If you had a waterbirth what position did you birth in? (And related birthing position questions for a Mom with with bad joints) - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What position did you birth in water with?
Squatting 5 100.00%
Hands and Knees 13 100.00%
On your back 10 100.00%
Sidelying 1 20.00%
Other (Please explain) 9 100.00%
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#1 of 19 Old 04-21-2011, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd love to have some feedback on what positions women have used to birth in water,

trying to get a feel for what is possible/not possible in water.

 

Most women I've talked to in person tell me that 'if' your going to be in water of course you'll labor/deliver on your hands and knees or in a squatting position etc.  Even my doula and midwife have indicated that is how women birth in water?

 

Is that really the most common positioning for water births?

 

 

There is a point to this mini-survey, I have a health problem that prevents me from squatting or doing hands and knees or other similar positions, as it puts me in a lot of pain and a higher likely hood of dislocating my joints if I try those positions.  (For those who are curious about such I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome/EDS a genetic connective tissue disorder that allows my joints to be to loose and easily dislocate).  My loosest/worst condition joints are my hips/pelvis (followed by my shoulders, and many other weak joints).  They dislocate frequently (but most of the time will 'relocate' on their own, the movement back and forth stretches and damages my muscles and ligaments, causing chronic pain), depending on the level of stress/pressure my joints are under they can dislocate and twist even in which case I have to have help getting them back in place.  Pregnancy worsens my condition due to the natural 'relaxin' hormones that further loosen my joints.

 

I'm planning my 2nd homebirth, 4th child, due May 24th, and debating on how much thought/consideration I should give to water birth.  I did manage to have a in hospital water birth with my 2nd child (against the rules, but entirely by accident), but it was a very deep jacuzzi (rather narrow though), and I delivered on my back but sort of reclined upwards if that makes sense.  I labored some on my back and a lot on my sides in the pool there, and the birth just sort snuck up on me (it was awesome too).

 

With my 3rd birth, and first home birth I had my heart set on another water birth, had a fishy pool, and 'tried' to use it but due to many things I ended up stalling out and to uncomfortable to deliver in the pool.  I finally after a few hrs and a hot shower, ended up delivering half standing over my toilet (nice eh, at least it was recently cleaned lol).

 

With each pregnancy my health has gotten a bit worse, and this is the first pregnancy I've gone through since my diagnosis of EDS (which I've had all my life, but didn't know what it was), so I now better understand my condition and my limitations.  I know that positions which strain/stress my worst joints lead to loads of pain and sometimes fierce dislocations.  I think water is a great pain reliever, but it can also loosen my joints at times and allow them to slide out of place.  Chances are this will be my last pregnancy/birth due to my health.

 

I've moved to a different home since my last birth, and have a clawfoot tub in this home, or I can borrow my midwife's pool options (which are pretty much either a fishy pool again, or a hard sided water trough about the size of my tub at home but a lot deeper). I also have a separate shower and toilet located in the largish bathroom with my clawfoot tub (about 8x8' square room).  I'm trying to figure out if depth will matter that much since I can't do hands and knees/squatting anyway?  Or if I'll even want to be in the water this time after having failed in it last time...

 

Sorry to ramble on here.. but hopefully someone has some thoughts/experiences to share (even if it is to let me know that yes they did birth squatting/hands and knees in a tub.. or if some other position I'd like to hear that too).

 

To further complicate things, due to my weak/loose connective tissues, the midwife is concerned about uterine and/or bladder prolapse during the birth, and has advised me we will have to breathe baby down and out, not doing a lot of hard pushing (which makes me think water could be easier that or side lying on a bed maybe??????). 

 

So what other water birth positions are there, and how deep of a pool did you use to birth in for those positions?

 

And thanks if you made it through this whole rambling mess.. I'm way over tired and just trying to 'think through' how things might work in the near future.. since I've given birth anywhere from 37-39.5 weeks.. it seems important to work through this now at 35+ weeks along.


Rae 27 DH Phillip 32 married 11-22-03
DS1 Nathaniel b. 11-21-04, DS2 Ian b. 9-8-06, DS3 Samuel b. 10-1-08, DS4 Peter b. 5-24-11
 

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#2 of 19 Old 04-21-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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I have given birth in water twice, both times in a fishy pool.  The first baby, I was sitting up semi-reclined like you described. The third baby, I did hands and knees. 

 

I will say that I liked the hands and knees better, and I felt that the baby came out easier with less pushing than when I was sitting- BUT, when I was sitting, that was my first baby, you know?  The first time I ever stretched like that, the first time I ever felt that kind of pain...   so I don't know if a different position would have mattered. lol.gif

 

With my second baby, I did labor in our jacuzzi tub and the best thing about that was the jets on my back. AMAZING.  I was on my side a lot and I liked that, except that the tub was hard and not cushy like the fishy pool.  I got out to deliver (half-standing over my toilet too, how do you like that!)

 

I think sitting up reclined against the side of the fishy pool is very doable if you decide you want it. And the great thing is, they are so cheap. If you buy one and then don't want to use it when you're in labor, it's no big loss.


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#3 of 19 Old 04-21-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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I was pretty much sitting in a free floating position. I don't think it was efficient and the lack of physical support I had last time is one reason that I'm going to try to stay out of the water this time but do want it set up for pain relief if necessary.

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#4 of 19 Old 04-21-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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I was on my knees leaning over the side of the pool.  BAby came soooo fast.  Two pushes  One for head, one for shoulders.  We think it was a combination of my anterior placenta, posterior baby, and the speed at which he was delivered that contributed to my prolapsed uterus, If she is concerned about a prolapse, Id avoid positions that allow for a super fast exit.  My midwife told me she is going to remind me this time when my body starts the pushing to not push but breath baby out.  I said okay I will try but its like swimming up niagra falls!  Its nearly impossible to stop a force as powerful as your bodys natural instinctual bearing down urge.  Only women I have seen go against it or ignore it were those who couldn't feel it as they were numb from an epidural.  She still thinks hands and knees will work though and I should do whatever feels right but doesnt want me rushing it as we are going to be careful not to let last prolapse which almost all the way corrected, reoccur or be worse this time.


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#5 of 19 Old 04-21-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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Hands and knees for the last one and it was WAY more comfortable then my birth before that which was a water birth as well. That birth, the tub ended up being too deep for me, but it was the very end of my labor before I realized it and I was struggling to find a good position to push. I ended up doing some sort of modified reclined thing, but it wasn't not optimal at all and I hated it. 


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#6 of 19 Old 04-22-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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I was in a reclined sitting position, being held up by my dh for most of it.  In hindsight I should have tried a different position in the water to see if that would have helped make things easier.  My dh was dying holding me up b/c I would fall asleep between contractions and he was at this odd angle.  My arms were exhausted from holding my legs back (as instructed by my mw).  So overall, it was an exhausting position to be in for 40 minutes, pushing without the urge to do so.  My second was not in the water, but on my bed on all fours and man was pushing WAY easier.  Of course it was my second, which makes a huge difference, but I think the position also made a difference and didn't exhaust anyone's arms!  lol.gif

 

I just read your whole post, though, and realize that hands and knees won't work for you.  What about something like child's pose (the yoga position), over the edge of the bed?  I know side lying is quite comfortable for some women, but in a hard bath tub, I'm not sure if it would be... maybe get some padding to put on the bottom of the tub?  I seem to recall the FSBC where I had my first had these foam mats you could put down in the tub and they stuck to the bottom.  Propping yourself up with additional foam might help with the semi-reclined position as well- that way you could have options in the tub. 


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#7 of 19 Old 04-22-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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I birthed my first daugher semi reclined and agree it was not the most efficient position but I tried all of them and this one ended up being the best.  I would recommend the Made In Water La Bassine birthing pool if you can find/afford it.  We used it and it was very comfortable.  It has high supportive sides and even has handles you can use for bracing.   Unfortunately, my dog chewed through the valves immediately after the birth (I think it was a biologicial protective thing because she is not a chewer) so we will have to buy another one :(    Weird hey?

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#8 of 19 Old 04-23-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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My first homebirth and waterbirth were with my 3rd. I was in our jacuzzi tub so it was a bit small. I started pushing on my knees leaning against the side of the tub, this caused leg cramps for me so I ended up in a semi reclining position like you described. It worked well for me. I haven't decided if I'm going to do a waterbirth this time as we are in a new house with a smaller jacuzzi tub and I birth quickly so I don't think I'd have time to set up a birthing tub.


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#9 of 19 Old 04-23-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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i was on my knees but I was hugging DH who was in front of me.  i was using a la bassine birth tub.  here we are right after I pulled her out of the water

 

74248_444306187810_631147810_5831746_2523079_n.jpg


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#10 of 19 Old 04-23-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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oh I labored mostly on the birthing ball and got in the tub when the contractions were really intense and less than a minute apart. 


Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#11 of 19 Old 04-23-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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I was lying on my side, one leg up on the rim of the Aqua Doula, and DH cradling my head.  As a note, the water wasn't very deep--we didn't have time to fill the tub as my labor progressed too quickly.  I think that a bathtub might be perfect for this position actually, OP.  It was nice for a birth that was happening quickly, and also for the fact that it allowed me to catch my own babe.

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#12 of 19 Old 04-23-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks girls I appreciate the support, and sharing.

 

I had my home visit tonight, and after much talking with my midwife (and showing her my current tub) she also felt like mine was to small.. as even to switch from back to side lying one would have to do a lot of careful twisting to get there.  She left a La Bassine (which I didn't even know she had) with me to test out sometime in the next week or so, hopefully it'll work better, with the upright air channels I think it will be firmer then the fishy pool I tried last time, so maybe it would give me the support to birth semi sitting/reclined.

 

Also after discussing at length my joint and prolapse concerns, she is really thinking that either reclined or side lying are going to be the safest options for me, as upright could either cause joint pain or prolapse. 

 

I've seen recently some beautiful births in La Bassine tubs.. and they even delivered in the same position I would need to.  So maybe this will be the answer for us :).  I hope.


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#13 of 19 Old 04-23-2011, 08:23 PM
 
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I've birthed twice in the La Bassine (my midwife uses the same pool :) ) Both times ended up with my head resting on the edge of the pool semi-side lying holding on to the handles. Its what came natural to me. I had an ACL replacement done years ago and it hurts (even with the cushion in the pool) to stay on my knees for long periods of time or to keep them bent like I would have to to stay in a squatting position. The reclining feels like it opens me up more (my hips kind of free float so there isn't the closed off hip issue like if I were laying on my back in bed.)


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#14 of 19 Old 04-24-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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I have had three HBs, but only one water birth. For my first, I really wanted a water birth, but our apartment was so tiny, there literally wasn't room for a tub. For my second birth, I did the water birth. I used a Rubbermaid animal trough. The labor was so easy that I didn't even want to get in until transition when the pain was getting intense. I got in, went through several contractions in different positions, decided I hated it and wanted to get out. As I looked for help to get out of the tub, my doctor said, I see your baby's head you need to stay in the tub. I honestly didn't know I was that close to giving birth since during my first birth, I pushed for 3 hours and I hadn't even started pushing when I was in the tub with #2. I ended up giving birth in a supported standing squat. DH held me under my armpits. So I was only in the water from the waste down. For #3, I considered a different tub where I would have more room, but in the end chose to not have a tub at all.

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#15 of 19 Old 04-26-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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I had DS in a hospital birthing tub that sounds a lot like the one you described for your 2nd birth.  I ended up basically laying on my back floating fairly straight out at the surface of the water, then at some point I braces my feel up on the edges of the tub on some handles or something.  I actually ended up with a slight bruise on the back of my head that I did not notice till the next day.  I did not really think about the position but I was sort of laying semi reclined and back at the time I happened to start feeling pushy and just never had the desire to move.  DS's shoulders were stuck though so they had me move to hands/ knees position after his head was out (so they could better help get the shoulders out).  So I guess I sort of delivered in 2 positions


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#16 of 19 Old 04-26-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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I pushed mostly in a half squat/half kneel and did counterpressure on her head.  Once her head was out, I leaned forward on hands and knees.  Good luck figuring everything out!


 


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#17 of 19 Old 04-26-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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The position I birthed my water baby in was GENUFLECTION. 


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#18 of 19 Old 05-03-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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 I was sitting with one leg kinda to the side. 

500

 

I was in between pushing contractions here DS' head is about half out. You can just see my right leg off to the side. DS came quite fast, about 10-15 minutes of pushing, so I didn't find it inefficient. I was pretty convinced I was going to squat but I did one tiny push in this position and I was not going to move if you paid me!


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#19 of 19 Old 05-04-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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My labor came pretty fast and I didn't have time to figure out a good position, just went on my back in my bathtub. I wasn't even able to get downstairs to the birth tub.


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