Recently I read about Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin opting for a water birth. Is it Safe !.
A study published by the University of Michigan says that there are no differences in outcomes between water birth and land birth. So it’s absolutely fine if a mom decides to go for a water birth.
What happens during a water birth? In Water Birth, a woman gets into a tub or pool of warm water before the Baby is born. She will remain in the water during the pushing phase and the actual birth of the baby. The baby will be brought to the surface of the water after he or she is born. Birth of the placenta can happen in or out of the water. Waterbirth was first reported in an 1805 medical journal, and became more popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
Benefits for Mother:
Warm water is soothing, comforting and relaxing. Pregnant women will feel less pain. Water is sometimes referred to as ‘nature’s epidural’ or ‘aquadural’. The effect of buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles and more oxygen for the baby.
Water may lower the chances of severe vaginal tearing
Being in water often helps to lower anxiety and blood pressure
Benefits for Baby:
Provides an environment similar to the amniotic sac Eases the stress of birth, thus increasing reassurance and sense of security
Can I have a water birth?
Having a water birth is an option for you if you had a very safe nine-month journey, without any complication and if the obstetric doctor believes it is safe for you and your baby.
You may not be able to have a water birth if:
- your baby is breech
- you are having twins or triplets
- you are having a preterm delivery
- your baby has passed meconium before or during labour. Meconium is the dark green substance that forms the first feces of a newborn. If this gets released before the baby is born, there is a chance for the baby to inhale contaminated amniotic fluid.
- you have active Herpes, pre-eclampsia or any infection
- your baby’s health is not stable
- your waters have been broken for a long time
- Previous delivery was through cesarean
- you are at high risk of having birth difficulties
What do you need to wear for water birth?
Some women like to wear a T-shirt in the pool. It is ok to stay naked or to wear a bikini top. It is always good to keep a warm towel around. This would help to keep you warm in case you have to get out of the pool in case of any emergency.
What is the best temperature for water birth?
It is best to maintain the water temperature similar to body temperature. 36.5 – 37.5 C is ideal. If the water is hotter than this, it might lead to exhaustion, blood pressure problems, and even contractions may slow down.
Are there any disadvantages to having a water birth?
- You cannot opt for pain relievers like Epidural
- In case complication develops, in the process of moving you out of the pool, you will lose out on time
Will water go inside my baby’s Lungs
When babies are born in water, their body behaves as if they are still in the womb protected by amniotic fluid. As a baby comes from amniotic fluid (in the womb) into water (in the birth pool), lungs won’t be open and there is no chance for water to go in. Once the baby is born, the doctor will bring them to the surface slowly.
So planning for a water birth. First and foremost check with your Doctor and then take a call. Stay healthy, Stay happy.