– Water Birth –
Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery. Other women decide to stay in the water for the delivery as well. The theory behind water birth is that since the baby has already been in the amniotic fluid sac for 9 months, birthing into a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother. Marin Midwifery offers birthing tub rentals for clients who would prefer a water birth.
Here are ten benefits to having a water birth:
- Greater comfort and mobility. Warm water is soothing, comforting, relaxing.The mother has much greater ease and freedom to move spontaneously and to change position to assist the descent of the baby as well.
- Reduction of pressure on the abdomen. Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and better blood circulation, resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
- Water relaxes the pelvic floor muscles and makes it easier to breathe and can be helpful to women with asthma.
- Promotes deeper relaxation. As a woman relaxes deeply in water, her hormones kick in and she starts progressing faster and with more rhythm; labor becomes more efficient.
- Change of consciousness. Immersion helps relieve anxiety and promotes relaxation. Water helps a woman to let go and focus inward as labor strengthens.
- Lowering of blood pressure. When anxiety is causing high blood pressure, immersion in water often helps lower it.
- Water can reduce the need for drugs to artificially stimulate labor. Often, simply getting into the tub will result in dramatic and rapid progress to full dilation within an hour or two.
- Water minimizes pain so effectively that for most women other pain control methods are no longer needed. water also stimulates the touch and temperature nerve fibers in the skin. It blocks impulses from the pain fibers, known as the Gate Theory of Pain.
- Facilitates the second stage of labor. Many mothers are less inhibited in the water. The warm water softens the vagina, vulva, and perineum, leading to fewer injuries to these tissues.
- Empowerment of the mother. When a woman delivers her baby while remaining awake, aware and in control, it greatly enhances the birth experience for her and becomes a source of great personal strength and power that enriches her life forever.