Giving birth in the water can be a great experience for both the mother and the newborn baby.
Most mothers can give birth in the water and even if a hospital has a policy stating otherwise, it is one of those things that can often be negotiated. The main issue for many hospitals is availability of pools, They may have 6 labour rooms but only two equipped with pools. However many hospitals have what they call birth centres attached to them which are units that are lead by midwives. These are often fitted out with plenty of birth pools to go around and as long as no medical intervention is needed mothers can enjoy labouring and birthing in the water in a relaxed non medical environment.
Many mothers want a drug free natural birth, but also want pain relief! The warm water of a birth pool provides a wonderful sense of relief, as well as helping the mother to relax and breathe through her contractions. The water surrounds the mother helping her to feel warm and relaxed which is essential for Oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions, to flow.
Giving birth in the water is a wonderful way for a baby to come into the world. Nothing will match the warmth and comfort of the womb, but entering the world through a rush of warm water is certainly favourable to coming out into the open air.
So whether you simply fancy a large birth pool for your labour and pain relief, or if you are determined to give birth in the water, a birth pool can be a wise investment for your labour. If you are giving birth in a hospital it’s worth checking how many pools there are and their availability. It may be an option to hire one or buy one and bring it in with you.
If you are giving birth at home, it’s possibly your NHS trust provides them free of charge or hires them out. or if you hire a doula she may provide one as part of her service. For information on hiring birth pools or buying your own have a look here at The Good Birth Company.
For more information on water birth, birth pools, and all things regarding giving birth or labouring the water, here are few great resources: