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

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
Water birth.

The water should definitely not be higher than the mother's body temperature.

With this proviso, the water should be kept at the temperature that makes the mum feel comfortable.

On our first birth, the mid-wife was in the pool with us, and as my wife started to feel too cold asked them to turn the hot tap on, who fobbed her off with "in a little while".

DW "Alexander, tell them to put more hot water in. I'm cold!"

A "Put more hot water in, please."

It helps to have a supportive partner around.

The depth of the water should be deep enough to support the mothers torso if she is sitting down in the water.

Any disinfectant in the water I would say is a bad idea. In most Industrialised countries, the water is clean, and if it has been heated on its way into the tub, then clean enough. The germs that the baby will encounter from the parents, it will encounter anyway, soon after birth. Just make sure you are both clean when you get into the pool. Washing with handfuls of salt prior to getting in is the best way, carefully washing off any salt that remains on the body. Don't even think about putting salt into the pool. It is not enough the neutralize any bugs, unless you put in really loads, and by the time you have put enough in, the pool has become a place to shock the infant, possibly to death, as any open wounds will be very painful. If the dad decides to get in the pool, (I recommend it) he should wear trunks. (Reduces the number of hairs that have to be scooped out.)

Speaking of scooping, make sure you have a hand held pool scoop or tea strainer to take out any poop that leaks out.

You should not worry about the baby breathing in the bath water. Nature has taken care of this for us.

As the baby comes out, it's lungs, wind-pipe, nasal passage and mouth are filled with ambiotic fluid. Moving from the womb to the water is little different for the baby, and it will not try to draw a breath until it gets to the surface, and then only slowly. The ambiotic fluid protects the young lungs at this stage. This is as nature intended, and not to have it sucked out. This fluid is absorbed by the body, and breathing begins gently, not all at once on a raw lung. There maybe "matter" in the mouth, in or around the nostrils, and this can be wiped away with your finger or swallowed as the child takes its first suckle.

Sometimes the child cries, sometimes not at all.

Our first was as slippery as soap, and when she got to the surface, began to draw breath, opened her eyes immediately, gave one cry, (more of surprise than anything else,) and watched me for the next 20 minutes before looking around the room. She was not interested in the nipple, more about the gentle April dawn creeping through the bamboo blinds into our pool.

Our second was sticky. She did cry, and went straight to the nipple. We did not manage to get the music on early enough, and the lights were still on, (she came out so quickly and easily, we were hardly ready), and if I could do it again, I would make the pool bigger. We did have a couple of mid-wives present. They were there more for curiosity than anything else, as they had never seen a water birth before, but heard that it is done on the National Health in the UK. Technically, what we had done was illegal, so we rang them as we got into the pool, so they would not get into any trouble.

The water pressure prevents undue bleeding when the placenta comes out. This should never be pulled or tugged.

In fact, I go further than that by suggesting that the umbilical chord never be cut until the placenta starts to come off of it's own accord. The reason for this is that it gives the new-born infant the opportunity to get oxygen from two sources, one rising, one dwindling. At about the time that the lungs are fully inflated, the placenta comes off. The two do not always co-inside exactly, but nature has done a pretty good job on the timing front.

When the chord is cut, use really sharp scissors. The chord is rubbery, slippery, and VERY resistant to cutting. We used a huge pair of sewing scissors.

As for eating the placenta, the benefits, the preparation and storage of. . . this deserves it's own thread which I am now preparing.

Hope this helps.

post #2 of 84
Thank you for such detailed information, Alexander!

Very interesting and helpful, as I am looking forward to a home water birth in my future!

post #3 of 84
>The chord is >rubbery, slippery, and VERY resistant to cutting. We used a <huge pair of sewing scissors

just had to add...or you can do a lotus birth and keep letting nature take it's course. after all, it *IS* very resistant.
post #4 of 84
Thank you thank you thank you Alexander.
I will print this up for DH. He is SO into the water birth--he rigged up the tub (horse trough) and he is so proud of his engineering attempts. Thank you, V
post #5 of 84
Just a note to say that we used a birthing pool with both of our home births but neither boy was actually born in the water. I really felt that I needed firm ground under my feet and the help of gravity when it came time for the actual birth. It's just good to keep an open mind and not have your heart set on a water birth no matter what.
post #6 of 84
Thread Starter 
This is a good point.

There really is no "proper" way to give birth. Some poeple like DH to be in the pool to act as an intelligent cushion, some like to use a chair! Some on their backs in the water then rolling over at delivery time, most though in doggy style.

Be comfy.

post #7 of 84
Thanks Alexander. I'm very interested in the option of a waterbirth. Your info is very helpful!
post #8 of 84
Thread Starter 
It has just occured to me to point out that people should not stay in the same water for more than 24 hours.
Disinfecting with neat Detol and changing the water at least ever 24 hours, (every 12 if there has been M leakage) is necessary in order to keep germs under control.

Hope this helps

post #9 of 84

water birth

water birth is the way to go. i had 5 of mine underwater and delivered more than 120 that way as well. it is by far the wave of the future. everywomen that used the tub(150 gal. water trough) and i insisted that they at least have the tub filled so they could use it if they wanted to, ended up delivering in it. the placenta and all. you can get a really wonderful pychedelic view of that awsome organ under water.
i give infant swimming classes to women who want to continue the training and benefits of children in the water alot.!~!
water birth is safe, clean, and effective. NOONE should be at all afraid of it.
post #10 of 84
Thread Starter 
Thanks carol,

You're a gem

post #11 of 84
I too only laboured partly in water (I say partly because i labored for 11 days prior to the last 5 hours in the water). I even watched a movie from inside the pool - I bought a 5 feet circular pool with 2 feet inflatable sides and an inflatable bottom - very comfy. I could push and rest against the side.

I felt my baby wanted dry land - and I wanted gravity. But The contractions in water were so much easier than those I had on land At one point I got out to have the water warmed up, and those contractions were horrible. I stayed in the water for over 5 hours - it felt great (in that I mean better than on land)- and I liked the water warm.

I was also happy to hear that pee is sterile - so I did not have to get out to go pee - good thing, since I had to go with every 4th contraction.

It felt great to be just my dh and me, with dimmed lights and candles. We called the midwives when I felt like pushing and got scared.

I wish you power on your labor and birth.
post #12 of 84
Thread Starter 
Thanks m&m,

That input is worth pointing out.

However, I'd like to point out one thing to those that are concidering using candles.

They are a point sourse (of light) and as such, painful to look at. I would srongly suggest that if people want to use candles, (and it is a lovley idea) that the blow them out before the baby is born. A bland background light is easier on the child as it emerges.

Afterall, they've been in the dark all that time, suddenly into the light, any light, is a shock.

post #13 of 84
Alexander you are an absolute GEM!!!

I had a water birth which was AMAZING!! I would definatly recommend it to anyone and wouldn't think twice with the next birth.

Here are some links


Barbara Harper is great for info on water birth. She wrote a book called Gentle Birth Choices which also has tons of info from gentle birth ingredients (low light, etc) and natural pain relief techniques. Shes awesome!
post #14 of 84


barbara at water birth inter. is a wonderful resource but i have to add that the movie "gentle birth choices" is good but there really is alot of delee and regularsuction at every birth. not only is the delee dangeroud but ALL suctioning is dangerous. no waterbirth baby needs to be suctioned. they will clear it out and it actually causes baby to react thereby inhaling more mucoud that they would otherwise cough up. if you feel an infant is in danger a few drops of rescue remedy on the tongue will wake up even the floppiest baby. i like that movie as an intro to water birth but i am always quick to point out all the unnecessary suctioning.
post #15 of 84
Good point. My dd was never suctioned and she was perfectly fine.
post #16 of 84
Thanks all...
...for all the great waterbirth info.

My daughter-in-law (not yet pregnate) is looking into waterbirth at a hospital-run birth center. My good friend and fellow homebirth mom is an ob nurse there, and would make a good doula for her. I have encouraged DIL to consider a birthing pool at home (my midwife has one) but DIL has to find her own path...there is still time.

I wonder if any of you have had good experiences with waterbirth in a hospital setting?

post #17 of 84
Thread Starter 
I might be out of date on this, but in the UK, water birth is provided by the National Health (Free by the Govnt.) and thus (I thought) in most hospitals.

There maybe some UK web sites that provide more information on this.

We used a clinic for our first. After an exhaustive search round the country, we realized that we needed a place where there were no men, more particularly, no men doctors! :

(This country is so utterly backward!)

The clinic was well though out.

No telephones. No clicking doors. no metal eating utensils or "loud" crockery. No bright lights.

Hope this helps

post #18 of 84
Wow Alexander, I am SO thrilled to have found this.

Thanks... I will be sharing it with my husband and family. They are wary of me wanting this but I am more convinced than ever.
post #19 of 84
Andrew--We are doing a trial run on filling the tub. We are limited to a hose from a bathroom sink for filling and the waterheater here is small--we will drain it at least once, probably twice to fill the tub. I read somewhere about filling up the tub with water a bit too hot early in labor and keeping the tub covered with an emergency blanket until mom decides to dive in. At that point you can add more hot water or cold water to adjust the temp. We are thinking about using water heated on the stove to supplement for filling it up when the water heater is heating back up. Any tips on filling the tub and keeping the water hot? We can't afford anything fancy that would keep the water circulating and heated.

Any news on the eating the placenta thread? Just curious.

Regards, V.
post #20 of 84
I had alovely watebirth last month. THe pushing stage was incredibly fast so I don't know how nice it was then , but let me tell you, laboring in the water was really nice. i labored the whole time (in and out of the water in my hands and knees rocking my hips around, and the water rushing against my skin was nice. i also liked how she came out nice and clean.
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