Natural Birth

Water Birth: Pros and cons?

I have always wanted to do a natural water birth and now that I am pregnant I want to hear from other moms on the pros and cons of it.

Re: Water Birth: Pros and cons?

  • Pros
    - I
    t was the ONLY way I could get comfortable during labor!
    - it was easier for me to move around and get into different positions because of the increased buoyancy
    - Water can be a natural pain reliever and relaxant (which then can help relax the muscles, and decrease anxiety)
    - It's been said that water birth makes the transition into the outside world easier for the baby, since they're going from the nice, warm waters of the womb to the warm waters of the pool

    Cons
    - It is one more thing to worry about and prep during labor... someone will need to set up the tub, fill it up, and then clean it out afterward (unless you use a bathtub, which is definitely a viable option)
    - There is a possibility with some women that if they get into the water too soon that the contractions can slow down.  (This was not true in my case)

    [center]Mommy to William (Nov '09) & James (Sept '11)[/center]
  • In my experience... 

    Pros:

    - Using the jets in the tub made my ctx almost feel like they weren't even there (and I was in transition)... I was falling asleep between them.  I also used the shower head (one of those removable ones) on my belly during ctx.

    - Besides the physical pain relief, I was really able to relax mentally, as well.

    - Easier, gentler transition for baby into the world from the womb.

    Cons:

    - There is a small risk that baby might take his/her first breath underwater, which is especially concerning if your water breaks in the tub and there is meconium in the fluid (but doesn't usually lead to major complications).

    - Since laboring/birthing in the water requires use of the doppler to check the baby's heartbeat, it may not always be detected, therefore causing some alarm when, in fact, things are fine (this is actually why I ended up not giving birth in the tub; I had to move over to the bed so I could get checked with the EFM instead).

    - It wrecks your makeup if you get water on your face. ;)  Not that you care at the time.

    - You end up sitting in your own filth, lol (but trust me, that's the least of your concerns by the end).

    - You can't really share any of your pictures of you and baby right after birth because you realize that you're completely nude in every single one (unless you somehow keep your clothes on).

    I would say the pros outweight the cons.  Obviously, some of the cons I listed are a little on the sarcastic side.

    My best friend, my husband, my everything
    Matthew Kevin
    7/31/83-7/20/11 image
    Met 1/8/00
    Engaged 4/21/06
    Married 9/29/07
    Two beautiful legacies: Noah Matthew (2 yrs) and Chloe Marcella (8 mos)
    Day Three
  • I just had a water birth with my second and it was great.  I honestly don't know how I would have made it through a drug-free birth without the tub.  I mean, I guess I would have somehow, but the tub made it so much more bearable.
    image

    Big sister {September 2008} Sweet boy {April 2011} Fuzzy Bundle {ETA July 2014}

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  • image AutumnBride929:

    In my experience... 

    Pros:

    - Using the jets in the tub made my ctx almost feel like they weren't even there (and I was in transition)... I was falling asleep between them.  I also used the shower head (one of those removable ones) on my belly during ctx.

    - Besides the physical pain relief, I was really able to relax mentally, as well.

    - Easier, gentler transition for baby into the world from the womb.

    Cons:

    - There is a small risk that baby might take his/her first breath underwater, which is especially concerning if your water breaks in the tub and there is meconium in the fluid (but doesn't usually lead to major complications).

    - Since laboring/birthing in the water requires use of the doppler to check the baby's heartbeat, it may not always be detected, therefore causing some alarm when, in fact, things are fine (this is actually why I ended up not giving birth in the tub; I had to move over to the bed so I could get checked with the EFM instead).

    - It wrecks your makeup if you get water on your face. ;)  Not that you care at the time.

    - You end up sitting in your own filth, lol (but trust me, that's the least of your concerns by the end).

    - You can't really share any of your pictures of you and baby right after birth because you realize that you're completely nude in every single one (unless you somehow keep your clothes on).

    I would say the pros outweight the cons.  Obviously, some of the cons I listed are a little on the sarcastic side.

    Yes!  I wish I had worn a nursing bra or something into the tub so I could show people my birth pictures.  But on the other hand, there is something primal I liked about being naked during birth and bringing the baby up to my bare chest for skin on skin time and the first nursing. 

    image

    Big sister {September 2008} Sweet boy {April 2011} Fuzzy Bundle {ETA July 2014}

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  • Check out the book Gentle Birth Choices - good water birth info. There are also books out there specifically on water birth - I'm blanking on the name of the one I read but it was something like The Water Birth Companion...
  • my CNMs don't do waterbirths, so not an option for me, but the thought of a giant tub of water on my wood floors is terrifying! 

    i will say that i did labor in the bathtub for part of the time with dd, and that did NOT work for me; i needed to be upright.  so i can see how a nice, spacious, deep tub would be a better alternative.  this time i plan to try out laboring in the shower now that we have a better water heater.

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  • flyer23flyer23 member
    image AutumnBride929:

    - You can't really share any of your pictures of you and baby right after birth because you realize that you're completely nude in every single one (unless you somehow keep your clothes on).

    I wore a nursing tank. I know some women wear bikini tops as well. (I had a maternity tankini top set out, but decided at the last minute that I didn't feel like changing Smile) My pictures are totally shareable. This is literally the moment he came out.

    image

    Mommy to DD1 (June 2007), DS (January 2010), and DD2 (July 2012)

    My blogs:
    Work. Life. Unbalanced (working mom stuff) ~ The Traveling Tots (traveling with kids) ~ Adventures of a Rookie Sewer (sewing/crafts) ~ Journey to Homebirth (homebirth and other childbirth-related stuff)

  • image flyer23:
    image AutumnBride929:

    - You can't really share any of your pictures of you and baby right after birth because you realize that you're completely nude in every single one (unless you somehow keep your clothes on).

    I wore a nursing tank. I know some women wear bikini tops as well. (I had a maternity tankini top set out, but decided at the last minute that I didn't feel like changing Smile) My pictures are totally shareable. This is literally the moment he came out.

    image

    Awesome pic!  Yeah, I totally didn't plan on laboring in the tub because I gave birth in the hospital and only one room has a tub. :)  I got the luck of the draw!  I could have put more thought into it but I was already in transition and really just wanted to be naked, lol. 

    My best friend, my husband, my everything
    Matthew Kevin
    7/31/83-7/20/11 image
    Met 1/8/00
    Engaged 4/21/06
    Married 9/29/07
    Two beautiful legacies: Noah Matthew (2 yrs) and Chloe Marcella (8 mos)
    Day Three
  • this is a WONDERFUL picture! how beautiful :)
    BabyFetus Ticker BabyFruit Ticker ~*~Pridebaby~*~
  • I had a water birth and it was absolutely wonderful.  One of the things that nobody has mentioned yet though in terms of cons is that the temperature of the water has to be closely monitered.  If the temperature is not within a certain range, you can't give birth in the tub.  This wasn't a huge problem for me because my labour was so short and my husband only needed to add hot water a few times, but if you have a long labour I could see how this would get really annoying.
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