Water birthing has picked up steam in various countries over the past few decades, after years of doctors insisting that women give birth in the confines of a hospital. Now, more than one in 20 US women choose to have a water birth. Can it really make labor easier?
At Physicians for Women in Madison, Wisconsin, The Madison Midwives have helped many women through the experience of water birthing, ensuring you can birth your baby on your own time and on your own terms in a safe, calm environment. Many women say being in the spacious and comfortable tub of water makes their labor much easier, even if they don’t want to give birth directly in the water.
Who can choose water birth?
Most women can safely choose water birth as their delivery option. Your midwife discusses your risks and ensures you and your baby are healthy enough for water birth. As long as there are no complications or abnormalities that could put either of your lives at risk, and your labor is expected to start between 37 and 41 weeks, you can go ahead and sign up for a midwife-attended water birth.
Once made, this plan can be adjusted or altered as desired or needed. You can create your birth plan and discuss back-ups in case everything doesn’t go as expected or in case you change your mind. You can choose either to just labor in the tub, then move to a delivery bed for the actual birth, or to complete the entire labor and delivery process in the water.
Effects of water birth on labor
Every woman’s body is different, and so is every birth. Many women prefer to labor in a tub of water even if they don’t intend to give birth in it, simply for the benefits. Most women who have labored both in and out of water agree that water labor is easier.
Studies show water-labor can shorten your labor, maintain your body temperature no matter how unclothed you choose to be, and help you relax as you labor, making the process more comfortable.
Water labor can also soften your perineum and lower the risk of a tear by up to 60%, and you may find that you don’t need any pain medication or epidural assistance to remain comfortable. There’s also evidence that water labor can give you a lessened chance of needing a C-section, and lower your post-delivery risk of stress incontinence.
Think that water birth might be right for you and your baby? Call our office at 608-218-4835 today, or schedule a consultation using our online booking system.