Water Births

Updated on February 09, 2008
A.P. asks from Greeley, CO
14 answers

I was wanting to learn more about water/tub births. I had my first child in a hospital with an epidural and did not really like the experience. I was hoping for one in which I had more say in what/ how things were done and that I could feel more connected to what was going on. I have a midwife that will assist with my birth at the local hospital where they have birthing tubs. I've heard this option eases the pain of the mother and is an easier transition on baby. Does anyone have comments on this or has gone through their own water birth. I'd really like to find out more. I'm only 16 weeks so there's still plenty of time to finalize plans, but I'd like to start preparing myself forwhatever option I choose.

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J.Y.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have a friend who has done this-
Here is her response... I have 3 children: Levi, 2 and a half, Emily 1 and a half, and Silas 2 months... I have my hands full! I had all three of my children at home with a midwife each in a birthng tub. I highly reccomend it! Firstly, laboring in a warm large tup is incredibly comfortable and the warmth really helped me go through the tough part of labor. Secondly, the fact that your floating in mid-water during the pushing stage is really cool! I felt completly weightless! My husband was able to get into the tub with me and catch the baby. The warmth of the water is a great transition for the baby and it is a very clean birth.

We had decided with our first baby that we wanted to take some birthing classes. We heard about The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth. I reccomend taking these classes. It is a 12 week course and educates both you and your husband on everything to do with the birth process. If you really want to have your baby without drugs- it is a must to take! It teaches your husband how to be your coach and it helps you to know how to work with your body during the contractions to help you go through labor. It also teaches you the emotional signposts of labor so you can know where you are during the process. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have taken these classes... I reccomend them to everyone I know because when you're educated on the whole process of labor and birth there is less fear, you learn how to handle the pain, and you know exactly what to expect and what is going on. One quick example- I was in the tough part of labor and really getting overwhelmed... then in between contractions I had a hiccup. One little hiccup that to anyone else wouldn't have gotten another thought, but because I had learned so much I remembered that this is one little sign that you're very close to the pushing stage! It gave me great encouragement.

There is so much more I can say... I had such great experiences and it is really a subject that is close to my heart. I long to see more women having better experiences with the birth of thier children. I have heard so many horror stories about the experiences different moms have had and it really breaks my heart. It doesn't have to be that way. I think it is great to have a midwife or doula at the hospital with you. It is good to have an advocate that can help you stay strong under the pressure to take drugs or "speed things up". Nothing but problems come when doctors interven in the natural process. The Lord made women wonderfully! We are meant to be amazing and we are built to have children - naturally.

Lastly, feeling everything that is happening and working with your body is very empowering! You know what is going on, you can feel the baby, and you know when to push. With the proper education and support more woman can have great experiences with the birth of their children. When I had Emily I was so exhaused toward the end, I gave everything I had and at the last push I felt as if I had nothing left. She was out to her belly, but I just couldn't push any more. At that point I felt her kick her little legs and she was out into Daddy's arms... it was incredible to feel her do that all on her own! Babies have natural insticts God has given them that aids in the mother in giving birth to the child. The baby turns it head and shoulders just perfectly to go through the pelvis in the birth canal and when the uterus pushes on thier feet the child naturally kicks! A medicated baby is lethargic and does not do these things as well. That is why most times a child has to be pulled out or cut out... Well, I could go on and on, if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them. Find out if there are any Bradley classes in your area and take them with your husband. It will completley change the way you give birth to your child! http://www.bradleybirth.com/

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S.S.

answers from Pueblo on

I birthed both my children at home, and my second child was a water birth. It was so gentle and beautiful. The water feels amazing in labor, easing the pain, and when i was ready to deliver my husband popped in and caught our daughter. She slid into the world in a warm way and into my husbands loving hands. He gently lifted her into my arms where she immediately wanted to nurse.

I did much research on water births, they are safe and sanitary. I don't know if i would have one in a hospital (so many germs) but my midwife provided a pool with a single use liner, so that it was just us that used it. Her request was that we move from the tub for the delivery of the placenta, which is messy in the water.

What can i say, i think they are beautiful and gentle on mommy and baby.

Also, second babies come much quicker than first babies... so whatever you choose, you can rest assured that most likely, you will have a speedier delivery and you already know what you are doing, which is half the battle.

I will say, this is your opportunity to make the birth what you want it to be. Read and be specific on what you want with your physician... make it the birth you are dreaming of.

I will recommend: "Ina Mae's Guide to child birth" by Ina Mae Gaskin. Though you have already had a baby, sometimes it is smart to read beautiful birth stories... and this book is full of them. It will inspire you to create the birth you want.

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A.

answers from Albuquerque on

I have labored three times in the water and two of my daughters were born in the water. I don't know why every woman does not labor in the water! It really helps! I want to encourage you to pursue this and learn more. And please see the movie,
http://thebusinessofbeingborn.com!

1 mom found this helpful
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L.C.

answers from Denver on

Hi,
Most home birth midwives will be very familiar with waterbirth. It rarely happens in the hospital. There is a midwife in your city...

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D.G.

answers from Tucson on

Hi A.. I'm a mother of four and the last was a waterbirth. Though I didn't have much time as it was fast, the water was wonderful. I'm also a midwife and have attended others water births. You can check my website, www.inspiringbirthstories.com for my daughter's birth story and other info. Best of luck to you.
D.

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B.H.

answers from Phoenix on

If you can do that then more power to you. I could never do that! Ever! My first labor and delivery with my son was a horrible experience. I never wanted to have a baby again. But my 2nd one that just happened almost 4 months ago was the best esperience ever. its like my body knew what to do this time around. I started having light contractions at like 2am and by 6am they were hard contractions so my husband and I decided to get his sister over here to watch our 1st so we could go to the hospital. we got to the hospital at 7:30am and by 10:30, just 3 hours later I had my daughter. I pushed for only 15 min. Even my recovery was awesome! But good luck with whatever you do. I feel the 2nd time around will go much nicer. I hope:)

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L.B.

answers from Denver on

As far as I know, none of the hospitals in the Denver area will allow water births at this time. However, several have the deep soaking tubs, and allow labor in the tub as long as the earlier checks on the baby show that the baby is in no distress. I've been told that if you are in the hospital bath when the baby comes, well, then you just happen to have a water birth. I'm sure you'd want a midwife or a doula with you. I've had 3 natural (no epidural) births, and used water to sooth contractions - and it makes a big difference in decreasing pain. My second and third babies came too quickly for me to spend any time in the bath. Best of luck, I do highly recommend natural childbirth if medically all is stable. I preferred having my babies in the hospital, just in case, but fortunately none needed extra care.

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C.W.

answers from Denver on

I did this almot 13 years ago with my first child.. AMAZING!
I am sure it has changed alot of the years. It was relaxing to say the least and really helped calm me down as it was my first child and I didn't know what to expect. I was in a hospital for this with a midwife.. Guess your best bet is to check out the hospital you plan to have your child in and see if they offer it.

Best of luck to you!

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B.P.

answers from Denver on

I labored in water with my first daughter, and thought it was a wonderful comfort measure. I'm now a birth doula, and a lot of the women I work with also choose to labor in water. I definitely recommend trying it. If it's not for you, you can just get out of the tub!

A soak tub is often very comforting AFTER labor is well established. Most people don't recommend submersion in early labor as it can slow things down. Showers can be great during early labor.

A book with a lot of information about normal water birth is Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper. I read that another mom had recommended Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, which is my all time favorite birth book, too. I don't remember much discussion of water birth in particular, but it give great perspective on pregnancy and birth as normal, healthy parts of a woman's life.

I'm not aware of Denver area hospitals that will allow a planned water birth. There is now a free-standing birth center 1/2 block from Sweedish hospital run by a nurse-midwife where full water bith is encouraged. The website for the birth center is www.mountainmidwifery.com.

Good luck! Hope your pregnancy and birth are wonderful!

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M.M.

answers from Reno on

Hi, A.,

When I went to go and have my DD in 2002, I opted for a waterbirth. I think it would have worked out well except for 2 words: back labor. She was pushing against my spine the entire time and nothing in the world would make me comfortable. Unfortunately, she also got stuck in my pelvis and we had to opt for an emergency c-section.

I hope I didn't just freak you out with all of this.

I will say that the hot tub did help me with my contractions, when they were based in the front and not the back. I also thought it would be a wonderful, very peaceful way to bring a baby into the world and was sorry it did not work out for me.
I had a wonderful team of midwives who were there for me and if this is an option you want, go for it.

I would suggest looking on Amazon or at the library for some books - one of the ones I really liked was called "Natural Birth Choices" because it gave you all the options and even helped me to craft my own birth plan.

I would though - just in case you end up with back labor or complications, have a backup plan. That's the one thing i didn't do. Good luck to you.

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S.U.

answers from Fort Collins on

I had my first baby 6 months ago at home with a midwife in a birthing tub. My labor was pretty long, starting Sunday evening and going through Tuesday evening. I was pushing for 4 hours and was probably in the birthing tub for 6. I can't imagine lasting as long as I did without the warm soothing wather. At one point, the midwife had me get out so that she could check how far along I was and I can honestly say that the pains of the contractions were twice as bad.
It's wonderful that you have an option of using the birthing tub in the hospital. I know in Virginia they will let you soak in the tub, but won't allow you to have the baby in the tub.
Best of luck to you

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D.S.

answers from Flagstaff on

I have 3 kids the first two were typical labors and deliveries in a hospital. I didn't enjoy the experience at all. I am not to fond of needles and being confined to a bed was aweful. So we decided a birthing center located near the hospital for our third. I didn't plan on having a water birth but when I got there I wanted to sit in the tub just to relax. Let's just say I refused to get out. I didn't have an epidural with any of my kids (Did I say I hate needles) so I knew what pain to expect but the water really soothed and felt great. The water made the contractions not as hard but I still progressed. Also after my daughter was born I held her in my arm in the birthing tub and they let her stay connected by ambilical cord for a few minutes. I believe this help tremendously with her color because it allowed more blood to get to her. She was the pinkist baby ever. I never thought I would do a water birth I thought how gross sitting in your own birthing gack but it isn't like that at least where I was at the tub had a special filter that drained all the unwanted stuff in the water so you are always sitting in nice warm CLEAN water. Overall it was a great experience. I just wish I would have known with my first not my last!

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H.G.

answers from Denver on

A.,
Congratulations on this second baby! It is so wonderful that you are looking into a waterbirth. My daughter, born at home, was a waterbirth. I had a pretty long labor (30 hours) and I think being in the water made an incredible difference with the comfort of the contractions. As much as I could, I would just try and float through the contractions. It also made it easier to envision "riding the wave" while being in the water. That being said, there is a website www.waterbirth.org that covers waterbirth. I agree with the other posts as far as the websites and books to read. I have more links on my website that may be helpful for you. The site is www.naturalchoices4baby.com And finally, I am hosting a movie/discussion night at my house once a month to watch movies like What Babies Want, The Business of Being Born, etc. I live in Longmont, if you are interested, send me your email and I'll forward the info to you. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions you may have. Good luck!
H.
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