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I have the option of delivering in water at my birthing center. I am considering doing it, but how sanitary is it? I mean, what if the water isn't totally clean or something..or even worse, what if you accidentally poo in the water while you are pushing? Then the baby has to come through that water, ick!
Sounds like a funny question, but I really am curious...:-)
And does the baby know not to inhale any of the bath water?
as far as cleanliness, the tub is sanitized between deliveries, so it is very clean. Also, my midwife instructed us to clean the clothes we plan on wearing a special way so they are as clean as possible to avoid any extra contaminants.
If you poo in the water, it's not a huge deal, they scoop it out and/or they can drain and refill the tub if you want, but the bacteria in your bodily fluids is the same bacteria the baby has already been introduced to, so it won't hurt them. The only issue I think is the eyes being affected, but they generally give that eye goop anyway and that would clear out any bacteria that might have gotten in there.
The baby instinctively does not breath until their face hits cold air. They generally keep the tub water at body temperature, so the baby doesn't really notice a difference until they come out of the water. The placenta continues to provide oxygen also and is not triggered to stop until the cord hits air. There are waterbirths recorded of the baby being underwater for up to 15 minutes with no negative affects.
A couple quick benefits of waterbirth for you
water acts as a natural pain reliever, especially considering the "weightless" affects when you get in. I labored in the water with Courtney and it was HUGE help even though I wasn't totally submerged, I can only imagine it's better when you can have your belly all the way under the water.
You also have less risk of tearing because the water will soften up your skin and make it more pliable.
Kellisa, Mama to:
Courtney, Nola, Kya, and Whitney
Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, training to be an IBCLC!