This go around, I am choosing to have my birthing experience in water. Water birthing has become increasingly popular over the recent years. However, both water laboring and water birthing go back to ancient times. The idea of water birth used to freak me out. I would think, “I do not want to sit in all the “after baby juice”. I would also think: “How am I going to get out of the water afterwards, do these folks expect me to walk?” and “how will I not drown the baby?” I looked deeper into water-birthing once my Douala recommended it. What are the risks and benefits?
Benefits of Water Birth(PRO’s)
The warm water usually has a soothing affect on mom, which can make the labor easier to deal with naturally for both mom and baby.
The warmth of the water is reminiscent of the amniotic sac that the baby has developed in. Hence, making the actual delivery easier and less stressful on the baby if done correctly.
The water itself can act as a light barrier for the baby. The bright lights will not penetrate the water, therefore blinding or scaring the baby. Let’s not forget birthing is a process for the mother but more importantly, your baby is transitioning to the outside world during this process. You want to keep the baby as calm and soothed as possible while they get here safely.
It is easier to move and change positions due to the buoyancy of the water. This helps the mom to conserve much needed energy and support her weight without gravity being a huge opposing factor.
Water births often times happen quicker than the traditional birth when it comes to dilation. The water helps the mom to relax, resulting in a faster process.
Risks of Water Birth (CON’s)
There is an elevated risk for infection for both mom and baby being in the water. Cleanliness is everything.
A water birth is not ideal for someone who has a high-risk pregnancy or someone who is carrying multiples. That’s right, this is NOT for Beyonce this go around.
A water birth is not ideal for someone who has a preexisting health condition such as: Heart disease, herpes, or high blood pressure. Water birthing with underlining conditions like these are just too risky for mom and baby.
Emergencies can happen, which will directly affect the mother being able to labor or birth in the water. If the baby shows the slightest sign of distress ie. a dropped heart rate, the chance of a water birth actually happening becomes very slim.
Water aspiration/drowning is a real reality. Although, these are not common, the possibilities are not to be ruled out.
I always had my questions about the process of birthing new life in water however, I never thought that I would actually do it. It wasn’t until baby number two and a suggestion from my Douala that I took a deeper look. I wanted to know what water birthing actually was and the risks and benefits associated with it. I birthed my daughter completely natural without an epidural and she split me. OUCH!
For me personally, the benefits outweigh the risk. I am not going into this birth experience completely blind. In addition to having a Douala and a stronger support system this time, My son’s father and I had to actually take a class on this subject. I do intend to write a follow up article after I have my birthing experience with my son sometime in August.
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