Giving birth to a baby is one of the most bittersweet times in a woman's life. The rough part is the actual labor because it can be long and painful, but seeing that baby for the first time is a moment a mother never forgets. As you look into options for giving birth, you might come across the method of water births. If this is something you're interested in, you should learn about midwives, what a water birth is, the benefits, and the risks before choosing this method.
What Is a Water Birth?
As the name implies, a water birth involves giving birth in water. This normally requires a birthing pool, but it can be done in a hot tub or a swimming pool too, and this is something you can do at home or in a hospital.
When your labor begins, you will enter into a pool that is filled with warm water. The purpose of this is to provide comfort during your labor, and spending your labor hours in warm water can offer numerous benefits.
What Are the Benefits?
Water births are often considered a natural alternative to traditional births, and this is why they are often recommended by midwives and not by doctors. Doctors are not certain if this method is safe enough to use during the actual birth of a child, but there is very little evidence to prove that it is unsafe.
Midwives often recommend this method because it offers the following benefits:
- More comfortable – warm water is soothing, and it also reduces the amount of pressure a woman is feeling during her contractions. A woman may feel less anxious if she is comfortable.
- Less painful – when a woman in labor is more comfortable, she will experience less pain. Because of this, a woman may need less pain medication during labor.
- Increases speed of delivery – the warm water helps soften a woman's female parts, which helps speed up the labor and delivery.
If you want the most comfortable labor possible, a water birth might be the most effective way to achieve this.
What Are the Risks?
While the evidence is not crystal clear, it appears that there are some risks with water births. One of the primary ones is that it may put your baby at a higher risk for developing an infection. A water birth may also create problems with your baby's breathing as soon as he or she is born.
The best way to minimize your risks is to choose a midwife that is experienced with water births. After trying this method once, you may decide to use this for all of the children you give birth to.