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Water birth; your stories please...

(22 Posts)
newmomma Mon 27-Oct-08 15:14:19

Hi,

I have had my hospital tour this morning and have pretty much decided on a water birth. But, as its my first, I'm not sure whether I'll cope. From the sounds of things it pretty much means no pain relief other than gas and air - so I wondered if anyone out there has a story which would help me decide...

Does it mean no epidural and does that mean I'm mad to consider it??

Thanks...

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 27-Oct-08 15:20:39

Honest question. Do you just want to hear about successful ones? I tried for one but it didn't end up that way. Still feel very positive about my labour though and would be happy to share.

daisy5 Mon 27-Oct-08 15:20:54

I really wanted to. I read a big book on the subject.

2 problems, although on the tour they had said, 'yes, sure, we encourage people to use the pool if it is free', in fact when I arrived to give birth, they said 'oh, we're not sure there is a bed in there' and ummed and ahhed, which annoyed me a bit.

However I would have pressed the issue - but was actually only 3mm dilated which was too early )about 5-6mm best as too early and it slows down the process.

Thing is, next time they checked me three hours later I was 10cm dilated and about to give birth so too late to get in the pool.

Every birth is different. You can be prepared to do things a certain way, but it just doesn't work out that way, for various reasons. Some people have home births and their dh doesn't have time to put the pool up before the baby comes. Others use it for several days beforehand.

I found TENS with gas and air and good breathing got me through. I think the pool would have been nice though and hear such good stories about how great it feels. I hope lots of people respond to your request.

sorkycake Mon 27-Oct-08 15:25:36

You won't need anything else other than the water...maybe some G&A, but I doubt much more tbh.

I'm having my 3rd home birth in water in February and would never do it any other way.

Be mindful that if you opt for a hospital water birth you could get there and the pool be occupied, not in use for whatever reason, or they could have rules on not delivering in the water or getting out for the 3rd stage.
None of these issues arise when you hire your own pool and birth at home.

Littlefish Mon 27-Oct-08 15:29:27

The first thing I would say is, don't set your heart on it. Many things can influence whether you are able to have a water birth:

Availability of the pool (usually only one per hospital on a first come, first served basis)

Whether your pregnancy has been straight forward

Whether the initial stages of your labour have been straight forward

Whether you need any other pain relief than gas and air

I had a wonderfully, amazingly fantastic waterbirth with dd. I had gas and air only, but I also know people who didn't have gas and air, and just used the pain relieving properties of the water.

You're not mad to consider having a more natural birth, but I really think that you just need to keep your options open. You might need to have an epidural, or you might not. It just isn't a decision I think you can make at this point. Keep an open mind.

I also had a fantastic midwife in the hosptital who was very pro- waterbirths and gave me the most fantastic support.

Littlefish Mon 27-Oct-08 15:30:59

Good point sorkycake. Two of my friends recently were so keen on having waterbirths that they had home births and bought their own pools.

A hospital near us also allows you to take your own birthing pool with you as all the rooms are big enough to take them.

sorkycake Mon 27-Oct-08 15:32:26

My first birth was a hospital birth where I ended up with an epidural and it was horrendous!
Hence why I would only give birth at home.

Would you not consider staying at home?

Thomcat Mon 27-Oct-08 15:33:35

I have had 3 babies.
Didn't have pain relief with any of them.
DD1 born on dry land.
DD2 I got in the bath during labour but got out to actually give birth.
With DD3 I hired a pool and laboured and gave birth in it. WOW. Was amazed at how much pain relief I got from the water. At one point I stood up to be examined and the pain hit me. As soon as I got back into the water the relief was immediate.

I'm sure if you used a pool and then relly wanted to get out and have an epidural that would be ok but I really have no idea if that's the case or not. Worth checking with your hospital.

All I can say is that I loved giving birth in water and would recommend it to anyone.

Good luck

GYo Mon 27-Oct-08 15:35:37

On a completely practical note- question for experienced home birthers

How do you deal with putting the pool inside the house etc. How do you protect floor. Im still on for hosp (water if poss)birth but having a desire to do this at home.

DH is concerned re flooring being ruined (all new)- is he right to think this is reason against doing it?

thanks

sorkycake Mon 27-Oct-08 15:43:41

We move a sofa from our living room and place the pool on a rug (on a wood floor) with a decorators plastic sheet to protect the rug, though we've never had to mop up any water so it's not really necessary.

The pool we hire has a cover to stop things from falling in and is heated to a constant 37c.

We hire ours from Imogen Makepeace at Gentlewater and she has an internet off on atm for 5 weeks pool hire for £200 (100 less than normal).

I get the pool for 3 weeks before and 2 weeks after due date.

The water is fantastic when you feel tired and heavy at the end of the day so I make full use of it before the birth as well. If you want to get out for the birth that's your choice but I can't imagine why anyone would!
I got out to go to the toilet with my first water birth and had a contraction whilst out and nearly shot through the roof with the pain. Dh scooped me up and plonked me straight back in and it was bliss once more.
It never happened again.

LullyMummaOfOne Mon 27-Oct-08 15:45:37

Hi, i had my heart set on a water birth with my DS but on arrival the birthing pool room was already in use (might i add the pool was empty) so i didnt get my water birth

Here is hoping for next time though!

Good luck

dinny Mon 27-Oct-08 15:45:46

NM, I wanted a water birth both times and both times I hated being in the water!

I just like standing up in labour, I think!

good luck!

GYo Mon 27-Oct-08 16:02:01

Thanks Sorky (again!) - need to investigate this too... just feel being at home in a pool of water would be wonderful vs a stressful time at a hospital.

Thomcat Mon 27-Oct-08 16:05:11

I have a large kitchen diner. I laid down the protective covering on the floor, laid towels and old blankets down too. However there was barely any spillage or mess. It was set up in minutes and DP cleared it all away while I had a cup of ta upstairs with our new baby. BLISS smile

newmomma Tue 28-Oct-08 17:05:57

Blameitonthebogey: I'm honestly happy to hear any stories anyone wants to share... I can't make a reasoned decision based solely on 'nice' stories! x

ohIdoliketobebesidethe Tue 28-Oct-08 17:24:44

I had a waterbirth. The main benefit for me was having one-on one care from mw who was lovely. Was pants for pan relief though - it is after all just warm water. It was more painful than I could ever have imagined. I would have def had an epidural if I could have. Afterwards felt proud for having done it by myself and with no pain relief but also shell shocked at what I'd been through.

fairylights Tue 28-Oct-08 17:28:19

i had a really good waterbirth at home with my first (and only so far!) ds - it was a looong (27 hours) labour, as first labours are apt to be, so i was in the pool for a few hours early on, then got out for quite a while and then spent the last few hours in there, with gas and air for the pushing stage. tbh i can't imagine giving birth anywhere else now, hope i can do it again next time!
Theres no denying that labour and giving birth were agony but i do think being in the water really helped and if anyone had wanted to get me out i might have killed them..
i love swimming and being in the water anyway, i find it v soothing so it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to do. But i do think you need to be prepared that even if you organize for it to happen at home, or hope for a waterbirth in hopsital you might end up needing to go to hospital or having your baby on dry land - i have a couple of friends who had their hearts set on homebirths and for one reason or another ended up in hospital with epidurals - it took them both really quite a while to reconcile themselves to the fact that they had not had the birth that they had planned.
But my experience of waterbirth was wonderful! all the best to you smile

boogeek Tue 28-Oct-08 17:30:00

I had both my babies in water and can't imagine doing it any other way (it must hurt *so much* on dry land!) Was just magical - especially the first, abroad, where they were relaxed not panicky about it ;) but that's not very helpful.
For the second, at home, the BPIAB comes with a huge tarpaulin that we put down under the pool but I can't honestly see why your floors would get ruined.

fairylights Tue 28-Oct-08 17:31:07

sorry forgot to say@ just get a big bit of sheeting for your floor and use an uncarpetted room if possible! We had the pool in our dining room which has ancient floorboards and it survived..
also, if you do have a homebirth, consider getting a doula, i had one and cannot recommend them highly enough, especially if its your first birth smile

Marne Tue 28-Oct-08 17:31:22

I spent most my labour in the birth pool whilst having dd2 but the labour wen't on so long, in the end i got out and had an epidural (wimp). It was nice to be in there whilst in labour though, i don't think i could have done it with my first as the labour was far too painful.

biscuitbarrel Tue 28-Oct-08 20:35:06

Hi newmomma,

I had my first baby at home in water in March- it was wonderful and suited me perfectly, however, best advice I got about waterbirth was that its great if you are calmed by water and comfortable in it normally- if not, it can add to your stress and slow labour down. I'm in NZ, and would have had to hire G&A from a contractor(!), so went without. Its hard work, but the water really was enough pain relief for me.

A full pool weighs about a tonne, so worth having a solid floor. We put the pool up in the baby's bedroom (carpeted!) on two layers of tarpaulin.

Birth is an unpredictable thing- my thinking is that if you are really thought through all the options (from total intervention to without any pain relief) then if things change, you can adjust more easily.

Whatever you decide, you get a baby at the end, and it will all be worth it!

biscuitbarrel Tue 28-Oct-08 20:36:30

Hi newmomma,

I had my first baby at home in water in March- it was wonderful and suited me perfectly, however, best advice I got about waterbirth was that its great if you are calmed by water and comfortable in it normally- if not, it can add to your stress and slow labour down. I'm in NZ, and would have had to hire G&A from a contractor(!), so went without. Its hard work, but the water really was enough pain relief for me.

A full pool weighs about a tonne, so worth having a solid floor. We put the pool up in the baby's bedroom (carpeted!) on two layers of tarpaulin.

Birth is an unpredictable thing- my thinking is that if you are really thought through all the options (from total intervention to without any pain relief) then if things change, you can adjust more easily.

Whatever you decide, you get a baby at the end, and it will all be worth it!

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