waterbirth and infection - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-05-2002, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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this might be intimate and gross, but I have to ask...
I understand that if you have a bm during a waterbirth it will be scooped out of the birthing tub. But... there is still gonna e some times between you having it and it being scooped out. So the way I see it is that the water will get contamonated with all those germs from you bm. What is the risk of infection for me and the baby? Even though the baby will not take its first breath under water, it will be "coated" with the water before it is lifted, so what about those germs getting into its eyes, mouth etc.? What about a mother having a viginal bacterial infection because of that?
Please share the info on the whole waterbirth and infetion issue with me.


dd 05.17.2005
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#2 of 4 Old 03-05-2002, 07:49 PM
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Well, I know that urine is sterile, but bm's are not. However, the baby is coated with vernix, so perhaps this will guard against infections from contaminated water - as well the temperature of the water would kill some bacteria - would it not?

I'm also thinking that the baby does not sit in this water very long - just as long as it takes to be delivered. Am I right?

I only had a water labor, not a water delivery - so I do not really know - I read up a lot on the subject before hand - and read that bm's would be scooped out and that any blood would dissipate.

I hope others have the answer for you.... And good luck.
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#3 of 4 Old 03-05-2002, 10:50 PM
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The temperature of the water will not kill any of the bacteria. In fact, they will multiply at that temperature, which is why you must change the water completly every 24 hours if the water birth takes that long.

You can always get out for a BM. A potty at the side of the tub makes it easy. Never mind "gross", these are special circumstances.

If bits do get into the water, SO or mid-wife can use a small bucket to scoop it out, but don't worry. The bacteria / litre of water / minute of exposure is still not significant.

You are not smearing the baby in it, right?

If there is time, empty, clean, refill.

Hope this helps


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#4 of 4 Old 03-05-2002, 11:48 PM
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another aspect of this, albeit a more psychological one is...taht your baby will probably not be "infected" by you. I myself pooped on my poor boy as he made his entrance, since I was on all fours. We simply wiped him off and he was fine. IMO, I think (This is from personal experience) taht we would do better in birthing in general by trying to unprogram all our feelings of "nastiness" and "dirtiness" from our lower regions. I know this is not really the kind of response you may have been searching for but I sensed a lot of fear in your email that I could relate to and after birthing 2 babies, feel I have come to call into question. Our bodies are not dirty and will not harm our babes. They are safer in our germs than most places, I've come to feel. anyway, just another side of this question....good luck
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