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Water birth... is it really "better"?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Have you had a birth with and without water and prefer the water?

Would you do it if all you had was your regular sized bathtub?

I've had 6 babies... this one's due in 2 weeks... and I can't decide if I want to try it or not...

Any thoughts??
post #2 of 17

Yes - loved it.
post #3 of 17
I had my first in the hospital in a bed. Second and third were born at home in the water. LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT.

Although I do have to say, my middle was my only one who wasn't posterior, and posterior labour sucks in the water as well as out of the water.

I don't think I'd do it in a bathtub though...too hard on your body. I'd at least get a little inflatable kiddie pool.
post #4 of 17
better? i don't know. depends upon the woman and the birth, you know?

i did labor a bit in my tub--regular bath tub at home--but birthed on land because that was what was right for my birth.

it was no problem to labor in there, but once my body started to move and such, wanting to move in certain ways to get the baby out, i couldn't do it in the tub. if the tub had been bigger--but not much bigger because i needed something to push off of, which became the ground once i was out of the bath--then i might have stayed in. but it was too tight and i couldn't move the way my body wanted to move. so i got out.

it's really up to you.
post #5 of 17
and mine was posterior and didn't hurt a bit. had an ecstatic, pleasurable labor and birth. i know it's supposed to be the worst ever or something, but it wasn't.

everyone is different, though.
post #6 of 17
I'm not an UCer (saw this link from the front page)

I labored in water with #3 (had the option for waterbirth, at that point, but we ended up emergency transferring later). It felt great when I got in, but at the point where I got out I definitely wanted out and preferred to be on "land".

I've had 4 other "land babies" and figure that's the way I'm staying

If it feels right for you at the time, you'll know!
post #7 of 17
I loved laboring in the water, I had long labors and being in warm water helped tremendously. However, I never birthed in water--just did not feel the urge. It's not even as if I jumped out of the tub when I knew I was pushing....I was already out of the tub at the time, and stayed where I was (for me, floor or bed).

As a mw, I have many clients plan for a water birth, but only about 1/2 actually birth in the water--their preference (I just follow them when they move to this room, that room, wherever). A few didn't like water laboring at all--tho most moms really do like the 'aquadural effect'. The rest just happened to be out of the water when it came time to push--and though I will generally say 'do you want to get back in the tub?', so far no one has done so. But all, except the few who got no help from water at all, were glad they invested in a birthing tub and loved being in the water for much of active labor.
post #8 of 17
I think it is nice to have the option, but it isn't always necessarily the best fit for every situation or everyone's labor.

With my oldest, I was at a hospital with a CNM practice. You could labor but not "deliver" in the tub. I felt great as long as I was upright, walking, sitting on the birth ball, on all 4s, etc. So I just kept doing that (and listening to my Hypnobirthing CDs nonstop). I did "have" to have intermittent fetal monitoring strips done (which knowing what I know now I would have declined), and that was the only time I was uncomfy for the most part. Around transition I was having a lot of rectal pressure, etc. and the midwife and doula suggested the tub. It was *okay* but when I was ready to get out, I was ready, kwim? I got out and was pushing shortly afterward. That experience would have been awesome had my (then) med-wife not gone against my birth plan and gone into crazy mode with having nurse/DH pull back my legs and do the whole coached pushing thing, etc. But overall, I don't regret not being in the tub at the end. Even if I could have delivered in the tub, I would not have wanted to with that labor, kwim? It just wasn't what felt right.

With my 2nd, I was in a new state and at a freestanding birth center with a tub available. I showed up 10 cm dilated but wasn't pushy yet (membranes still intact, etc.) I had the option to be in the tub, but just didn't feel compelled. Ended up eventually pushing on the bed in sidelying and my midwife was great with letting me follow my own urges and I basically "breathed the baby down" and let the contractions do their thing except for two short pushes at the end. No regrets with not getting in the tub for a water birth, but it was nice to know the option was there if I wanted it.

We're planning a homebirth for baby #3 (not planning a UC, so I hope you don't mind my feedback...). Wasn't sure whether to bother w/ a pool/tub this time since my previous two I didn't really feel compelled to use the tub that much, and those were fast-ish labors (6 hours 20 mins and 3 hours). However, I figured I have NO idea what this labor will bring (could be long, baby could be posterior, etc), and it is nice to have the option since you never know what you'll want in labor. So we opted for an inflatable kiddie pool, RV hose and adapter...for $50 it will be nice to have the *option* but it wouldn't surprise me if I skip it again either, kwim? I would not have gone w/ a tub/pool setup if it was going to run me $200 though (based on my previous experiences). For $50, I was willing to spend the money to have the option just in case.

SIL and BIL just had their first baby at a freestanding birth center and expected to give birth in the water. When it came down to it, SIL felt the urge to NOT be in the water. So I think it good to have options, but to open your mind to the possibility that you may want to birth out of the water.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Y'all are great! Thanks so much for the thought out answers!

I saw a link to someone's water birth yesterday and it just looked so peaceful. Thus, the questions.

Although my last UC was my best birth by far, I feel this is my last baby and have been wandering about the "experience" of water birth. With my last one, labor was fast and pretty easy but not "sexy"... haha! I labored sitting on the toilet because it was easy and then got down on all fours to deliver him. Not what I'd "planned" but it did work for me. And I do believe in listening to my own body. But I was wondering about having a more "sexy" birth. haha!

Anyway, thanks again! Haven't been on here much because I'm having to work on our taxes but everyone is so giving when it comes to answering questions!

Two more weeks... or 4 if he's 12 days late like his brother.
post #10 of 17
I laboured in water and didn't like it. I found it irritating to not be able to get my footing as I wanted it and craved gravity. It was also irritating to have the water moving on my skin. I need a lot of mental energy to labour and the water did not help me. I know many women find water fabulous.
I will birth this one on land too.
post #11 of 17
I labored in water with both, but with my first, the CNM made me get out to push, so I gave birth semi-sitting in bed. Both births were easy but I know with my second, I really enjoyed the water and wouldn't have gotten out for anything. I'm having my last baby this summer and not sure if I'll have a waterbirth but I'll definitely have the pool ready to use.
post #12 of 17
i "knew" i wanted a water birth ad for me it was the best experience ever (in a mwl birthing centre) this time round im having a home water birth and cant wait!!
post #13 of 17
I am not a UCer, but thought I could chime in.

I have had one dry birth, and one water birth.

I would say, by far, the water birth was better. In the water my contractions seemed shorter and I had this immensly grouding sensation. It was good.

I don't think a bathtub would do the trick, as you cannot get your belly covered, and you don't have much room to move around. I really like to be able to change positions, especially during transition. We used a large blow up pool and the water came up to my chest while sitting.

I think it is worth it to have a tub handy and ready, and if you decide you don't like it, you don't have to use it. There are a few women who do not enjoy water.
post #14 of 17
For me birthing in the water this time was the only comfortable place. I held onto the sides of the soft pool, which would have sucked if it were a regular tub. And I am sure the water made the difference in my posterior baby coming out and without tearing. Best wishes.
post #15 of 17
I have labored in a birthing tub and a regular bath tub twice but never birthed in one. Once it gets so intense I NEED the ground. I used to want a water birth more than anything but after birthing on land I can't imagine wanting to actually give birth in the water. I think it's just a personal preference thing
post #16 of 17
For my first I labored in the water in the hospital tub. (slightly larger than our home tub) The warm water felt great during the contractions. I was a little uncomfortable trying to find a good position in the tub but it still felt good. Unfortunately hospital policy made me get out at 9cm. I should have refused and stayed in.

Second baby was born at home. I spent most of my labor on the toilet. I got in when I was pushing. It didn't do squat for the pain this time because I got in so late, but being boyant helped a lot. Also, I had some early contractions in our home bathtub, did not cut it. In order to have my belly covered I had to be flat on my back with my legs up in the air. Not a good laboring position.
post #17 of 17
Both my babes were born in the La Bassine tub. Padded bottom, hand grips. Never used the grips, both kiddos slid out while I was on my knees. Totally painfree, no "forced" pushing, no tearing. Both were looking up at me (face up), both had the cords around their necks, and neither had any complications. DD is now 3 and DS is almost 11 months. And, ahem, this new babe is due the first week in October.
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