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Why Should I Have A Water Labour or Birth?

What Is A Water Birth Or Water Labour?

Water labour is getting into water and using it as a form of pain relief, and then a water birth is actually birthing in the pool too.

You can do both, or just one, it is completely up to you, how you are feeling at the time, and where you feel most comfortable.

Why should I use water?

More and more women and birthing people are using water as a form of pain relief during their labour and birth. The good thing about it, is it doesn't have to be expensive! You can just use your bath at home, or hospital with the same effects.

Using water increases your chances of having a vaginal delivery, so its a good thing to consider, especially if you are planning a VBAC.

Being immersed in water can reduce pain, and make the surges less painful. It can also reduce the need for any other methods of pain relief and actually shorten labour!

People who use water during their labour and/or birth report better birth experiences, feeling more in control and the ability to achieve a calm and successful vaginal birth.

The water can be really good for those who struggle with their mobility, as the water supports your weight allowing for easier mobility and comfort. It even reduces the risk of episiotomy and postpartum haemorrhage.

Warm water is known to have a relaxing effect, which works like the TENS machine does. It helps your body to produce its own natural pain relief, called endorphins!

If you are planning on having a home birth, using water has been shown to reduce the risk of transferring into hospital.

Other reasons can include:

  • better circulation! - buoyancy promotes better blood flow - potentially reducing the risk of complications.

  • Less perineal trauma - by softening and making it easier to drfx

(Burns et al 2022 - Water immersion significantly reduced use of epidural, injected opioids, episiotomy, maternal pain and postpartum haemorrhage. There was an increase in maternal satisfaction and odds of an intact perineum with water immersion.)

Who Can Have A Water Labour or/and Birth?

Anybody can have a water labour and/or birth, but in some circumstances it is not advised.

Which is why it is important for you to arm yourself with all the information that you need to make an informed decision on what is best for you and your baby, in your situation.

If you are planning a home birth, you can set up the pool in the lead up

What Do I Need?

If you decide to have a pool birth you will need:

  • A NEW food grade hose! Garden hoses have the risk of danger from bacteria. Even 'new' garden hoses could've been previously used!

  • A pool! - Depending on where you live, your local maternity service may offer birth pool hire. Alternatively you can hire from a company, or buy your pool.

  • A new liner. - This may come with your pool, but you'd need to check, and make sure you have one. Liners are single use and mean that the inside pool stays clean and able to be reused.

What Temperature Should The Pool Be?

The water temperature should be warm and comfortable. It should be around 37.5 degrees Celsius. This means it is relaxing for you but also a little warmer than body temperature when baby is born, so it doesn't get cold quickly.

When Do I Get In?

If you are planning a home birth, you can set up the pool in the space you would like it in your home on lead up to your due period.

You can then fill it whenever you feel like you could do with some relief.

If you go to hospital or a birth centre, you can fill the pool or bath immediately and get straight in.

You do NOT need to wait for midwives to get in your pool.

You do NOT need to be 'checked' or have a vaginal examination prior to getting in your birth pool or bath.

If your care provider tells you that you are not allowed, you can simply ask for a new person to care for you, as this is not their decision.

Your birth partner can get in with you too, and help support you. It is good to of discussed beforehand how your birthing partner/s can support you, so you know what to expect and they know how to help you.

This could be massaging you, talking softly to you, or even leaving you alone! There are no wrong answers!

Your midwife or healthcare provider may ask you to exit the pool to perform a vaginal examination.

You can accept or decline this. Accepting may be detrimental to the labour, because you are being disturbed.

What About My Placenta? Do I Have To Get Out?

In short, no. If there are no concerns over excessive bleeding or concerns over baby, you should be left to have special 'golden hour' time with your baby.

Leaving you with baby, undisturbed, is beneficial as oxytocin thrives in this environment therefore it can speed up the birth of the placenta.

Need Help With Your Birth Plan? I have availability for birth plan sessions!

Are you due in 2024? I also have Doulaing availability throughout. Contact me for further details.

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