Today, there is a wide range of alternatives for delivering a baby. You have the option of having your baby at a hospital, a birthing center, or at home, depending on your preferences and the well-being of you and your kid. In addition to location, more and more women are opting for water birthing pools.
Having your baby in an inflatable or fixed tub while submerged in water is known as water birth. Alternatively, you can give birth in the water and then have the baby dry-docked. If you want the advantages of hospital birth and the advantages of hydrotherapy, this can be a fantastic choice for you. Make sure you check with your hospital ahead of time to see if water births are permitted there.
What is the best time for a water birthing pool?
Whether you’re giving birth at home or in a medical facility, this decision may be up to you.
The pool is yours to use whenever you want during a home delivery. Aside from having back pain, early contractions might persist for up to a day. Taking a bath in warm water might help alleviate back pain and stress.
It may also allow you to conserve energy for the remainder of the day or night. If the intensity and frequency of your contractions decrease, you may want to take a break from the pool and rest until active labor begins.
It’s important to remember that if you want to utilize the pool from the beginning of your labor, you may need to change the water. Every 24 hours, the water in a birthing pool should be drained, cleaned, and replaced.
To avoid legionella, birth pools with water preheating capabilities are no longer suggested because of the danger of legionella infection. The pump should be used solely for emptying the pool and not for recirculating warm water if you have a pump in your pool.
Pool use at a hospital or birth center may require you to be at least 5 to 6 cm dilated before entering the water. During active labor, your contractions are likely to be rather intense.
Whether you’re concerned that getting into the pool early would slow down your labor, you may want to check with your hospital to see if they have a regulation against it. During active labor, it’s likely that you’ll proceed faster to the pushing stage if you get into a swimming pool.
Even if their contractions slow down, other hospitals allow women to determine when they need water, even though they may have to seek some fresh air.
Taking a break from the water every 30 minutes or so has been recommended by some doctors as a way to expedite labor. According to this theory, warm water’s positive benefits diminish after an hour and a half, even if you’re actively laboring. However, there isn’t enough evidence to say whether or not getting in the water at a certain time is a good idea.
It’s possible that you won’t be able to enter the pool in time. You will be recommended to stay out of the pool if your midwife can already see your baby’s head during a contraction.
Water birth positions to use
It will be the most relaxing for you if you can get into a posture where the water comes up to your shoulders.
An inflatable or waterproof pillow might be a good option for sleeping on. It’s also possible that floats might help you. Everything you need to feel at ease may be given to you by your birth partner.
Any of the following stances can be tried when submerged:
- Holding on to the side of the pool, one squats down.
- In a kneeling position, a forward lean onto the pool’s edge, or a neck-to-neck embrace. Place a folded medical towel at the bottom of the pool to make your knees more comfortable.
- Relax on the pool’s edge with your head propped up on a pillow.
- Using floats beneath your arms or lying on your back in the water with your head propped up on a cushion as you float.
- Supported by a cushion while lying on your stomach with your head inclined to one side.
If your birth partner is in the pool with you, sit with your back to them.
What happens to your baby during the water birthing pool?
Midwives recommend that new mothers hold their bottom and baby’s head under water after the baby’s head has been delivered so that the baby’s breathing reflex does not begin too soon. Wait for the following contraction to bring the delivery of your baby’s body a few seconds later, and then relax again.
After he’s born, your kid will drop to the bottom of the pool. There is no way for him to breathe until he feels air on his face and a change in skin temperature since he is still receiving oxygen from the umbilical cord that is tied to the placenta within you.
Amid the gentle swaying motion, your midwife will carefully remove your baby from the water and bring him to you. To avoid tearing the umbilical cord, they’ll help guide you as you carefully hoist him, ensuring you don’t jerk the baby.
To keep your baby warm, keep his head above water and the rest of his body immersed. If you’d want, you can start encouraging him to nurse right immediately.
When a baby is born underwater, it’s pretty uncommon for them to not cry much. Midwives who have a high percentage of water deliveries say that newborns tend to be more relaxed than those who are delivered by traditional methods.
To tell if your infant is breathing adequately, look at his or her color. Relax and enjoy the initial few minutes of skin-to-skin contact with your newborn.
As for the placenta delivery, some midwives are OK with it as well. Keeping your infant in the water may be possible if you so choose. You may, however, be advised by your midwife to leave the pool if you desire a more controlled third stage of labor. To receive the necessary injection, you may choose to sit on the stairs or on the edge of the pool.
Getting out of the water may also be preferable for your midwife since they can monitor your blood loss throughout the third stage. Because the amount of blood loss in a pool might appear to be greater than it actually is, estimating it requires practice. You and your infant may exit the pool with warmed towels ready for you and your spouse.
Water birth disadvantages
Here are a few uncommon issues that might arise with water birth:
- It’s possible that either you or your child will become infected.
- It’s possible that the umbilical cord will break as soon as your kid is pulled from the water.
- It’s possible your infant has a high or low core temperature.
- It is possible for your infant to inhale bath water.
- It’s possible that your kid will suffer convulsions or stop breathing.