Pregnancy 101: Water Birth
Like many topics in parenting, water births gain a fair share of praise and a fair share of disagreement. Obviously enough, a water birth is a birth that takes place in water, often a specially designed pool or a large bath. Water births are often viewed as a standpoint of the alternative or natural community, however water births continue to become more popular in mainstream society. They can be conducted in some hospitals, however many people choose to have a water birth in their home.
Choosing a water birth can have a number of positive benefits, such as the water allowing the mum-to-be to be more relaxed and the warm water may help to soothe the contractions, a water birth may reduce the risk of tearing, there may be enhanced privacy when in the home and it may help the mum-to-be feel more in control of her environment as opposed to a traditional hospital setting.
However, water births have also attracted some criticism. Some concerns surrounding a water birth, especially at home, are an increased risk of infection when outside a sterile hospital, a minuscule risk of your baby inhaling water, lack of monitoring equipment, limited drug options and a lack of immediate support in the event of an emergency. While there are some minor risks, many women who choose to have a water birth are often so satisfied with their how their birth went, that they elect to have a water birth again.
If you are hoping to have a water birth it is important to talk to a midwife that has experience in this area. If you like the idea of a water birth but you’re not comfortable doing it in the home, consult some local hospitals and find one that can suit your wishes.