This blog is about the water tub delivery, well known as the “Water Birth”. This is the process of giving birth in the tub of warm water. It may interest you to know that Indians have an ancient history of this delivery method! In this method, a woman can stay in the water tub throughout her labour and get out for delivery or stay in the water for the delivery as well. Let's delve into the the concept of The Water Borns - New Age Babies.
: The theory behind the water birth is, the baby has been in the amniotic sac for a long period in your womb, birthing in the similar environment and is hence gentler for the baby. It is also less stressful and relaxing for the mother.
Reducing the stress during labour and delivery reduces the fetal complications. Water birth should always occur under the supervision of the qualified health care provider.
BENEFITS OF WATER BIRTH?
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR THE BABY BEING BORN IN WATER?
- The warm water has a relaxing effect, which balances the blood pressure of the mother.
- As the labouring woman relaxes physically, she is also able to relax mentally with greater ability to focus on the birthing process.
- Science of Buoyancy promotes more coherent uterine contractions and enhanced blood circulation which promotes better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, resulting in less labour pain for the mother.
- Body weight of a person is lowered when in water. This gives the mother free movement, flexibility and positioning.
- The mother’s body produces “endorphins” which act as pain-inhibitors.
- Laboring in water may help your body lower the release of the stress hormone called ‘adrenaline’ and more of ‘oxytocin’ which stimulates your labor contractions to be strong and regular.
- It may be quicker and easier to push your baby in the water. The sides of the pool can be used for extra support.
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS NOT IDEAL FOR WATER BIRTH AND NEED STRICT MEDICAL INSTRUCTIONS?
- The transition to the outside world may be more peaceful for babies who are born in water.
- Studies say, babies born in water may be more alert, focused and quieter than babies born in air.
- It eases the stress of birth thus increasing reassurance and sense of security.
MYTHS AND REALITY
- If mother is diagnosed with herpes( a viral infection that affects the skin(causing blisters) or the nervous system).
- If preterm labor is expected.
- If diagnosed with excessive bleeding or any maternal infection that can pass through the birth canal(perinatal) like Hepatitis, HIV or Syphilis.
- If the baby is a Breech (if the baby’s legs or buttocks are to be delivered first. Typically it happens in 1 out of 25 births)
- If you are expecting multiples(twins/triplets/quadruplets)
- If there is a severe meconium(the dark green substance forming the first feces of a newborn infant).
- The water tub and whirlpools could be dangerous during pregnancy.
Reality: The risk involved is only the temperature of the water tub. If the water is too hot, dehydration and overheating become risks to you and the baby. You should try to stay well hydrated and make sure the temperature of water stays at 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally birthing pools are specifically designed to prevent this problem.
- It brings potential risk to both the mother and the baby.
Reality: There might be a theoretical risk of water aspiration & water embolism, which occurs when water enters the mother’s blood stream.
If the baby is experiencing stress in the birth canal or if the umbilical cord twists around the neck, the baby might gasp for air with the possibility of inhaling water.
Though, this would be a rare occurrence because babies do not normally inhale until they are exposed to air. They continue to receive oxygen through the umbilical cord until they start to breathe on their own or until the cord is cut. The final potential risk is that the umbilical cord could snap as the baby is brought to the surface of the water. This can be prevented by using caution when lifting the baby up to the mother’s chest.
The water birth is a natural and most relaxing delivery method. Water tub deliver is gaining popularity in India as it is an alternative to painful traditional normal delivery methods. The steady rise in inquiries for undertaking such births will only increase with time. This is because there is no or minimal medical intervention and the mother gives birth in zero gravity. To create a soothing and stress-free environment for the baby is the duty of every mother. Why don’t you start your duty from the delivery itself?
Priya is a young blogger and researcher with strong passion towards vedic sciences . She usually travels around the country making new friends, an aspiring Entrepreneur and a good motivational speaker!