Water birth

Water birth is a technique of natural birthing, that provides pain relief in labour. Waterbirth was first reported in 1805 in France, where a lady, whose labour had been extremely long and difficult, was helped into a tub of warm water for a bath. Soon her labour progressed in the warm water, she started to push, & gave birth to her baby in the water.

What are the benefits of waterbirth?

  • Less pain (Increased production of endorphins)
  • Higher satisfaction with the birth experience (Feeling of being in control, Water supports 75% of a woman’s weight making her feel buoyant and comfortable)
  • Less medication use for pain relief—important for people who want to avoid epidurals or narcotic medication during labor
  • Less use of oxytocin and possibly shorter labors
  • Higher rates of normal natural vaginal birth
  • Lower rates of episiotomy
  • Higher rates of intact perineum, especially in high-episiotomy settings (Water helps to relax the pelvic floor and soften the perineum)
  • Possibly lower rates of severe tears (3rd or 4th degree), especially in high-episiotomy settings like India
  • Possibly lower bleeding after birth

What are the benefits to the newborn?

  • More gentle birth for the baby
  • Breastfeeding, skin to skin can be encouraged immediately
  • The benefits or risks of waterbirth for the newborn are less clear, but so far the evidence shows no harms of waterbirth in a supervised low risk pregnancy.

Who can opt for Water birth?

Most low risk pregnancies can opt for waterbirth. We have certain selection criteria for the same.

  • Mothers weight should be under 100kg
  • She should be full Term pregnancy
  • There should be a single fetus (not twins/triplets)
  • Baby must be head down/cephalic
  • Mother should be healthy and in a position to leave the pool quickly, if needed
  • She should have a normal blood pressure, temperature and pulse
  • She should be contracting without the need for oxytocin
  • She should not have any history of seizures
  • Waterbirth consent form must be signed
  • Mother must be counselled well in a waterbirth class
  • Mother must agree to exit the pool if asked
  • Mother can also use Entonox while in the pool

What really happens in waterbirth?

When the mother is getting good contractions in labour, and she is 3-4cm dilated, she is helped into the birthing pool with warm water maintained at 36.5 C.

The mother gets instant relaxation and relief in pain, and she can take any posture or position she feels comfortable in.This feeling of control without too much medical intervention, makes contractions more effective and also makes the labour progress faster. The mother may opt to deliver under water, and hold the baby in her arms and start breastfeeding immediately, or sometimes opt to come out of the pool just for the delivery.

Women undergoing a waterbirth have a very satisfying and positive childbirth experience.

Discuss with us for more information, if you are keen on natural birthing or waterbirth.

Dr. Astha Dayal one of the most renowned Gynecologist and Obstetrician in Gurgaon Haryana specialised in water birth delivery

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Dr. Astha Dayal?