11 Reasons a Water Birth May Be the Best Thing for You

April 29, 2019
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If you’re interested in natural birthing options that may minimize labor pains and reduce the overall stress of the birthing experience, read on for 11 reasons to consider having a water birth.

This may sound like a strange choice, but who doesn’t love a warm bath with soothing salts and scents to chase away tension and worries? 

What is a water birth?

A water birth is exactly what it sounds like: it’s giving birth while immersed in a tub of warm water.

The idea is to create a comfortable, relaxing environment for both the mother and baby.

Women may choose to exit the tub when it’s time to deliver, but some opt to remain in the tub for the entire birthing process. 

pregnant woman

Is a water birth safe?

Lots of folks wonder if baby will drown if she’s born in water, but that won’t happen.

The reason is because in the womb, baby has already been surviving in liquid.

When she is born into more water, her lungs remain collapsed so no water can enter her system (she takes her first breath when she is lifted from the water into the air). 

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Pregnant woman
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11 reasons to consider having a water birth

#1 Ideal environment for mama and baby

The purpose of the water birth is to create an optimal setting for both the mother and child.

Ideally, mom should feel less stress on her body thanks to the water’s buoyancy, and baby should gently transition from the familiar fluid in the womb to the warm, watery tub.

#2 Less painful contractions

While it’s impossible to promise a pain-free labor, it makes sense that a water birth would be more comfortable than a land birth.

Without getting too scientific, here’s what happens: when the body relaxes, breathing is regulated and so too are contractions.

Then there’s a steady release of endorphins, which significantly lessen the level of discomfort.

Mother holding baby in a birth pool

#3 Freedom to move

As we know from swimming, your body feels so much lighter when it’s in the water.

It’s logical then, that the water would make your pregnant body feel less cumbersome and allow for ease of movement.

What’s more, if you’re able to shift positions, you may speed up labor and decrease the amount of pain from contractions

#4 More energy 

Delivering a baby is hard work and can exhaust the mother pretty quickly.

In the relative comfort of a water birth, you may breathe easier and allow your muscles to recover between contractions instead of constantly tensing and straining.

As a result, you very well might have an increase in energy in the later stages of pregnancy.     

pregnant woman with hands on belly

#5 Stay in your own home

If you’re reluctant to welcome your baby in the sterile surroundings of a hospital (or if you really, really don’t like medical establishments), a water birth may be right up your alley.

With a birth tub set up in your own space, there’s no reason to pack an overnight bag or fret about getting to the hospital on time. 

#6 A sense of privacy

Giving birth is not a time to demonstrate modesty, but that doesn’t mean you should feel like your entire body (and all of its functions) are on display.

A water tub provides an enclosure that feels like a private space, plus it’s warm and comfortable.

Feeling safe and secure may allow you to relax more and keenly focus on the amazing birth experience as it unfolds. 

#7 Easier recovery period

When you’re immersed in the tub, your skin becomes softer and more pliable (meaning it will stretch easier), thus reducing the risk of a vaginal tear (which can take 6 weeks to heal).

If you’ve stepped out of the tub during labor, consider climbing back in for the birth to keep all of your parts as supple as possible.

#8 Say no to an epidural

If a water birth decreases the pain of labor and delivery, that means there’s no need for strong pain meds, like an epidural.

This is especially good news if you’re part of the 20% of our population that has an inherent fear of needles

#9 Family involvement

The ideal scenario for many families is to be together during the birth of a child. 

With a water birth, your loved ones can gather around you and your partner can even climb into the tub for the most intimate type of partner support.

pregnant woman

#10 Shorter labor

While there isn’t any guarantee that you’ll have a lightning quick delivery with a water birth, there’s a good chance your labor will progress faster in water.

Why is this?

When you’re more relaxed (both in your mind and in your muscles), you’re likely to dilate at a faster rate, which will propel the labor right along.

#11 Save money

It may seem odd to mention money when we’re talking about the joy of bringing a child into this world, but the costs involved may sway your decision to have a water birth.

Having a baby in the hospital is significantly more expensive than having a water birth at home. But before you make any decisions, make sure to check your insurance policy.

newborn baby feet

A very personal delivery

When it comes to pregnancy and birth, it seems like everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to share it with you.

But facing labor and delivery isn’t like planning a baby shower or choosing a gift for a new mom.

Your birth experience (including your birth team and your birth plan) is personal and so special and whatever you choose has to resonate deeply with your body and baby.

Pinterest image about having a water birth
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