The Benefits of Waterbirthing

By Heather Hill

Considerng a waterbirth? Think about it this way.....Wouldn't a peacful and serene birth, with a relaxed and focused mother be a wonderful way to bring a baby into this world? Having a waterbirth is an option for Mom's who want to give birth naturally. Childbirth is such a powerful experience for a woman. But, too often, women totally give up their power and gift of childbirth over to other people to control. Having a waterbirth gives the woman a feeling of empowerment and pride in being able to choose how she delivers her child.

What about what the baby goes through? Just imagine that your little one is as cozy and warm as can be for the past 9 months. You have given that little wonder a warm and secure environment only to have him arrive in a cold, bright and noisy world. That is why waterbirthing is such a beautiful way to bring your little wonder into this world. Imagine the having your baby arrive in a warm, quite, safe and inviting environment where the first touch is your arms. I can't think of a more beautiful way to start a relationship.

The benefits of waterbirthing is so numerous... here are just a few

* ease the pain of labor where only 10% of mom's ask for pain relief

* relaxation of mom

* can faciltate a slow labor

* relaxed pelvic floor

* relieve anxiety

* empowers the mom

* can increase blood circulation

If you decide you want to use water to help you labor, you need to have a few things in mind. The water temperature should be around your body temperature. Be careful when entering the tub and try to enter between contractions. Make sure the tub is large enough so that you can move freely and be able to change positions to what makes you feel comfortable.

Women usually enter the tub when they are about 5-8 cm dilated. Check with your caregiver, but you should not need to worry about infection if your membranes have ruptured, as long as your are following proper hygenics.

The following are some interesting statistics about waterbirths

* The women had shorter labors.

* Cervical dilatation was more efficient- 2.5 centimeters per hour compared with 1.25 centimeters per hour for mothers who did not take advantage of water during their labors.

* The descent of the babies was twice as fast.

* The women reported less pain.

* The cesarean section rate was one-third that of traditional hospital births.

* Mothers labeled "high-risk" because of high blood pressure showed a dramatic reduction in their blood pressure within minutes of immersion in the pool.

(see end note #1)

Whether you decide to just labor in water, or have an actual waterbirth you can still take advantage of what water has to offer.

Waterbirthing can be not only a gentle way to bring your little one into the world, but as you can see, it is also a SAFE alternative. Also, remember that being educated is the most important thing you can do to keep yourself happy and healthy througout your pregnancy.

#1 Sears, William,Martha Sears,and Linda Hughey Holt. The Pregnancy Book. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1997.

About the Author:

Heather Hill is the author of several natural childbirth articles. Please visit http://www.hip-chick-pregnancy-guide.com for more interesting articles.

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10 comments

By PurpleTurtle on 02/28/11 at 10:18 am

Great book to read which includes more detailed info on waterbirthing is "Gentle Birth Options". Wonderful book. Explains well, but is not so coercive t  ...

By twinsplusone on 11/18/10 at 2:08 pm

This is a great summary article! My husband and I never thought we were "waterbirth" people, but the more we research the benefits, the more convinced   ...

By txmomof4 on 08/24/09 at 8:11 am

Thank you for this article. You have reinforced my decision for a waterbirth. My prenatal and delivery care is with a Midwife at a birthing center about  ...

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