I'm having my first baby this November and want to do a home birth. However, I'm still debating whether or not to do a waterbirth or not. Do you find that's its much easier to birth in a birthing tub? Because of our financial situation, we really only have the option for one of the two things: paying for a birthing tub or paying for a doula. I don't think we'd be able to do both.. which would be more important to do in your opinion?
Waterbirth or no?
if you find water comforting and enjoy baths, then you will likely really find a waterbirth very helpful for the pain. personally at a homebirth with a midwife, i would choose a the pool over a doula, but you should be able to buy a cheap kiddie pool from somewhere and maybe have enough money left over for a doula. i have seen women give birth in their bathtub, but i am not sure how you would feel about that.
I've had two water births and won't be doing it again. I've always done it because I somehow felt like it would be better for baby but I've realized it's not good for mommy (in my case anyway). I don't like water. I'm not a bath person. Getting in tub provided zero pain relief and I felt very ungrounded in the water which I think increased my anxiety during pushing. I also get instantly cold after I give birth making sitting in the tub for even a few minutes (let's face it, it's hard to leap right out) nothing short of torture. It's hard to explain but I agree with PP that if you like baths and are a water person, water births can be great and the vast majority of people seem to like them. Just not my thing I guess.
I'm with Dogmom. I spent maybe an hour in the birth pool we spent hours getting ready, filling and refilling. I hated it. I am not a bath person at all, though. This time around I'm foregoing the pool entirely. Last time I found the shower to be far better for me, since that is where I normally am doing my relaxing.
All that being said, check around to see if there are any student doulas in your area. They will often work for free or reduced fees because they have not attended the required number of births to complete certification yet.
And I agree that if you want to give water birth a try, and money is a concern, check out the kiddie pools.
You know, every birth is different, so it's hard to compare them. I have had one baby in my huge garden tub and one in a regular hospital bed (but with a midwife, so I could be in any position I wanted). I did not find that the water offered me any pain relief at all, but I didn't tear with that baby (#2) even though she was 1lbs 6oz bigger than my first baby, with whom I did tear. I'm not sure if that's because of the water or just because every birth is different. Also, I felt HORRIBLE during transition with baby 1 (dry land birth). I was alternatingly hot and cold, shivering and sweating, pulling covers on and throwing them off, dry heaving, etc. With baby 2 (water birth) I had none of that at all. Again, that could be due to just being different labors and all that, but it did seem at the time that it had to do with the water. It felt like the warm water helped me to avoid all that hot/cold stuff.
We're getting the $40 fishy pool and no doula. Who will be at the birth? We have midwife, assistant to the midwife, and apprentice (who also works as a doula), and shelled out the extra $300 for a personal childbirth class where DH learned all the hands on massage techniques and breathing with me, making noises with me etc. If you're going to have a lot of experiences professionals there you may not need a doula.
I also had a midwife with an assistant and an apprentice, so I went with the tub over the doula (actually the tub came free with the midwifery services, so it was a no-brainer). The tub was really nice for pain relief during labor, but it stopped my progression and after laboring for 8 hours in the tub I had stayed dilated at 6cms, which was incredibly frustrating after 48 hours of labor... and my knees were rubbed raw from being in the water that long against the plastic tub liner. Bottom line, I wouldn't do it again. It's different for everyone. If you enjoy sitting in a hot tub, it may be worth it. Also, if I only had one midwife, I might have sprung for the doula, but three extra people in the house was enough for me.
I am another one that got in the tub and decided it was not for me. I had not committed to birthing there, but when I was in full labor, I knew I had to get out. I liked having it there and glad it was an option. If I have another child, I will be filling it up again and seeing if I want to use it.
That being said, I didn't have a doula for my home birth. I had my first in the hospital, and really wish I would have had a doula.
Is there anyone in your area that has one you can borrow. I let a friend borrow my pool for her birth and would loan it out again without a problem.
Good luck to you!
I just thought I would chime in here. I've had two water births at home with a midwife. I had a doula and the tub was provided by my midwife. I do love baths, swimming, water, showers etc. This is what I found: As far as the doula, I love her to death, but certainly could have done it without her. I really just wanted to be with my husband, that's all. I thought I would need a lot of support, and it turns out that I didn't at all and preferred to labor alone. As far as the birth tub, there are a couple of things. With my first, I did find that it provided INSTANT pain relief as soon as my stomach was under. Amazing feeling. With my second, not so much (though he was a couple of pounds bigger and he came out with his hand up by his head). I enjoyed the midwife pouring hot stove water into the tub...that was a nice feeling. With both of my births I didn't labor very long in the tub (maybe an hour), and it was VERY uncomfortable moving from the bed INTO the tub. Each time. Swinging your leg over the edge while you"re having serious contractions is very uncomfortable! BUT...I think that's the only thing I hated. I didn't tear at all with either baby, and the BEST part about it for ME was this: I was able to get into any position with extreme ease. I tended to want to sway a little and move around while pushing. This was really easy to do in the water since you feel so light. It was a little hard on my knees. Next time I'm going to have some sort of pad on the bottom...memory foam would be nice, LOL!! I also liked being able to bite down into the tub...I'm pretty sure there are still bite marks on that thing (it wasn't an inflatable one). Overall I would absolutely use the tub again. In fact I think I'd be quite afraid to not use it...
Maybe another thing that was sort of annoying was having to get OUT of the tub (once again, seriously sucks swinging your leg over the edge after you've had a baby) to birth the placenta. I don't think that anyone really would have cared if I had done it in the tub...but once the baby is born, you really do just want to get OUT of that thing. Lol :)
Good luck mama, you'll never really know what's right for you until you're right deep down in labor, you know? I think you might regret not having a tub available to you though...and who knows, you may not use it at all. But you may use it and LOVE it.
I loved my water birth at the birth center, and loved my bathtub for laboring at home. For me, a water birth is a must if possible.
Personally, I'd pick a birthing tub over the doula, and actually look around for a student or volunteer doula :)! I know many doulas(myself included) who will do free births while training or for low income families.
I had a waterbirth with my first and am planning on a second waterbirth this time as well.
We borrowed a fishy pool from someone on MDC a while ago (not used and we -ie DH- sanitized it afterwards).
You can get them cheap, i mean 35$ is a great price. But, if you look around you can probably find one to borrow, just make sure it's SUPER clean for you to use.
Make sure you have the faucet attachement for your hose and a back up plan if you use all the hot water in your hot water heater. (dh boiled water for me... oh so good!)
I got in after my water broke. I didn't want the water to stall my labor and I felt that my water breaking as a good point to get in. I felt much more relaxed in the tub, that is for sure.
I say go for it, find a cheap tub, if you use it GREAT, if you don't, it was cheap. You can find student doulas or sometimes Doulas have a sliding scale for their fees. You can have both.
the doula i used last time and the one i will be using this time were both low cost as they were learning.
i decided against the waterbirth this time. every time i was in labor, i didnt want to be in the water except for a shower in the beginning and a shower afterwards. plus, i read a study showing the birthing in the water actually removes some of the baby smell that helps with bonding and milk coming in. so those two together made me say no.
i couldnt have done it without my doula. i didnt want anyone touching me but she knew when i needed counterpressure and how to do it without bugging me. it was great. my DH would not have known or thought about doing any of that. he was glad i decided to ask for a doula again this time. it lets him off the hook. he has no idea what to do when and he will be happy to just be in the kitchen preparing food and snacks or doing errands for the midwives. i might get him to come hold my hands while the baby crowns. but he is icked out by lots of stuff and just feels unsure of himself in those situations. so for HIM and me a doula was a great thing.