What is waterbirth?
Waterbirth is giving birth to your baby while submerged in a pool of warm water. Using water immersion is an excellent way to improve comfort and relaxation during labor and birth. It can be safe and beneficial to both mom and baby for baby to be born in the pool of warm water. The tub is sometimes even called the “midwife’s epidural” because it can facilitate relaxation so well (it does not take the pain completely away like an epidural but does help). Many moms, including some of our own staff, would say that once they have given birth in water, they wouldn’t want to give birth any other way again. Beginnings Birth Center is the only facility in southern Colorado offering water immersion for both labor AND birth.
According to Waterbirth International these are some of the benefits of waterbirth:
- Water facilitates mobility and enables the mother to assume any position that is comfortable for labor and birth
- Speeds up labor
- Reduces blood pressure
- Gives mother feelings of control
- Provides significant pain relief
- Promotes relaxation
- Conserves mother’s energy
- Reduces the need for drugs and interventions
- Gives the mother a private protected space
- Reduces perineal trauma and eliminates episiotomies
- Reduces cesarean section rates
- Is highly rated by mothers – typically stating they would consider giving birth in water again; some even stating they would never give birth any other way!
- Is highly rated by experienced providers
- Encourages an easier birth for mother and a gentler welcome for baby
Waterbirth is safe because there are at least four physiological mechanisms that ensure that babies do not breathe under the water for the handful of seconds they remain in the water after they are born. These mechanisms must be in place because babies spends their whole life up to the point of birth floating in water – the amniotic fluid. This is one reason why waterbirth is also thought of as a gentler transition for the babies – they come from a fluid into fluid before they have to feel the air and breathe for the first time. Research with thousands of participants have shown in the past and in recent years that water birth is a safe and satisfying option for moms and babies. Our staff is trained and certified in water birth through Waterbirth International so that we can support and monitor labor and birth safely in water at the birth center.