Thursday, March 14, 2013


I attended a water birth presentation and listened to numerous stories of how relieving and peaceful labor was for mothers who used water; I would share them but couldn't begin to do justice to their beauty! Is water birth right for you?? If you enjoy baths to de-stress, if warm showers relax you, if you like to swim or just love water in general the answer may be yes!  Do you have to birth in the water in order to benefit from it? No- water is an amazing tool throughout labor; when it comes time to push women will quite often just not want to get out.

Benefits for babe

Babies who are born in the water experience a smoother transition into the world; they are born from the water into the water.  When you labor in the water there tends to be less stress on the baby due less pressure on the umbilical cord during contractions.  The sacred space provided for the mother by the birthing tub also results in a sacred space for the baby- tubs put a bit of distance from everyone else allowing for more intimate bonding while still being accessible enough for assessing their health and assisting in birth if desired.  Being born in the tub may make it more possible for mom or dad to 'catch the baby.' 

Benefits for mom

Pain relief- moms describe getting into the water as instant relief.  The Water decreases the pressure of the contractions and provides relaxation, even decreasing the length of your labor.  Some women describe this natural form of pain relief as an "aquadural."  Mom's who labor in the water are not only more relaxed but they have better mobility due to the buoyancy.  The water provides a natural lubricant and decreases the pressure on the perineum, resulting in less tearing. There is a decrease in the risk of infection because the water holds a sort of sacred space for them resulting in less vaginal exams and intrusions; home births in general have less chance of infection because you are in your own environment.

Benefits for midwife

I was reading an article about water births in Midwifery today about the relaxing warmth and whole body support of water; the best part of the whole article was the Q & A which I must share with you:
Q: Why do you prefer waterbirth?
A: Aside from easing mamas in labor and allowing them the freedom to move about, to control their own space and to catch their own babies, there is the prized easy clean-up you don’t get with a land birth!
--Charlie Rae Young of Barefoot Birth
Do you have a water birth testimonial?  Share your experiences on this Journey of Life with laboring and/or birthing in water here.

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Jennifer Valencia | Labor & Postpartum Doula | 928.300.1337


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