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Waterbirth

“A waterbirth is a natural, gentle, pain-reducing, fulfilling, and empowering birthing experience. Mother and infant start out their new life together in a relaxing and deeply familiar environment: Warm water.”

More and more women are discovering how wonderful a pool of warm water can be during labor and birth. Relaxing in warm water to relieve discomfort has been used for everything from backaches and other sore muscles to stress and menstrual pain.

Waterbirth was first made popular more than 30 years ago through research conducted primarily in Russia and France. Since the baby is in a bag of water inside the mother for nine months, birthing into a like environment is a gentler birth for the baby and less stressful for the mother. Reducing stress reduces fetal complications.

Many women have discovered the benefits of laboring and birthing in water. Warm water envelops the body, which creates a weightless feeling and diminishes the sensation of the contractions. As the body relaxes, adrenaline levels are lowered and endorphins are released. These hormonal painkillers reduce stress and lessen pain, allowing both physical and mental relaxation.

Warm water increases venous pressure so that veins can return blood to the heart more efficiently and your baby receives more oxygen. It enhances cardiac action and slows the pulse rate. Total relaxation in the warmth and comfort of the water helps the uterus contract more effectively. Water also counteracts the force of gravity and any pressure a woman feels inside her body, creating a further pain relieving effect. Most women find their ability to concentrate is improved, allowing them to focus inward on the birth process. This promotes the progression of labor, making it easier, shorter and even more enjoyable.

Laying in water helps mothers surrender to the birth process and become deeply centered. It creates a feeling of tranquility and instinctive state of mind.

Advantages of a Waterbirth:

  • • Relieves pain

  • • Greater comfort and mobility for the mother

  • • More efficient labor

  • • Less energy wasted

  • • Easier breathing ability due to water vapor

  • • Provides the mother with privacy, so she feels less inhibited which shortens labor and birth

  • • Lowers blood pressure

  • • Less perineal tearing

  • • Creates a gentle transition for the baby

  • • Reduces interventions

  • • Creates a feeling of weightlessness and gives support to tense muscles

  • • Mother feels involved with the birth and gains a sense of accomplishment

  • • Babies born into water have a gentler birth experience

 

If your birthing plans include a waterbirth, La Shel and Jamin are highly experienced in the process and recognize the many advantages of water to both mother and baby. They have all the necessary equipment to monitor the baby’s heart rate while you’re in the tub. They can carefully observe any changes in your labor. They strongly support and encourage your choice for a waterbirth.