Water Birth – An Emerging Alternative for Delivery
Water birth as the name suggests is the process of delivering a baby in a pool of warm water. Unlike conventional labour delivery, in water birth, the mother spends the final stages of labour in a birthing pool, which allows for a more relaxing, comfortable and less complex delivery process.
It is a fact that if we can reduce the stress associated with labour, the delivery process becomes much easier, gentler with lesser foetal complications. Water birth helps in doing just that and therefore, increasingly hospitals are also welcoming patients desirable of water birth. But remember that water birth should always occur under the supervision of an expert and qualified doctor.
Water birth – Any possible risks?
There is no evidence to suggest that water birth poses any undue risks as a form of natural delivery when compared to that on a bed. What should be kept in mind is that it is essential that water births be conducted with a trained professional, be planned, and follow established guidelines. However, a women exploring the possibility of water birth should be aware of possible risks so as to make an informed choice.
When is it not advisable to go for Water Birthing?
Water birth is not advisable in women who are in preterm labor (3 weeks prior to due date) or who have had previous caesarean section deliveries. In addition, water birthing may not be recommended if an expecting mother suffers from any of the complications I have listed in the post. Usually the doctor discusses these in detail while explaining water birth as an option and also a close watch is kept during the progress of labour.
Water Birthing Tub
A lot of you might be curious to know about the pool in which the water birth takes place. So here it is ! In hospitals we use special water birthing tubs for delivery. They could be inflatable or specially designed for installation. The picture I have used in the post is that of an inflatable one. It is filled with temperature controlled warm water and allows for easy movement and change of posture during labour. They have disposable liners that get changed after every delivery.
Though water birthing has become very popular outside, it is slowly becoming acceptable in India too. This probably is because would be parents are looking for a natural, gentler and safer way to deliver.