What are the benefits to a water birth? It might sound a little scary at first, a small human being born into a pool of water, but think about the atmosphere your baby has been living in while inside you? It’s full of fluid! In reality, it is the more natural way to be born when you think about it. But does have a water birth have other advantages as well? It does! Check out some of the water birth benefits below!
Water Birth Benefits
What is a water birth?
A water birth means that part of all of your labor and delivery happens in the water. Typically this is a pool or bath filled with warm water. A water birth can happen at the hospital, birthing center or in your home. Some of the most common water birth benefits include:
Relieves some pain:
Being in water, even in the early stages of labor, can help to ease the pain, which will decrease your chances of needing anesthesia. I am not exactly sure how, but being submerged in water will help to speed up your labor. Now, I did not have a water birth, but I did sit in a tub of warm water during the early stages of labor with my daughter, and I can attest to it easing the pain. I am not sure how, but it did! I was able to sit in the bathtub in my room (at the hospital). It had jets, and they lasted about 15 minutes and as soon as they stopped, I pressed that button again!
Floating has its benefits:
Being buoyant in water is helpful in almost every aspect of labor and birth. When you sit in the warm water, it is easier for you to move, as opposed to being in a rigid hospital bed (the only benefit to the bed I found was the rails to hold onto!) Being submerged in water is going to relieve some of the pressure you feel in your abdomen and help to increase blood circulation and oxygen in your body (less pain for you, more oxygen for baby!)
You might be thinking ‘Sure, like I am going to be relaxed during labor!’ But think about it. Water typically relaxes us right? Whether we are floating in a pool or enjoying some time in a hot tub, we instantly relax right? It works the same here as well. Being in water during even part of your labor is going to relax you, which helps you to focus on the work of pushing when the time comes. Conserving your energy!
Naturally stimulates labor:
What?! Yes, being in water will relax everything in your body including your cervix, helping to move labor along when you might be stuck. A bonus to being in the water and labor is there is less of a chance of tearing. Water softens your skin, all of your skin. You are less likely to tear if you are submerged, which means no stitches or sutures, which means easier and quicker recovery.
I kind of wish I had a water birth knowing all of it’s benefits now. Birthing a child is a very personal experience, and I don’t mean personal as in private because you need help! It is personal in that you can choose how you want your child to be born (within reason of course). You can never plan too early! Talk with your doctor or midwife and start your birthing plan right away.
Did you have a water birth? Share your experiences and thoughts on water birth benefits with us below in the comments!