If you are pregnant and have been researching natural birth options, you might have thought about having a water birth.
But what does that actually mean? Is it laboring in a tub but birthing on dry land? Actually giving birth in a tub? Who will help you? What do you wear?
Since water birth is still relatively uncommon – especially in a hospital setting – it’s natural to have questions. Here are five things you need to know about having a water birth. Read on:
There is something about a warm tub of water that is very relaxing – even when you aren’t working at birthing your baby. But when you are in labor, going in a tub of water can be all the pain relief some birthing people need.
Baby won’t drown
One of the most common questions is, how does baby not breathe in water? Is it safe for baby? The answer is Yes! That’s because while you are laboring and in the moments after baby is born, they don’t breathe air – they are still getting oxygen from the placenta (via the umbilical cord). Baby won’t inhale while their head is being born and when the body follows, the birthing person, their partner, a doula or a midwife (or doctor) lifts baby out and as soon as baby’s face hits air, they breathe air for the first time.
You can have a medical professional and a doula (and your partner!)
While waterbirth isn’t common yet at most hospitals, some let women labor in the tub and then get out to deliver. Some birthing centers allow waterbirth but most people who give birth in the water do so at home. But that said, most birthing people have a midwife or doula attend them so there is a medical or birthing professional on scene. A midwife can help the birthing person get into labor positions, monitor baby and more.
Clothing optional (or not!)
Like any birth, what you choose to wear while laboring or delivering baby is up to you. And with a waterbirth, that holds true as well. Some people wear nothing; others wear a bra or swimsuit top or a tank top. You can have a waterbirth in whatever feels comfortable and natural.
Multiple benefits (for birthing person and baby)
A waterbirth has so many benefits to both the birthing person and the baby. Waterbirths help ease pain, can prevent tearing, can shorten labor and be an easier and more gentle experience.
At Everything Birth, we have everything you need for a waterbirth. Check out our website for more information.