Water Birth or 'Regular' Birth.

Updated on February 01, 2013
K.S. asks from Bloomington, IL
17 answers


First time pregnancy here, debating what I want to do when the time comes. would welcome others experiences. I do know I'd prefer not to have drugs during labor and delivery.

Pros of Water Birth?
Cons of Water Birth?
Pros and cons of regular birth?

Thank you in advance!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you all for your input! I'm thinking I will have a water birth, all parties willing (insurance, doctor, baby not being super early etc).

Here's to hoping that it can happen. Don't worry, a home birth is out of the question, husband has said as much. Water or otherwise, baby will be born at the hospital.

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

Regular with drugs. :)

Pro: I was calm and pain-free, and I can still remember exactly what my sweet little girl's face looked like as she emerged (they had a mirror so I could see). If I had been in agony or if she had been underwater I would have missed it.

Nothing wrong with enjoying the experience, and I don't feel like any less of a woman because I didn't "tough it out." I've proven I'm tough in many other ways.

Not knocking other choices, though.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

There are no cons to a water birth!! :)

My first was born in the water. AMAZING! When it was time to push I sat up on my knees and put my arms on the side of the tub. Hubby was there holding my hands. Gravity really did most of the work. In 3 pushes she was out.

I did let out 1 animalistic scream, lol. Don't expect to act like a lady. ;-)

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Denver on

I think the best advice I received was to not have any expectations. You can have a plan but be okay within yourself to just want a healthy baby and healthy mama.

I had a c-section and everything went great. So thankful I did because my LO had her cord around her neck and a knot in it. She is my miracle.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I never considered a water birth - but I know some women swear by it - and that's fine.
I was huge and my hip joints were so loose the last month or so it was painful to walk and move - stairs (up or down) were agony.
I seriously doubt I could have maneuvered into or out of a tub and my balance was way off.
I didn't want to think about being in the water along with amniotic fluid and blood anything else I might push out (poo).
I'm sure there are procedures for all that and it's all very clean but it just didn't appeal to me.
My labor was 36 hours long.
I loved loved loved my epidural!
(A toothache is totally natural too, but I'd never consider getting a cavity filled without something for the pain while they are drilling. I just don't deal well with pain.)
Our son was 9 lbs 1.5 oz and was born vaginally.

As far as our birth plan went - when the doctor asked me I told him it would be NICE not to have an episiotomy and NICE not to have a C-section,
But the whole point of this was to have as healthy a baby as possible so if any emergency came up - just do whatever you have to do and I'll be fine with it.
I was/am very happy with my birth experience.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Whatever you decide, do it in a hospital based center.
AND see, if your insurance, covers it. First.

The reason I say do it in a hospital, is because, you never know, nor can you predict, how your delivery will go.
With my first child's birth, there were complications. And I then had to have an emergency c-section. Both me and my daughter, were in a tenuous situation. So I am glad, I was at a hospital... that could then quickly, deal with it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Even if you decide now, you may change your mind when your time comes :) I wanted a water birth with my first because I'm such a water lover that I figured it would soothe and relax me. Plus, I just felt it would be way cool to deliver in the water.

However, my labor stalled when I was the water, and I ended up birthing him in my bed, which was fine :) My daughter came too fast to even contemplate water, not even getting in the shower for a few minutes. Her labor was fast and furious (8 hours), where my son's was exceptionally slow and steady (48 hours).

I would have a birth tub on hand or have the option open if you're delivering in a water-birth-friendly hospital (some hospitals don't allow water births because the OB has no control), and if you feel like using it, you can :) Keep an open mind to and learn about and practice other pain-coping techniques as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I had all 4 of mine without pain meds, and I really, truly enjoyed the experience. My last 3 were water births in the alternative-birthing center of a hospital. I was able to labor in the water with my first but that hospital did not allow me to deliver in there. I would highly recommend the birthing tub, it was so relaxing and the buoyancy it provides really helps ease discomfort. I didn't need stitches for the three water deliveries, the warm and wet environment can help the skin stretch. I don't really have any cons from my experience, except having to get out! (I delivered the placenta on the bed). My water stayed clean and warm, the whole environment was calm and relaxing. Even without drugs I was not in agony and I too remember seeing each of my babies faces as I reached down and lifted them to my chest. A mirror was an option for me, but I preferred to focus on the experience rather than the sight. As an ob nurse I had seen many deliveries, but only got to experience my own.
I agree that it is good to have an idea of what you want, but be aware of your options and be open to change (whether it is for the health of you/baby or you just want something different in the moment, it is hard to predict what you will want/like in labor, especially when you have never been though it before). Having a good support team can be critical, so surround yourself with people that will encourage and support you. For me it was just my husband and midwife (my older two kids were also at the most recent birth), but for others it is husband, doula, mother, best friend, etc, etc. Absolutely leave all the nay-sayers and downers at home. I wish you all the best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I cannot recommend water births enough.

I had my son in a birthing tub at a hospital-based birthing center, and I would not change a thing about it. The water really took the pressure off the contractions. I mean, they weren't fun, but never, ever did I feel like I couldn't hack it. I was much more relaxed than I would've been out of the water, and that made the labor quicker -- only 11 hours, pillar to post.

In my book, water births are just a pro in every possible way. The con of regular births is ... they're not in the water!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Look for a hospital that can accomodate a water birth. I had a very normal pregnancy and a normal labor, until my daughter got stuck and they had to conduct an emergency c-section. I'm a big fan of as much technology and stuff to help in the event of an emergency. My hospital had a water birthing room. It's the best of both worlds. You can have your water birth, but if something does happen, you are not wasting time going to the hospital you are already there to get the intervention you need.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I had a drug free birth (planned), but I never considered a water birth. I know some women swear by it, but I get chilled quickly and getting in and out of the tub during labor just didn't seem appealing.
I also have to admit that I felt a bit like a beached whale when taking baths pregnant - so I was worried that I wouldn't be able to move around in the water comfortably. I never quite enjoyed being in the water while pregnant... even though I am a good swimmer and otherwise love it.
I had access to a tub during labor - but no desire to get it.

I would say pick a facility that offers is - or if you are planning a homebirth have a tub ready - and then decide what feels best when you are in labor.
My birth was quick and easy (7 hours from water broken, 4 hours of contractions, no interventions), which I contribute to being upright during most of my labor, and the pain really wasn't THAT bad. Painful yes, but nothing that I ever felt I could not deal with. I loved being in control of my body (I could walk and move without assistance, use the bathroom, etc - all things you can't do with an epidural. And I was able to go home 12 hours after giving birth and not having to stay at the hospital overnight. I know many women LOVE that hospital stay - but I would rather sleep in my own bed.

Since someone else mentioned the toothache - I would rather give birth without drugs than getting my teeth cleaned (HATE that)... so I guess it really depends individual pain tolerance and comfort levels.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I've delivered my first naturally without the water and my second in the water and would choose water every time in the future. I found the water most helpful with the labor. It really does help with relaxing. I also used it as an excuse to avoid other interventions as many places won't let you in the tub if you have an IV, fetal monitoring, etc. so they tend to work with the laboring women to keep things on track for the water instead of constantly poking and proding at you (in my experience anyways).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on


Congrats!!!! All birth is beautiful. I have alot of friends who swear by having homebirths and water births because its like a natural anesthetic and very calm enviro for the baby. Others feel comfortable in hospital birth---epidural and meds or unmedicated. The bottom line is you have to decide what you want and what you are willing to be flexible on. Having an induction greatly increases your chance of a c-section and for other interventions. Do research on your hospital of choice and find out what your doctor's c-section rate is and the hospital's. Decide what your deal-breakers are and what you can be ok with. Birth can be very unpredictable and its important to have a birth plan but not be stuck on it. Very frequently you have to change your plan for the well-being of your baby or you. So have an open mind with it :) Dr. Momma .org has alot of info and babycenter.com as well. Ask questions and find out what your doctor's limits are etc on birth and then going to c-section. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Hi K.,
If you have the option of water birth I would highly recommend it!

I had my first child in the water and it was the most beautiful experience and peaceful way to bring her into the world. I didn't have any cons to speak of, so I can't really say anything but good things. I did have a super short labor and I wish that I had not pushed so hard, but that was just me... nothing to do with the water.

My son was a "regular" birth because he was born at 33 weeks. Because he was a preemie and I had complications, I can't really say what the difference would have been like. His birth was much more traumatic than my daughter's. I didn't have drugs or an epidural with either of them.

So... in a nutshell... I vote and enthusiastic YES! to water birth.



answers from Minneapolis on

In my head I'm chanting "WATER WATER WATER!".


I had one land birth followed by two water. For me - it was hands down the best thing ever. All at hospitals. In MN we have a number of options now for water births in a hospital or birth center.

I'll just give you my pros.

1. It's relaxing for me to be in the tub.
2. I was able to move around much easier since I was floating (to change positions and get more comfortable.
3. It made my labors go faster... once in the tub, I relaxed, things moved along.
4. It made the pushing and pain at the end much better for me. The "ring of fire" when baby comes through is not nearly as bad as on land - at least for me.

In my experience, the only CON was my midwife was super short, and hit was a little hard for her to reach into the tub to help deliver baby. Not really a con, but I did notice she struggled a bit - it didn't affect me or baby though.

Cons for my land birth - more interventions... but that could in part be that I had an OB vs. a midwife. Other cons - harder to move around... took longer... more stitches...

ETA: My midwife would occasionally monitor baby by having me push my belly out of the water and she'd put the monitor on it for a contraction. But, generally, she did NOT monitor babies heart rate during labor. That said - I am not a huge believer in constantly monitoring a natural uncomplicated birth. Are there times when a baby should be constantly monitored? Absolutely... but if things are moving naturally, smoothly, and normally - then I vote for less monitoring. I'd talk to your doctor/midwife about that question specifically.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

water birth, hands down. It makes it super easy.

My first birth was at a hospital. They let me labor in a water tub until I was ready to push. It sucked getting out of the tub. I had my second at home, and I delivered in the water. AMAZING. My second was over 9lbs and he was literally a joke to labor. My first wasn't even 7lb, but it was back labor, so it was super painful.

I'd only do a natural birth with a tub.


answers from Minneapolis on

I wanted an at home water birth SO BAD when I was pregnant, but alas my parents (Who I lived with at the time) were not okay with it and my hubby (Who was my boyfriend at the time) thought it was too "weird". So, I ended up having a natural hospital birth and it went very well!

I had been dilated to 3cm for several weeks and my water broken at about 5am at 40 weeks 1 day. I got to the hospital at 7am and was 4cm dilated. I walked and walked and walked and walked and walked around the hospital. I knew that I didn't want drugs, but wasn't completely against them if I just couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't trying to be tough or anything, I just really don't like taking drugs unless it's absolutely necessary (Even after the birth while I was in the hospital the nurses kept trying to shove Tylenol down my throat and were very grouchy when I refused to take it because I really wasn't in pain). Anyways, I was having contractions but they weren't painful. They hooked me up to a machine once an hour just to track my contractions. During one of them my husband was telling me a joke and I was laughing, I had a contraction but didn't really feel it and continued to laugh, and the nurse just stared at me with awe. I was like 'What?' and she goes 'That contraction was so strong that it literally went off the chart. How are you laughing right now?'. Anyways, so at about 1pm I started feeling the contractions and wanted to take a warm bath just to help me relax. They checked me before I got in the tub and I was still stuck at 5cm dilated (Had been since about 10am). The contractions really kicked in while I was in the tub and I decided I wanted pain medication, just something to take the edge off. The nurse got me out, checked me, and told me I was 8cm dilated. She went to go get the pain medication and when she came back she said that she wanted to check me again before giving it to me. I was 9cm (She had been gone 5 maybe 10 minutes). She said it was too late to give it to me and she was right because 5 minutes later I was 10cm and pushing. I had to have an episiotomy and they injected some local numbing stuff into the area before doing that, so I didn't feel the "ring of fire" or really any pain while pushing. My son was born at 3:45pm and I still remember looking at him for the first time :)



answers from Miami on

Wish I could have tried a water birth during my first labor, before getting the epidural. I labored for SO LONG before I could get the epidural. What I don't know is if the can still monitor your contractions while in the water. I had to have mine monitored because the baby's heartrate dropped so much during every contraction.

I'd ask about the monitoring. That's pretty important, in my view.


For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions