Water Births & Squating While Giving Birth?

Updated on April 11, 2008
V.W. asks from Madison, WI
13 answers

I'm 18 weeks pregnant, and due March 31st, so I still have some time to decide this... I'm planning on having a midwife and I recently looked at the Birth Center right down the street from me. They are awesome and I'm really excited. They did tell me that 60% of the births done there are done in the water. I never really concidered it before, but would love to hear from other moms who have done this. I'm leaning more towards this birthing option. The "squating" possition is done with a open stool with handles on the side and they said that this is more comfortable for the mom compared to the tradtional laying on back possition. They don't offer epidurals here, and that I'm sure I can do without, and they don't use potocine(sp?). So they have very strong widwifery principals. So if any moms here have experienced either of this birthing options, or know someone who has, I'd love to hear more about it! Thanks!!!

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So What Happened?

I didn't end up doing a waterbirth, though, I still feel that this would've been very awesome! My reason for not choosing a waterbirth was because our insurance didn't cover a lot of the bill... we ended up having the baby at Meriter Hospital. And it was a very nice experience as well. Thanks for all your help ladies!!!

More Answers



answers from St. Cloud on

I have had three children. My first child was very painful, and not a water birth, I had horrible back labor, I only took a mild drug in the hand, and that was as I was pushing, so I didn't feel a effect intill after I gave birth!! (The video is embarrsing, I was acting very pretty high)
My second daughter, my Mid wife suggested I get into the birthing tub, becaues of my back labor, I was alittle nervous, but she talked me thru it and answered all my questions. I got into the water and I sighed with relif, all my contractions lefted my back, it was actually nice to feel what a normal contraction in the stomach (crazy huh) I had my daughter completly natural, no drugs!! It was a wonderful experince, and it happened so fast I really think the water helped the process. It's warm, like a juccusi (bad spelling) and huge so you can move around to any postion that you feel most comfortable in, and the best part is you can float, you still have bars to grab on to or brace your feet, ect.
My third child was 2 weeks over due, so I ended up getting my water broke , NEVER do that unless your in labor, I think that effected my labor, I had really bad contractions, But I was still able to get a IV and drugs and still had a waterbirth!
I once again, didn't experince the back labor once I got into that warm water.
I have never had a eperdurmail (bad spelling again) but my friend recently did and had a bad experince with them not doing it right the first time, and the story sounded horrible, but she said she will have a eppie (he he) again, so it must of been worth it.
Ok, now that I wrote a novel....
But I was excited to respond since I have experinced this. Congrats on your new baby, and keep us updated!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

My sister had two boys water birth w/ a midwife at home...she adored both experiences and has a 12 yr old she had the "traditional" hospital way. Then, I got pregnant and was scheduled for a wter birth in woodbury. They had to induce me, and Luke popped out so fast, the nurses didnt have time to fill the water tub! It is better for the baby and MUCH more comfy for mom. If any complications come, they can get you oout of the water pretty fast and taken care of. Good Lukc

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I have 2 children, the first was a "dry" birth the second was a water birth and there is absolutely no way I would ever do a "dry" birth again!!! The waterbirth was awesome! I was 1 more contraction away from saying give me the epidural when my midwife arrived and I was able to go to the birthing tub & let me tell you, It was just like having drugs! The contractions weren't nearly as unabareable & I was able to relax and actually be present for her birth. If you have any questions about the waterbirth or want to know more about my experience, please feel free to send me a message.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I had a waterbirth with my son (first child) at St. Josephs Hospital in June. I had a midwife and didn't use any medications. I labored in the tub most of the time. When I had to be out of the tub for occassionally monitoring and to try some positions to get my baby to turn his head (he was facing up), I HATED IT. The pain wasn't worse, but I just couldn't handle it. I couldn't stay in a rythm with my breathing or anything. But as long as I was in the tub, It was like I was in a trance. My labor was 20 hours long and I never would have been able to go without drugs if it weren't for the tub! I also had back labor the whole time. I chose a waterbirth because I knew that water soothes me. Also I didn't tear at all! I would highly recommend it! Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

V., I am so happy to see that all of the responses here are positive!
My first child was born last January at home in a birthing tub. I tell you, that water is great! They keep it at 99 degrees which is about just tepid bath-water. I really helps bring down the sensation of pain from the post-transition contractions. Baby is delivered right into water that's the same temperature as the water its been floating in the last nine months, and then brought up into your arms. My son seemed to think that birth was pretty ok - he let out one lung clearing cry to let us all know he was ok to breathe and then relaxed into my arms still in the water.

Squatting labor is also very helpful - gravity pulls the baby down and out, rather than mom's muscles working so hard to PPPPush. I can't imagine trying to lay reclined to labor! I know there was a point that I wanted to sit down so badly - I think a birthing stool would have been great for that.

Best recommendation: keep both options available, and go with whatever seems best to you at the time. If you are relaxed (or as relaxed as one can be ;)) and confident, you are not likely to need or even want drugs.

Recommend reading either of the books by Ina May Gaskin - head midwife on The Farm - Spiritual Midwifery or I think its Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Can't remember, but its full of midwife assisted natural births and a really big confidence booster.

Best Wishes!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sheboygan on

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy and on finding such wonderful and supportive caregivers!
I have attended births where both of the options you mentioned were utilized. In my classes (I teach HypnoBirthing...I have a series starting on Tues. the 14th if you are near Fond du Lac) I show several water births videos, and teach the benefits of all positions in labor/birth. The last water birth I attended was a HypnoBirth. The mother had an hour and a half labor, and birthed her 10 lb. 4 oz. boy virtually painlessly...over a broken tailbone...at home. It was the only home HypnoBirthing I've attended as labor support (most HypnoBirthing happens in birth centers and hospitals), which brings me to the post about homebirth.
You didn't say you were birthing at home. You specifically said birthing center. However, I feel someone needs to point out, that homebirth with a midwife is a perfectly safe option. The post about the cord being around the neck and nobody knowing what to do makes no sense for a couple of reasons. First, the cord is wrapped around the neck about 30% of the time. There is no reason a baby would die from it. The midwives simply unloop the cord from around the neck or deliver the baby through the loop. It's not an emergency, and even if the wrap was tight or wrapped more than once, it's basic midwifery training 101 as to how to gently and easily assist, and any midwife would be very familiar with protocol for this situation. My own daughter (15 years old this week) was born with a cord wrap and suffered no problems at all. The baby isn't breathing with the lungs through the windpipe. They cannot be 'strangled'. Misinformation like this is one reason women have fear about birth. That's why HypnoBirthing spends time releasing negative thoughts from past births and stories like this that people tell pregnant women. I also have a book in my lending library by Sheri Menelli called 'Journey Into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth' that she wrote specifically to counter all of the negatives like this one we encounter.
I wish you the very best. Having caregivers that respect your birthing preferences is important to attaining the birth you want, and it sounds like you have a great team!
(I don't usually put all of my websites after the sig, but I have a lot of free handouts for pregnancy and birth available on all of them, so I'll included them.)
K. Wildner
[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I had a water birth with my first and so far only daughter. I have nothing to compare it to but it was an amazing, beautiful experience! I cannot imagine doing it any other way. My partner and I hired a doula which was a great help but you've already been down this road before so I don't know how necessary it would be. For most of the pushing I was squatting in the tub and it felt so comfortable. Some of the time I spent on my knees kind of hanging over the tub and that helped with my back pain. I had no tearing and baby Amara didn't cry at all when she came out. All in all a wonderful experience. Good luck to you, congratulations on your expanding family. Have you read any of Ina May's books? I read Ina May's Guide to childbirth and it was a great help. I highly recommend it. She is a very experienced midwife. I'd be glad to help with any other questions!
29 yr old South Mpls Mother of 1y old girl.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

Hi V.,
First of all congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m a Doula (professional birth coach) and have attended many births. Unfortunately I haven’t attended a water birth but I do know the benefits of having one, the water helps with reducing tension in mom and helps her to relax (the key to a shorter and less painful labor) the buoyancy of the water also helps.
Some woman plan for a water birth but end up changing things once in labor, you need to give birth in the way your body tells you to. I know that might sound funny to you at this point but once you begin labor you will start doing things that feel good to you and that’s what I’m talking about. Some mom’s feel ok in the water during the early stages of labor but don’t like it while in active labor. The key is to try everything and you will find your favorite place and positions. Squatting is a good position for pushing but from my experience you are at higher risk of tearing when delivering this way. I have had clients push in the squatting position but deliver on hands and knees or in a side laying position. When the babies head is being delivered it’s important to slow your pushing to little grunty pushes. The less force that is used the better.
I’m sure your midwife will guide you through it. Just have faith in your body and know that you are giving your baby the best start in life possible by giving birth naturally :0)

Hope this helps, have a wonderful birth!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on


Have you considered hiring a Doula for your birth? If not where are you giving birth I would be happy to help you find someone in your area. I think it is really awesome that you are looking into alternative birth options for this birth.

My advice to you at this time and I feel the most important advice a birthing mother can get it: Trust your self, your body and your baby to birth naturally. You can do it! If you have any questions PLEASE feel free to contact me directly. I would be happy to help. Also I have access to a water birth information packet if you would like a copy of it please let me know. I would be happy to send it to you.

Blessings To you
S. Blevons - CD (DONA), CLD (CAPPA)
Fond Du Lac Co. WI.

The beauty of my body is not measured by the size of the clothes it can fit into, but by the stories that it tells. I have a belly and hips that say, "We grew a child in here," and breasts that say, "We nourished life." My hands, with bitten nails and a writer's callus, say, "We create amazing things."
-Sarah, from I am Beautiful: A Celebration of Women in Their Own Words

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Water is the way to go! For relaxation, read a Bradley Birth Method book.

My babies were born at home with a midwife and my third was born underwater in a birthing tub. I "caught" her myself - I was the first one to hold her and it was so easy and beautiful! She looked at me through the water when she was half way out, with those deep wise newborn eyes. Amazing. Calm, peaceful. No drugs needed.

I have heard that in some hospitals, they make you get out during the actual delivery. I hope that's not true, because under water you are very unlikely to tear.

My last was supposed to be a waterbirth, but he came two weeks early (also at home). He was born blue and needed oxygen. The midwives put him in my arms and had me talk to him while they gave him oxygen which they were equipped with. He pinked up and was fine in a couple of minutes. (If I was in a hospital, they would have taken him from me and frantically worked on him and most likely would have inserted a tube down his throat to get him breathing. It would have been traumatic and negative. This happened to my cousin.) I was amazed at how my midwives worked so quickly and efficiently and yet had a calmness. They wait to cut the cord until after the baby starts breathing, so it is safer than at the hospital where they cut the cord right away. The baby gets oxygen from the cord for a few minutes after birth. A competent midwife is a very safe option for delivering a baby at home (as most of the other civilized countries do - and their childbirth death rates are far below ours).



answers from Madison on

My son is now...gasp...7, but I had a midwife for his birth. I have also worked in labor and delivery, and worked with water births, and an open bottomed chair. I do think that midwifery is the way to go. When my son was born, I vowed that the "natural" way, was the way to go. After being in labor for 20 hours, I did have to have pitocin, and an epidural, so I am kind of skeptical about being away from a hospital, without the added support. The midwife was still able to do the delivery, and it was still very natural.
I hope this response was helpful. Feel free to email me with further questions.



answers from Eau Claire on

My oldest of 10 kids...my daughter (age 25) had her first Aug. 5th this year. What a little cutie my first granddaughter is. Anyway, she just studied unassisted.com and unhinderedliving.com (scroll down to Pregnancy & childbirth section--I don't agree with a lot of that other stuff on there) on unassisted childbirth and delivered her own daughter in her own bathtub full of water squatting like that. The baby came out in the water and she snatched her up in a couple of seconds ... only her husband was there with her. I had just arrived and was in the kitchen washing dishes not knowing such was going on back the bathroom. Try those two websites for lots of testimonials on such home births. I had 8 of my 10 children at home; but the "student" my daughter seems to be more extreme than me (maybe a teacher) since she wanted to do her first totally unassisted except for her hubby. He made it through too.

She did say a couple hours later when getting ready to nurse and I was there helping...she held her newborn daughter up and looked her in the eye and said "babies are hard on mommies" recalling briefly the tough 6-7 hours before birth.

It's wonderful now to have her bring her little one over and love her up so much....obviously no "grudge" there. :>)

B. in WI



answers from Minneapolis on

Just a quick note.... if you consider having your baby at home make sure you have a back-up plan. My sister-in-law's friend, just gave birth at home and the baby died. The ambilical cord was wrapped around the babies neck and they did not know what to do. If this birth was done in the hospital or with a skilled midwife could have been prevented. A very sad story... but remember the risks of giving birth at home.

Congratulations on your expected baby! You'll make the right decision because you are planning early. Good Work!

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