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Water Birth
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Waterbirth means to give birth in the water. It reduces the bleeding during delivery, lessen damage for perineum. Women can have different posture as they want in the water, which makes the childbirth more natural and no abnormal changes to fetal heart. Postpartum recovery is obviously better than other ways of childbirth since the labor is shorter and maternal won’t spend as much energy as other ways of childbirth. What is more, the water birth baby has lower rate of labor trauma than babies born by other normal way.

What are the potential benefits of water birth?
Benefits for Mother:

 

Warm water is soothing, comforting, relaxing.
 

In the later stages of labor, the water has been shown to increase the woman’s energy.
 

The effect of buoyancy lessens a mother’s body weight, allowing free movement and new positioning.
 

Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
 

Immersion in water often helps lower high blood pressure caused by anxiety.
 

The water seems to reduce stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins which serve as pain-inhibitors.
 

Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, reducing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for anepisiotomy and stitches.
 

As the laboring women relaxes physically, she is able to relax mentally with greater ability to focus on the birth process.
 

Since the water provides a greater sense of privacy, it can reduce inhibitions, anxiety, and fears.


Benefits for Baby:

Provides an environment similar to the amniotic sac.

Eases the stress of the birth thus increasing reassurance and sense of security.
 

What situations are not ideal for water birth?
 

If you have Herpes: Herpes transfers easily in water, so you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your health care provider.
 

If your baby is breech: Though water birth has been done with bottom or feet first presentations you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your health care provider.
 

If you have been diagnosed with one of the following:excessive bleeding or maternal infection.
 

If you are having multiples: Though water births have been successful around the world with twin birth, you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your health care provider.
 

If preterm labor is expected: If a baby is pre-term (two weeks or more prior to due date), water birth is not recommended.
 

If there is severe meconium: Mild to moderate meconium is fairly normal. Since meconium floats to the surface in a tub, your health care provider will watch for it and remove it immediately, or help you out of the tub. Meconium usually washes off the face of the baby and even comes out of the nose and mouth while the baby is still under water. If the water is stained and birth is imminent, the woman can lift her pelvis out of the water to birth the infant.
 

If you have toxemia or preeclampsia: You should thoroughly discuss this risk with your health care provider.

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