water birth experiences please....(40 Posts)
After going through my birth plan with the midwife she suggested I might like a water birth. Just after people's experiences please. How hot do they have the water? (As hot as a bath or just lukewarm ) does the pool maintain the heat of the water or does it need to keep getting refilled / topped up? Also on mentioning this to my mum she said they're a breeding ground for legionnaires disease and I should avoid it. I know this is probably a completely wrong view as surely they wouldn't suggest it if there was a significant risk of it. I had quite difficult births previously especially when it came to the pushing stage did anyone find it easier to labour in the water than on a bed?
Where are you planning on giving birth? The answers will depend on that, because there are different types of pools.
The Legionnaire's thing I can answer, but is long winded so I'll wait until the first bit is out of the way!!
It was bath temperature, they kept topping up with hot water and i found the water amazing to shift position easily to find the best position to push in. I had a vbac after 2 emergency sections in water and despite 2 hour pushing stage it was honestly easy, gave birth in a kind of reclining squat which i could have never managed on dry land
I had two home water births. On the hygiene side, each birth used a new birth pool liner and new hose for filling - I don't know what they do in hospital but would expect it to be at least as clean.
The water is quite hot and hotter for birth than labour - the baby should be born into a body-temp environment as that is part of what stops them from taking a breath until they've surfaced. We (or rather my DH) controlled the temp just by adding more hot water.
We had a pool that didn't maintain temp but my labours were very short so that didn't matter.
Finally, water births are bloody brilliant! It's amazing what a difference it makes to you, I loved them and would recommend them to anyone.
Both my DC were water births in hospital - and both were good experiences abd I'm sure I needed less pain relief as a result of being in water. That said, a midwife told me anecdotally that in the U.S there is a trend towards just labouring in the bath and then getting out to deliver, as the water pressure can interfere with the pushing. So it might be worth thinking of that as a plan - that was my plan with my second but there was nooooo way I could get out of the water when it came to it.
I've never heard of water pressure interfering with pushing. Seems a bit odd to me given how hard a downward pressure the pushing is. I'm a total big cynic and would assume it was more because they liked a clear view and didn't like all the bending over.
I have been considering this. What do you wear? Do you wear anything? Seem to have seen bikinis on brief viewing of one born every minute
A lot of people wear nothing in the pool. I've done it once in a bikini top and once naked. The first time I don't think I realised how deep it would be so next time I just stripped off! You can wear whatever makes you comfortable. Personally I couldn't stand a t-shirt, but some like it.
I was planning on wearing a tankini but ended up wearing the same grey vest top for both of mine. It's up to you - go in naked if that's how you're most comfortable.
I have had 2 water births in 2 different hospitals. I also had a non water birth in one of those hospitals. If I was to have another baby then I would have another water birth, if possible.
I found them very relaxing. I could get more comfortable in the water than out of the water. My two water babies were both born within 2 hours of getting in the water. They were also both born during hot periods in the summer months - so being in the water was also more comfortable for me from a temperature perspective.
I had no tears with dc2, first water birth and only minor with dc3.
Sorry should have said I plan on using the birth pool in the hospital
Birth pools in hospitals are normally like big plumbed in baths! The water should be body temperature.
No, Legionnaire's disease is not a worry. There is a slightly more complicated answer for some types of pools used in home births, but for your purposes, I would exclude that from your reasoning.
My water birth (second DC after very long instrumental labour with first) was amazing. The water is warm bath temperature and divine to sink into, it takes the weight of the bump and like a PP said you can get into much better positions with ease.
I had a few contractions on dry land after being in the pool and they really hurt, once I got back in again I got to 10cm with relative ease with just G&A to take the edge off.
I tried to have a water birth in a birthing centre but it didn't work out as every time I felt the need to push I would push and the feeling would subside and the MW told me to relax, the head would be emerging and then go back in! she kept topping up the water as I was in there for over 5 hours, though it didn't feel like that long. The pool acted as pain relief but relaxed me so such I was made to get out and walk to stimulate contractions, I ended up on the birthing stool. I'd recommend it whether you give birth in it or not.
Water birth for me was fantastic.. was in there for about an hour and a half, felt much quicker.. I was relaxed and the water was lukewarm ish (they had to rush to get the pool ready as I was 7.5cm dilated) I used no gas and air or any other pain relief and it was great to give birth in, to me it didn't really feel that painful.. I couldn't imagine ever having a normal birth.. Definitely water birth all the way.
I had a great water birth in hospital. No pain relief needed. Would recommend if you fancy it. No idea about water temp. I was distracted!
I was in water at home for about 15 hours or so of my contracting before there was an emergency and I had to be transferred into the hospital so I only know about the contracting, not the pushing stage in water.
I have to admit that I was skeptical about water as pain relief before, and wondered if I would end up leaving it and going on the bed where it was more cushioned. Actually I found water really, really helped with the contractions. When I had to get out to be checked I would pretty much run back to the pool before another one hit! It really dulled the pain and made me feel in control and able to cope. Outside of the pool I felt like a writhing mess - I felt like gravity was pulling me down if that makes sense.
My labour went pretty badly after that (I will spare you the details). The gynecologist who came to see me in hospital a few days later said that many women who had had births like mine consider having ELCS's in future pregnancies (implying that I might want one), but actually, the part in water where I was in control is something I remember fondly and I would definitely try it again if I can safely.
My friend (also a midwife) who pushed her DS out in water loved it and is a huge advocate for them.
I had Madthing4 in a ppool in.hospital, very easy quick labour, 10lb 13 oz baby, his head was off the chart for circumference. Am sure being in.the water helped so I didn't tear.
I laboured in.the bath with my.others as. The water really helped. Totallyrexomnend, of I ever have another I will plan on A pool birth.
Had a home waterbirth with DC2 and it was fantastic. Can't recommend it enough. Apart from the pool and the TENS machine I didn't need any pain relief. Like a pp said, gravity can feel a bit much when you're in the throes and the water seems to support you somehow.
I had a water birth with DD2 and it was bloody awful. Turned out that she was back to back, had a terrible labour, tore horribly and ended up with every form of medication going (spinal, morphine - you name it!)
Spoke to the chief midwife at the hospital (after I had Dd, as she happened to live near me) and she said because a water birth is hands off, they can't always detect problems until it's too late. I'd never have another water birth, but if I had another child I'd be guaranteed a c section to prevent the same problems. I might have avoided these if I had had a normal delivery - but these are quite specific circumstances.
This is great, I'm also considering a water birth and this has answered loads of my questions!
I'm curious as to what happens once you've given birth though? Do you hold your baby in the water for a while? Do you stay in there to birth the placenta or is the baby whipped away and you have to get out all cold and wrinkled and go to the effort of drying yourself off?!
I love the idea of labouring in a pool but then I also like the idea of being able to cuddle my baby on the bed and have skin to skin time as soon as it's born.
I didn't get to hospital til 9cm dilated and didn't get in the water til I was pushing (not a quick labour, just the hospital kept putting me off over the phone saying I wasn't in true labour - HA!) but the water helped soooo much as soon as I got in I felt much better able to push. Was deep enough to be on all fours which was amazing and plenty warm, felt like I was in the bath. I only had two stitches - first labour - and think this is at least partly due to the water being more supportive than air so you stretch more gradually
Oh and the skin to skin question - they handed dd to me in the water and we cuddled, then I asked them to cut the cord and pass her to DH for skin to skin while I got out. Then I started crazy bleeding while delivering placenta :s but if I hadnt my plan was to lay on the bed and have skin to skin again
I really want a water birth and it is so great to hear everyone's positive experiences
I am only 24 weeks so when do i book a tour of my local hospital?
Great thread OP. Also interested in a waterbirth.
Does anyone know if it helps with the ring of fire? That's the bit I'm dreading.
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