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Risks of waterbirth??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
What, specifically, are the risks entailed in a waterbirth?
I know a lot of midwives are hesitant to be involved if you want the baby to actually be born in the water? Is it because the baby could theoretically become "stuck" once the head is out and end up aspirating water? I read on a midwife's webiste that the newborn won't take its first breath until it makes conact with air, as long as it isn't underwater for more than a minute-how true is that? wow......I have so many questions and I'm not even pregnant yet!!! Thanks! Becky
post #2 of 15
I know my midwife does waterbirth, but some others I know don't. As far as I understand it, a baby is "cued" to breath by its face coming into the air, the cord coming into the air and/or a drop in temperature. This can mean a baby might aspirate water if the birthtub water wasn't warmer than the mother's body...
I don't know if there is a specific time-period for the first breath, I'd think that would depend on the individual baby.

My midwife was a student when she saw this happen...and is very, very careful about how hot the water must be. I had to get enough of my body out of the water for Eli to be born into air because the water wasn't warm enough to be about the risky range when he actually arrived.

Also, there is some risk of infection, depending on how long the membranes have been ruptured, but that is a consideration no matter where you are laboring/birthing.
post #3 of 15
Hi, Becky! You have some great questions about waterbirth and now is the time to ask them. Check Michel Odent's article about the safety of waterbirth at www.midwiferytoday.com
Also, different midwives have different ways of doing things. Some like to see the babies come out right away. It is my take that they can stay in the water for a short time. The cord does spasm when it reaches the air. A wonderful book that may help guide you is Suzanne Naparla's "Waterbirth."

Best of luck!
post #4 of 15
Okay, I had a waterbirth and it was wonderful for me, but I don't know if I'd do it again. My son got stuck as you describe after pushing for 2 1/2 hours. When he came out and up, he wouldn't cry and needed oxygen. Of course, his 2nd set of apgars were just fine and the mwives assured me there were/are no side effects.

So, no, they won't breath in water. But, in retrospect, it was pretty scary.

I guess I don't know if it would've been any different lying in a bed.

It's a tough call.

But...I would REALLY recommend using a tub that has a disposable liner. No question of left over bacteria, etc.
post #5 of 15
The book, Gentle Birth Choices, by Barbara Harper, also discusses how safe waterbirth is.
post #6 of 15
When I was discussing having my homebirth with my midwife, she said fine for giving birth in the water if I wanted to, BUT she asked that I get out of the bath afterthe baby was out to birth the placenta on land.
She said that birthing the placenta in water could disguise the amount of bleeding I might be having and she wanted to see exactly what was going on. No surprises. That was fine with me. She knew more about what she was talking about than I did, at that point. Just seemed like a reasonable safety concern.
I didn't end up giving birth in the water anyway. I couldn't get good enough leverage for my feet. But I labored in there for ages and started pushiing there too.
Viva waterbirth! Or in my case, water labor!!
post #7 of 15
When I was 14 I realized there were two things my future partner had to do for our children.

1) water birth with low lights and soothing music.

2) Eat the placenta in bits during the first 6 weeks of the infants life.

The first water birth we did at a clinic. The second I built our own tub and did it at home together.

If anyone has questions, post them up. I'd be happy to deal with how we did it.

post #8 of 15
couple questions.
Somebody mentioned temperature. I'm just starting to research this but I know I haven't seen it in the places I've read so far--At what temp. did you keep the water? Sounds like it's got to be pretty warm to keep it above mama's temp. to prevent the possibility of baby aspirating water from a breathing reflex. But then that's the first I've heard of that possibility also.

What are your reasons for placenta eating? I've heard of it and I'm interested and when I told DH the only reasons I had were that "women said it helped" and he didn't respond well to anecdotal good reports. He likes logic better--so what's the placenta do for you that's so great??? And is dried in pill form ok or just fresh? This question might need to go elsewhere on the threads but I haven't seen it answered in any of the other threads on placenta eating.

Did you do anything special to keep the tub water warm? We have a horse trough--thick black plastic sides that should keep the water insulated but we haven't tested it over any length of time.

Did you have a midwife? You said in your post "together at home". Just curious. V.
post #9 of 15
Hey, Alexander!

As an apprentice midwife, I know that I will have to prepare placenta to eat eventually. I have heard of braising in rosemary+garlic with olive oil, also mixed with fruit juice in a smoothie.

What did you do if anything?

post #10 of 15
These are very good questions, so lets set up a new thread for these topic.

The "how to" and the benifits of water-birth discussion thread.

post #11 of 15
Originally posted by stephanie

I have heard of braising in rosemary+garlic with olive oil,
Yeah! heard of this. Also heard of part of it being flambèed right after birth with mushrooms and garlic. a bit over the top 'cos it tastes just like liver. Would you go to those lengths for liver?

Mind you, as raw meat, my wife described it as the "best liver sashimi, ever"!

Longer post on preparation on the way, but now going to bed.

Hope this helps

post #12 of 15
I'm sorry, but...:

I totally respect your choice, but, oh boy, those images overwhelmed me...
post #13 of 15
DW mostly had it as raw meet thrown into Japanese Miso soup.

post #14 of 15
My sister was very dissapointed that I didn't eat the placenta either time(I think she presumed it went with the whole earthy-birthy natural way I did things)....but I just couldn't even think about it after the first baby was born! Now, I've got two in the freezer, waiting for the "right" place to plant them.
post #15 of 15
Yes, the responsibility for prepping the placena lies with the SO, or the mid-wife if it has been arranged in advance.

I will get a "how to" thread going soon. I even made a video at home to give to my friends that were having babies at the time so they could practice beforehand, and knew what to expect.

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