phone. I got up at 6am and ate a lot (3 bowls of cereal and half a loaf of toast!). I popped into a bath at 7am and took paracetamol.

At 8am, I put my TENS machine on low. DH and I watched a movie. At 11am I sat on my birth ball. I needed to use the breathing exercises I learned at ante-natal yoga from this point. At 3pm we drove to the midwife unit.

I was 8cm grin The midwife filled the pool. I was terrified to take the TENS machine off as it was working but the pool felt great. I was in the pool for 4 hours but it felt like half an hour. I didn't get out - the midwife used an underwater Doppler to monitor DD. I peed and pooed in the pool grin

DD was born at 8pm under the water and I was the first to hold her. My waters broke on the second last push. DH cut the cord after it stopped pulsating.

I didn't find this labour particularly painful - just pressure. I did have a second degree tear as I pushed when the midwife told me not to! I am pg with DC2...and worried that it'll never be this good again!

OnABabyDiet Tue 25-Feb-14 19:50:57

Watching with interest as a warm bath really helped with the pain of breach DD kicking me in the kidneys and back passage before they could fit me in for a c section!

This time midwife has said that a water birth is still an option even though I'm consultant lead, as now they have wireless, waterproof monitors smile

MatildasCat Tue 25-Feb-14 19:57:28

I had a lovely water birth with DC1. Got into water at 12am at MLU and it was a huge relief. Baby born at 7:30am. I stayed in the pool the whole time.

I'm hoping for a water birth again with DC2 who is due any day now. I know I have to keep an open mind but I can't imagine doing it on dry land.

Rombo Wed 26-Feb-14 10:20:08

I had an unplanned waterbirth!
I woke up in labour at around 4am, stated at home and had a bath, walked around, etc.
Went to MLU at 8am, after an hour or so they asked if I wanted to go in the pool, I hadn't wanted to before but said yes as thought it would pass the time!
Ds was born in the pool an hour or so later, I'm so glad I went in and am planning a waterbirth with next dc.

Madmog Wed 26-Feb-14 10:54:38

I think it's best to keep explore all options and not be disappointed if you don't follow one. Sounds silly, but when I went into labour I suddenly felt like I didn't want to get near water. I was in labour 31 hours and they suggested I have a bath to relax me in the early stages but I knew it just wasn't what I wanted at that time.

theressomethingaboutmarie Wed 26-Feb-14 11:25:50

I am SO glad that I had a waterbirth with my second. I didn't have the option with my first as I had pre-eclampsia.

I loved the fact that because I was in the water, there was less 'interference' as it were (I did have an awesome midwife though, who respected my wishes for minimum intervention). It's hard to tell you if it helped with the pain as I'd had my daughter 5 years earlier and can't really remember. I enjoyed feeling buoyed by the water and being enveloped in warmth.

I tend to get a bit claustrophobic when I'm about to give birth, so at that stage, the water felt a bit too much.

In all though, I'm thrilled that I went with a water birth.

Boobz Wed 26-Feb-14 11:36:56

Laboured for my first two at home in the pool, and then got out to actually push them out over the corner of the sofa on all 4s.

Last one I managed to stay in the pool for the whole event, with DH catching DS in the pool between my legs.

Water didn't particularly help me with the pain (the gas and air really helped though!), but I really liked the pool because it gave me a bit of privacy, some space, it catches all the mess (which is nice at a homebirth) and I think is really calming for the baby to be born into water.

Best 3 moments of my life. Go for it!

higgle Wed 26-Feb-14 11:38:49

I had two, one in hospital and one at home, It is just so lovely being supported in the water and feeling able to relax. I just lay with my head over the edge, floating away. With the home birth it gave DH and DS1 something to do assembling and putting away the pool.

GoldenGreen Wed 26-Feb-14 11:44:58

I know people mean well by advising women that they need to keep their options open, but it's worth pointing out that often you do need to know in advance if you want to use the water, as you will need to tell the delivery suite that's what you want. Water birth facilities are often limited and indeed you may need to book in to a different place of birth according to what facilities they have.

If once you get there you change your mind then of course you can, but it's usually not the case that you can ask for a pool half way through your labour and expect there to be one available.

GoldenGreen Wed 26-Feb-14 11:46:14

that last bit was so garbled - what I mean is, if you want a chance at using a pool, you need to plan it in advance!

Wibblytummy Wed 26-Feb-14 11:46:37

Had a water birth with my 2nd with gas and air (and paracetemol, around 9cms at a slightly mental transition phase where I was determined to have whatever drugs I could get my hands on!!)
I loved it and it would be my birth plan again if we ever had a 3rd. I don't think it helped so much with the pain until I stood up to get out, had a contraction and then had to lower myself back in. The only way I could describe it after was that I was like a cat going in to a dark corner to have kittens. The pool felt like a safe little space and the moment I stood up to get out, I had this overwhelming panic and feeling of vulnerability.

I was lucky, my hospital has just built a new midwifery unit where each room had its own pool. With my 1st they hadn't built that yet and there was 1 pool for the whole ward with a 2hr limit. That put me off entirely and I never considered it at that point.

CleverWittyUsername Wed 26-Feb-14 11:53:43

I'm veering towards water birth and apparently my local hospital has 3 pool areas. Only early days though so obvs I need to look into it more before making any decisions. Hopefully I will be ok and be able to get one if it is still what I want. It is hepful hearing these stories as previously I'd always thought I would want maximum pain relief on a bed and so on.

diamondlizard Wed 26-Feb-14 11:55:31

had a water birth with my dd

no pain relief water helped

but ended up with a 4th degree tear

RufflingFeathers Wed 26-Feb-14 12:47:22

Was wonderful, had one with my 4th. V.quick labour, only 20mins or so in pool so that prob made everything easier. The warmth of the water was lovely !! she was born in her caul, so water was really clean. Magical.

Have stopped having kids now, but would thoroughly recommend it

Spookey80 Wed 26-Feb-14 12:49:46

I had a water birth with dc2 and am due in a week with dc3, it was so good I'm actually a bit worried if the pool isn't available this time,
I would Definately recommend it and I wasn't sure if it would be for me, but it really was very good.
Good luck, go for it, can't imagine giving birth naturally without it.

cosmicnibble Wed 26-Feb-14 13:11:42

Waterbirth was great! I loved the privacy aspect, mw just leans over the side when she needs to.. With a handheld mirror so she can see what's going on!

Also loved being the first person to touch dd, lifted her out of the water.. Amazing.

She was back to back, and the warm water really helped with the pain, as did the G&A..

I did have quite a bad tear, but think this was due to back to back baby and perhaps it would have been worse out of water.

Planning a home waterbirth for dc2 due next week.

Go for it OP.. If you don't like it you can always get out! But do check availability of pools in your birth centre/ hospital and notify as soon as you're in labour that you'd like to try being in water.

ratherbeinnorfolk Wed 26-Feb-14 13:11:46

Had a water birth with my first DD (nearly 21 years ago). It was great, felt more in control as they have to ask you to get out, they can't just do things to you without your proper agreement. Had no pain relief at all, and I was ok. I was a bit of a curiosity back in 1993 and several staff came in to "have a look" which slightly detracted from the privacy aspect! I'm sure it helped keep contractions going, as they slowed down if I got out.

With my second DD I was induced as she was overdue (my choice), and I was about to get into the pool when my waters broke and there was meconium in my waters - this is a non-starter for using a pool for fear of infection, so I couldn't use it. Resulting birth not nearly so easy, not sure if it was not being in the water or being induced that made it more painful, ended up having an epidural.

Tell your DP to take swimming trunks - in case he wants to get in too, mine did!

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