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Waterbirths

(44 Posts)
BlueBee Sun 28-Jun-15 17:48:53

hi, I'm 32 weeks now and am considering a waterbirth. At our first antenatal yesterday the midwife asked us who was considering one, out of the 15 couples only 2 of us said we were.

I was just wondering how common they are?
And am I missing something where a dry land birth may be best maybe?

Thanks.

Topsy34 Sun 28-Jun-15 17:51:53

Waterbirth is lovely, i had ds at home in water and it just gave me space, i couldnt be touched very easily, i felt really safe

I think it decreases chances of tearing, might be wrong but sure i read it somewhere.

Disadvantages would be if you are birthing in hospital and the pool is already being used

chiruri Sun 28-Jun-15 17:57:18

I didn't plan for a water birth, but was offered one when I arrived at the MLU in labour. After a few hours of constant contractions (went from nothing to 6cm in less than 3 hours, at home) the water was bliss. I ended up having DD in the water, with the assitance of gas and air. I would say if you don't have any contraindications (i.e. don't want/need an epidural, don't need monitoring etc) then go for it! My only issue was that the gas and air made me feel a bit light headed, so my midwife said I had to either slow down on it or get out the water. I chose to stop the gas and air for a minute or two, as there was no way I was getting out!

HayFeverSucks Sun 28-Jun-15 18:06:30

I had a water birth with my first. It felt more natural to do that somehow. Now I'm onto number 2 and am consultant led this time. She told me that water births have a higher risk of bad tears because if you're on dry land a midwife can see what's going on and guide the baby out/hold you to stop baby shooting out/tell you when to push and when not to. In water they can't see so more risk. No one told me that first time round. I would still have gone for a water birth I think because it feels the better option than on dry land to me.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 28-Jun-15 18:10:40

I'm planning a home water birth for my first.

avocadotoast Sun 28-Jun-15 18:21:40

I didn't consider one at all, which is weird because I like being in water. I think I just couldn't see how it'd be much benefit pain wise, and thought I'd benefit as much just from being mobile and moving round the room.

Boy was I wrong! I ended up having terrible back pain that was only alleviated a little by DH constantly massaging my back (I had bruises afterwards from him pressing so hard!).

When I went into delivery suite I asked if I could have a bath, which helped my back pain, so MW suggested going to the birthing pool, which luckily was empty. I'm so, so glad I did. I wasn't able to spend all my time in there (had to get out for a couple of hours as I wasn't dilating quickly enough; I think the pool did slow that down, whereas being mobile/bouncing against birth ball made things happen, and I had to get out for the last maybe 20 mins of pushing as DD's heart rate had dropped). The time I did spend in there was a real help though. I'd definitely want that if I have another baby.

The only thing I didn't realise in advance is that it does limit your pain relief options. If you're in the water you're only able to have gas and air. I was pretty set on diamorphine at one point and had a real dilemma of that vs pool, but MW was happy for me to try pool first and then get out and opt for diamorphine if I wanted (which, as it happened, I didn't need).

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sun 28-Jun-15 18:23:23

I had one for dc2. Contractions were definitely less painful in water and no ring of fire! So well worth it imo.

avocadotoast Sun 28-Jun-15 18:23:43

Oh! And, another thing I didn't realise - if you're having gas and air they will take it away from you towards the end for when you start to push (as your breathing needs to be different). So, again, something to consider.

thesmallbear Sun 28-Jun-15 18:39:08

I was told the complete opposite re tearing i.e. that as the water softens everything you're less likely to tear.

BlueBee Sun 28-Jun-15 18:53:12

Thank you for sharing, lots to consider. avocado that's good about the pain relief as that's a bit I'm worried about. At least you have the option to get out and have some then. I've heard it helps with the tearing too <wince> but I guess we are all different.

bronya Sun 28-Jun-15 18:55:03

I had one for DC2. Was brilliant. You can move more freely and it really helps with the pain.

chiruri Sun 28-Jun-15 19:04:08

I'm not sure what the official line is regarding tearing. I ended up with a 2nd degree (but mostly muscular) tear with DD, despite her being a teeny 6lb2. In saying that, I think way too much of a big deal is made out of tearing. With grade 1 or 2s (by far the most common types) healing is very straightforward and you're rarely left with any long term issues. I was happily walking and sitting immediately after I had her, and didn't take any painkillers at all during healing. My only issue was that I let the student midwife put in the local for the stitches and she missed a little bit. Ended up getting 3 stitches through unanaesthetisted tissue. It honestly wasn't that bad.

Runningupthathill82 Sun 28-Jun-15 19:04:13

Thing to remember is it doesn't have to be one thing or the other - you can have a go in the pool and get out if you need to.

I did around 8 hours of my 24h labour in the pool. Had to get out when things went wrong, but until that stage it was a really pleasant and relaxing place to be (well,sort of!)

5YearsTime Sun 28-Jun-15 19:07:56

I planned a water birth but my baby wasn't for shifting so I had to get out of the pool and deliver out of the water. It did help so much with labour though and I loved being in the pool.

Sansarya Sun 28-Jun-15 19:11:25

I wanted a water birth and fortunately I was one of those whose birth went exactly according to plan. It was lovely and I'd highly recommend it. Re tearing, I got a second degree tear but can honestly say that I had hardly any pain from it afterwards as I took the painkillers. Stitches fell out within a couple of weeks and everything was fine.

Littlemissjt Sun 28-Jun-15 19:12:36

Our midwife at anti natal said if you're considering it to put it in your birth plan. It's easier to go in, get in the pool and come out if want to rather than being half way through and then requesting the pool.

Chips1999 Sun 28-Jun-15 19:14:01

Don't know about tearing but I had a water birth with DS and on a bed with DD and had a second degree tear both times!

I definitely think the water birth was less painful as it helped me to relax and it was cool (if a bit surreal) to see DS's head coming out! I was disappointed I didn't have a water birth with DD, they were running the water for me but my waters went and there was meconium so I had to be transfered to the normal labour ward sad

MissTwister Sun 28-Jun-15 19:38:24

Everyone round here seems to want one!

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sun 28-Jun-15 20:58:49

No one took my gas and air off me. I had it all the way from when the midwife arrived (home birth), to when dc2 was born an hour later, through delivering the placenta and even as she examined me for any tears (didn't have anything that needed stitches).

My midwife was a believer that my body knew what it was doing though so she let me get on with it. She sat in the corner with a cup of tea while I laboured and I picked Dd up out of the water myself. It was fantastic.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sun 28-Jun-15 21:01:16

*I hope that didn't come across as bitchy or anything, I didn't mean it to. I know I was bloody lucky to have a straightforward birth I was just explaining what my midwife had been drumming into me for weeks as part of a positive thinking thing.

Gunpowder Sun 28-Jun-15 21:11:45

I had normal birth for DC1 and water birth at home for DC2. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be in the water and just got in for transition/second stage when I felt like I needed pain relief. I think pushing Is easier in the water, I felt in complete control and found it much easier to do little pushes/hold off when needed. Like Pourquoi my MW just let me get on with it. After I delivered the head I felt it rotate round before delivering the shoulders, and then I caught The baby. Was incredible. Worth putting on your birth plan even if you aren't sure.

NickyEds Sun 28-Jun-15 21:16:54

I wanted a water birth but really didn't like it when I actually got in. It was too cold- mw said it needed to be cool to stop you from fainting.When I was looking around the MLU I was under the impression that water births were quite common but it turns out that it's only around 4/5% of births there. Had to be induced on the drip anyway but not really considering a water birth this time(I'm 38 weeks).I want an epidural this time.

RolyPolierThanThou Sun 28-Jun-15 21:36:25

I was shocked how effective the water was in reducing the pain. In the dry I was pain during a contraction and some discomfort between them.

When I got in the pool I instantly felt totally normal and pain free between contractions and this made the contractions themselves easier to handle. I felt totally relaxed and blooming marvellous. Ds2 was born 45 minutes after getting into the water. I was 6cm on getting in.

I had gas and air throughout. It was never taken away from me. Even had a few sneaky lungfulls during stitching, despite a local anaesthetic.

The mw kept her distance and just let me get on with it. I didn't need to push. I just got this involuntary having sensation during two of my contractions and became aware of something very large and solid between my legs. It was my beautiful baby and I felt no ring of fire and no tearing (even though I did tear a little, it turned out).

I was asked to get out before placenta was delivered because the bleeding wouldn't stop and mw wanted to make sure she could estimate blood loss for my notes. I'd had a pph at my previous (horrendous and non-water) birth.

Turns out all was fine and baby and I were at home within 8 hours. My water birth was amazing and I'm hoping for the same for dc3.

RolyPolierThanThou Sun 28-Jun-15 21:42:34

Having sensation should be heaving sensation. It felt really good and satisfying. For me, the second stage was the best bit.

I highly recommend a water birth. It felt nice and private and comfortable for me and it made a huge difference in pain. That part really surprised me.

Wolfiefan Sun 28-Jun-15 21:52:46

My first was a water birth. I vividly remember giving a big relieved 'aaaaaaaa!" Sound as I got in. The water really helped. The midwife said everyone made the same noise!!

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