Benefits Of Water Birth
At Gift of Life Pregnancy Services we believe that Childbirth is a normal and natural process. Although we’ve not been designed only to give birth in water, many women feel a water birth allows them to follow their natural birthing instincts so much better.
What Are The Benefits Of Water Birth? While research is still growing in this area, current research and reported experiences tell us water birth has many benefits, including:
Pain relief - Submersion in a warm water tub has been shown to provide significant pain relief.
Relaxation - Achieving maximum relaxation is crucial to an easier and less painful labor. Warm water helps to soothe tight and tired muscles during labor.
Movement- The added buoyancy of the water can make it easier to assume and change labor positions. The freedom of movement in and of itself can decrease the sensation of pain. This buoyancy can also help the laboring mother conserve energy so she doesn’t have to support her full weight. Between contractions, many women enjoy relaxing while allowing their bodies to float.
Helps reduce stress hormones that increase pain
Immersion in water can help reduce anxiety related hypertension
Reduced risk of episiotomy and tearing
Can facilitate the fetal ejection reflex rather than interfere with it
Encourages relaxation of the pelvic floor
Reduces inhibition and anxiety by creating a feeling of privacy allowing a mother to better listen to her natural birthing instincts and work with her body
Encourages a gentler arrival and transition for baby
Reduces the length of labor by encouraging the release of labour hormones
Reduces the risk of interventions such as synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin/Syntocinon), epidural and assisted birth
Privacy - Labor tubs are a minimum of 24 inches high, creating a semi-concealed retreat for the laboring mom. For many, this is more comfortable than laboring out in the open in view of the birth team and aids in relaxation.
Reduced Interventions- Giving birth in water reduces medical interventions including c-sections, episiotomies, and the need for stitches. It can also help to lower blood pressure.
Faster Labor - Increased relaxation allows women to dilate more quickly resulting in a shorter labor on average.