Discover the natural pain-relief and other benefits of water birth!
Learn more about about Water Birth Here
Benefits of Home Water Birth
Pregnant women in growing numbers around the world are discovering the benefits of home water birth.
Most women report shorter, easier and sometimes even painless or orgasmic birthing experiences thanks to home water birth.
In this article we will explore the benefits of home water birth, answer common questions, and share real life water birth stories.
The UK-based National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that birthing pools are second only to epidurals in alleviating pain.
Dr Julia Sanders, a consultant midwife, and a member of the group who drew up the guidance says:
“There is a perception that water is just nice. But it is the most effective form of pain relief barring an epidural in labour. “I would like to see more women using water and fewer women using the types of pain relief that are less effective.”
In addition to the significant pain relief benefits of water birth it also reduces C- section rates, reduces the need for drugs and other interventions, and lowers blood pressure.
The water works to provide a private and protected space for you, and it promotes relaxation which decreases the stress hormones in your body and increases your pain killing beta endorphins making the contraction easier to handle, and allowing you to conserve your energy.
In the water you have more freedom of movement which allows you to float into positions that feel comfortable to you.
Water birth encourages the opening of the pelvis, has been known to speed labor, softens the perennial tissues, reduces perenial tears and eliminates episiotomies.
Skilled practioners report that it is much easier to deliver a breech or shoulder dystocia baby in the water and many Mommas who have had a home water birth say that they couldn’t imagine birthing without it.
Water birth also creates a gentler entrance for your baby. Coming from the warm water of your womb into the warm water of the world allows for a gentler and easier transition.
Home Water Birth Information And F.A.Q.
How much does a home water birth cost?
It really depends. I rented my waterbirth tub from my midwife for $5, but if you don’t have that option you can rent a portable pool online for about $350-$375 shipping is included in that cost. They are all sanitized and come with new unused liners that cover the entire inside of the tub. You will also have to pay a midwife to attend your birth, which costs around $2,000 (where I live). It is actually much less expensive to give birth at home than in a hospital. The average cost of an uncomplicated hospital birth in the Unites States is more than $8,000.
How do I fill the water birth tub?
You’ll want to get a lead free hose, and a simple connector piece from any hardware store that will hook up to your sink. One side hooks to the sink and one to the tub. Try it out in advance, before your birthing day arrives to make sure it all fits and works. They usually use the same hose for siphoning the tub after the birth which the midwives take care of.
What is the temperature of the water?
It should be warm and comfortable for your, usually between 95-100 degrees is perfect, but never over 100 degrees. If it’s too hot it could cause your body temperature to rise to a point where your baby’s heart rate increases. Make sure to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and keep a spray bottle on hand for cool misting. Most tubs have heaters but sometimes they don’t work too well. You can heat water on the stove to add to the tub in large, lead-free, stainless steel pots.
What can I put in the water?
Tap water right from the sink is typically used in the birthing tub. You can put essential oils & herbs in the tub for added comfort, lavender is excellent, but stay away from anything minty that may make your baby’s eyes or skin burn.
When should I get into the water?
Whenever you feel ready. It feels great to take a bath during your early birthing time as kind of a trail run before getting into the tub. Sometimes getting into the birth tub too early can slow down the contractions and sometimes it can speed them up. You will need to see what works best for you.
The tub takes a pretty long time to fill up, so chances are by the time it’s ready, you will be ready to get in.
When I was giving birth I got into the birthing tub as soon as I could and it was a bliss and I didn’t want to leave.
How do they measure the baby’s heart rate underwater?
They use a water Doppler a small hand held device that can go under the water.
What prevents my baby from breathing under water?
How it was explained to me is that there are systems within the babies body that prevent the baby from breathing under the water. Your baby breathes through the placenta until his face comes in contact with the air, and coming in contact with the air your baby to take her first breath.
Fore more specifics go to www.WaterBirth.org
How long is the baby under the water after the birth?
Typically no longer than 10 seconds, but babies can be left in for longer without danger. As long as the umbilical cord is still pulsing your baby is still breathing through the placenta, but there is no way of knowing when the change over will take place, so to be safe it’s best to allow a few seconds for the baby to get used to the water and then slowly and calmly lift him out and give him to his Momma.
Home Water Birth Safety And Possible Risks
Barbara Harper- the founder of Waterbirth International talks about the guidelines and risk factors of a home water birth in this article:
The Canadian Medical Association published a new study in September 2009. Their findings were that outcomes of homebirth with a registered midwife were the same as the outcomes of a hospital birth attended by a doctor or midwife.
Some Water Birth Stories From The Web
Here are some natural water birth stories from www.WaterBirth.org
All I could think of was, ‘Aah. Relief!!’ A soothing, relaxing, warmth engulfed me. I love warm baths and it just seemed so natural and relaxing.”
-Bethany, mother of Patrick
“My first waterbirth and I am HOOKED! It was so awesome. It’s just too hard to put into words. My body was so relaxed by the water that I didn’t even realize I was delivering my baby’s head!!!”
- Brandi, mother of Caleb Neal
“Luna, my youngest son’s birth, was so wonderful and gentle being in the water. Laboring in water helped to absorb the contractions and make me more comfortable. Luna was born in February, which is an Aquarius, a water sign, which is fitting. *laugh* To this day he is the most water-loving child at such a young age that I’ve ever known. Waterbirth is amazing!…
-Summer, mother of Luna Raye
The minute I got into the tub, my entire demeanor changed. I became focused, alert and not afraid anymore. I would honestly say the first hour of labor out of the tub was ten times worse than anything else.
-Maria, mother of Grayson Avery Daniel
For more natural water birth stories visit www.WaterBirth.org
My Home Water Birth Story
I will never forget that magical moment when my daughter floated gracefully out into the water with amazing wisdom in her wide open eyes, looking as calm as the breeze on a summers day…
Having a natural pregnancy is the first step toward a successful natural childbirth….
Episode 5: Natural Pregnancy
For more tips about natural pregnancy read my blog post: Natural Pregnancy The Key To Sucessful Natural Childbirth
A Healthy, Natural Pregnancy Will Prepare You And Your Baby Physically and Emotionally for Natural Childbirth
The quality of your birthing experience depends largely upon how well you takes care of yourself while you are pregnant.
Pregnancy is a time for preparation. It’s a time to shower yourself in love and attention, give yourself the best and set your baby up for success.
In this article I will share with you how a natural pregnancy can lead you down the path to having an amazing birth.
Coping with Pregnancy Symptoms (Naturally)
Pregnancy symptoms are a natural part of the journey through pregnancy. You are changing and growing on both a physical and emotional level. You are being transformed into a perfect vessel to love, grow and give life to your baby. It’s natural for you to feel the effects of this change. What’s important is the way you approach and cope with your pregnancy symptoms.
There is a reason and purpose for most pregnancy symptoms (besides making you uncomfortable). Pregnancy symptoms encourage us to tune in and listen to our bodies and ultimately assist us in one way or another along the path to a successful birth.
Some symptoms occur physically and call us to action to strengthen our physical bodies so that we may be more comfortable in our pregnancy. Others take place on an emotional level that call us to explore and open our emotional selves in an act of cleansing and renewal so that we may greet our babies with perfect love.
Having a healthy, natural pregnancy can help greatly reduce the discomfort from pregnancy symptoms. When you take excellent care of yourself during pregnancy and cultivate a healthy emotional and physical state you will adjust more easily and naturally to the changes happening in your body.
A Healthy Natural Pregnancy Diet
If you want your baby to be the best you have to feed it the best. This means eating wholesome, nutrient rich foods (not the junk foods you might be craving). Remember when you are feeding yourself, you are also feeding your baby.
During pregnancy your baby is in a very early stage of development, so the affect of your nutritional choices have a much bigger impact on your baby’s growth than you might expect. Part of a natural pregnancy is eliminating bad foods from your diet, and replacing them with good, nutrient rich foods which will help nurture your baby and prepare her (and yourself) for birth.
The most nutrient rich foods are those that are as close to their natural state as possible, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and “single ingredient” foods you find in the outside aisles of the grocery store. Avoid processed and packaged foods. If it comes in a box and has more than three ingredients, it’s probably not very good for you.
You should have a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies in your diet (the fresher the better).
Protein is also important for the baby’s growth, which can be found in lean meat (like chicken and turkey), fish, eggs, soy products, etc.
Vitamins and Supplements
At a minimum you should be taking a daily prenatal vitamin. Vitamins are good, but it’s always better to get your nutrients from wholesome natural food, instead of in pill form. However, many foods in modern supermarkets do not contain as many vitamins and minerals as they used to because they are grown in depleted soil using chemical fertilizers, harvested out of season, etc. So supplementing your natural pregnancy diet with vitamins is a good idea.
The Importance Of Exercise For Natural Pregnancy
Regular physical activity prepares your body to be healthy and strong enough to carry your baby without having to strain, and when the time comes enables you to birth your baby more comfortably.
A natural pregnancy exercise program should be part of your daily routine. But don’t worry, because it doesn’t have to be anything hard. You don’t have to go to the gym for hours or anything like that.
The best exercises are: Walking, Yoga, Swimming and Kegals (pelvic floor exercise)
Remember you are not exercising to lose weight or tone up. Exercising may help you to lose the pregnancy weight quicker after the birth, but the main goal is to build strength and health.
Natural Pregnancy Weight Gain
It is natural for women to gain a different amount of weight while they are pregnant. Weight gain of anywhere from 20-35 lbs and up is considered normal and healthy.
What’s important is not the number on the scale, but that you get all of the vital nutrients that you need to grow your body and your baby to be healthy and strong.
Natural Pregnancy Classes
Natural pregnancy classes can be a great help to prepare and guide you through pregnancy and toward birth.
Natural pregnancy classes will teach you what’s going on in your body and how you can prepare yourself to have a healthy, and natural pregnancy and birth.
The right class will help you feel healthy on both a physical and emotional level, help you design a natural pregnancy diet and exercise routine, and should include prenatal yoga or other prenatal exercise that build strength and flexibility.
A good natural pregnancy class should also encourage you to connect and listen to your body.
Natural Pregnancy Equals A Great Birth
A healthy and loving birth comes from a healthy, loving, natural pregnancy. Just like anything else in life – you get out of it what you put into it…
If you take care of your body with natural pregnancy, your body will take care of you and your baby during birth.
Hypnobirthing is the act of training your mind using positive suggestions and “self hypnosis” to relieve pain and create a gentle and loving birth.
Here’s a new video I shot for you where I talk about the joy of hypnobirthing, and my favorite hypnobirthing techniques…
Hypnobirthing – Episode 4
If you would like to learn more about hypnobirthing read my blog post here: Hypnobirthing Secrets – How To Use Positive Thinking And Self Hypnosis To Relieve Labor Pain And Create A Positive Birthing Environment