Pregnancy is such an important time of life for a woman. It’s a time when a woman not only goes through physical but mental changes to prepare for her role as a ‘mother’. She now has a major responsibility to nurture another life, give it an identity and be a mentor for the rest of her life. There are so many great things about being a pregnant, such as people smiling at you when they see your tummy, you’re allowed to indulge in your cravings without the need for an excuse, you can copulate without fear of getting pregnant and much more. However, there are some downfalls as well, such as back pain, swollen feet and ankles and worst of all the agony and extreme pain during labor and childbirth.
The two most common methods of baby deliver are cesarean and natural birth (vaginal birth). However, a new method, called water birth, is gaining quite the limelight. If you are new to this mode of birth-giving, you can always get more insight from Los Angeles Water Birth. It basically involves a woman, either, spending part of her labor or the complete delivery process in a warm tub of water. This can take place either at home or at a hospital. In this article we are going to look at preparation for a water birth, followed by its advantages for both the mother and baby and finally when water birth isn’t an option for you.
How to Prepare for the Water Birth:
1. Selecting the Tub
The first thing to consider when choosing a tub for delivery is its size; the tub should be large enough to allow the pregnant woman to sit comfortably into it and ensure that the water level of the tub is up to the woman’s armpit to provide adequate buoyancy. Before the woman is placed into the tub, it should be washed properly using a 10% bleach solution and then rinsed off thoroughly. Please ensure that the tub comes with a temperature regulator to ensure that the temperature remains constant and warm throughout the birth process.
2. The temperature of the Water
The temperature of the water should always be around 35 to 38 degrees Celcius, depending on your preference. However, avoid cold water during labor because it has the potential to carry warmth away from the pregnant woman. This can result in your shivering and will prove to be discomforting. If the water is too hot you’ll feel drowsy, overheated, become dehydrated because it dilates your blood vessels. Your blood pressure will drop which can make you feel faint and you’ll have a greater tendency to bleed after the birth.
3. Choosing the Birthing Room
The room to be selected for birth-giving should be large enough to accommodate a large tub. The floor should also be very strong to support the tub full of water. Also ensure that the room Is warm and important accessories like towel, hospital kit, etc. are available for the mother and baby. You can choose the lighting of the room according to your preference. If you think that having a heater in the room or increasing the temperature of the air conditioner in the room will be more pleasant than you can always choose to do so.
Plenty of water should be around since there is a tendency that you get dehydrated. Light and easily digestible snacks should be present for the pregnant woman to consume if needed. It has been shown that consumption during labor has reduced its length by almost 90 minutes, so it would be a good idea to have nourishment in hand.
5. Wear Comfortable Clothing
It’s exigent that you wear something light and comfortable during labor; warm, comfy clothes are always pleasant to wear because you feel so easy. You can choose whatever you wish to wish from a bikini to a bandana top. If you feel comfortable you can even choose to be nude during the process of childbirth.
Advantages of Water Birth
Placing yourself in a tub of water helps to relax the body because it creates a sense of weightlessness and buoyancy, which lessens the body’s weight allowing you to position your self comfortably in the tub and moving about freely too. This is something that you will not be able to do if you are in a hospital bed. Also, water provides a very soothing effect and helps the body to remain calm.
2. Truncated Labor Time
Labor is a tough process for a woman to go through. It normally lasts for about 8 hours, but it could be longer or shorter depending upon when the cervix has completely dilated to allow for the birth of the child. Many women have reported that the labor time and pushing time is shorter and easier when in a tub of warm water. This is due to the buoyancy which results in more effective contractions resulting in lesser time for the baby to be delivered.
3. Water Regulates Body Temperature
Water has the capacity to regulate the internal temperature of the body in response to the external temperature. Being in a tub of warm water can help maintain your body temperature at a stable level during labor and prevent you from getting cold or overheated. Use the temperature regulator to keep the water temperature stable throughout the process.
4. Reduce Pain
Many spas have jacuzzis and water bathes available for customers because water is known for giving a soothing effect to the body. It’s so peaceful and serene. Hence, it’s no wonder why water reduces the production of stress-related hormones; as a result, endorphins are released. Endorphins are neurochemicals that decrease the sensation of pain and promote happiness. Water can also reduce the need for drugs to artificially stimulate labour. Frequently, getting into a tub will result in rapid dilation of the cervix to speed up the process of delivery.
5. Fewer Episiotomies
Episiotomy, alternatively known as perineotomy, is a surgical incision of the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall generally done by a midwife or obstetrician. Some research suggests that fewer episiotomies are performed on women who opt for a water birth. Water causes the perineum to be more elastic and relaxed, thus reducing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Many findings have suggested that immersing yourself in water in the open air is particularly good for positive mental wellbeing. Water provides a greater sense of privacy for the pregnant woman; it can reduce anxiety and fear. Immersion in water often helps lower high blood pressure which can keep a woman calm during labor. When anxiety is causing high blood pressure, immersion in water often helps relieve it. This effect can be enhanced if the delivery takes place in a dark room.
7. Reduces the Need for Drugs
Managing labor pain requires the use of multiple drugs such as analgesics (which reduce pain to the whole bodyor areas like the vagina, vulva, and perineum) and anesthetics ( which numb the body from the waist down. Other medications include epidural block, spinal block, and combined spinal-epidural (CSE) block). Laborin water can decrease your need for epidurals or other spinal pain relief medications because contractions are easily stimulated when you’re immersed in water. Making the birth process less painful and truncated in time.
8. Greater Satisfaction
Any woman would love to minimize the pain and other complication that labor accompanies. Birth in water is wholly a softer, and more gentle experience when compared to other modes of birth. Women who have participated in water birth have reported positive feelings, a greater satisfaction rate, and a greater sense of control; maybe this explains why this method of delivery is gaining a lot of public attention.
Water Birth is Not for You in the Following Cases
- Herpes is easily transferred via water, there is a chance that the baby can be smitten with it. If you suffer from herpes, water birth is not for you.
- If your baby is breech then cesarean is the best option for you.
- If you bleed or have a maternal infection.
- If you are expecting more than one baby
- If preterm labor is expected, in other words, if you experience labor before the due date.
- If you suffer from toxemia or preeclampsia you should discuss the risks with your healthcare provider.
With that said, we now have a better understanding of waterbirth, specifically on how you can prepare for it, its advantages and when this is not the right method for you. We can say that this method of delivery presents numerous benefits for the mother. The baby too is at an advantage since the water in the tub provides a similar environment in the womb where the baby is surrounded by the amniotic fluid. However, before you go with this process of birth, consider its complications and seek proper guidance from your healthcare provider.