Waterbirth & baby's breathing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-27-2003, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Waterbirth and baby's breathing
This is a repost, that I just posted on the homebirth forum, just wondering if I could get a few more thoughts here.

I am about to (any day now) have my third child and this will be the second waterbirth/homebirth. My previous homebirth was great and the only out of ordinary thing was my son having a bit of oxygen soon after delivery due to not breathing much after birth. Also for the first few days he slept so much and had so little activity that he worried us a little but I hadnt thought much about that latley.

My midwife's assistant (she is also a certified lay midwife, just not fully practicing yet) mentioned something about waterbirthed babies not breathing/pinkening as quickley as out of water birthed babies and I have been wondering why. She is totally not anti-waterbirth, she in fact just had her son in water 4 months ago. Her comment was from her own experience and other midwives experiences and she seemed unconcerned about it. Now I have been noticing how many waterbirth stories also have babies needing oxygen and extra breathing stimulation.

My initial thought was that the waterbirth is so gentle and comfortable that there would be the lack of distress that causes crying, thus quickening the breathing/pinkening. Now I find myself wondering If there is some sort of natural expected order of hitting air just outside of the birth canal that is disrupted in waterbirth, causing some momentary confusion. Or amybe we should wait a little longer to force babies to breath as long as they are still attached to the umbillical cord. My son's cord was actually cut in order for him to get the oxygen, which looking back seems a bit odd. (It was about 5 min after delivery and she was not able to bring the oxygen to us).

I was just wondering what others thoughts on this were. Is this discussed anywhere else I might refrence?
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#2 of 5 Old 05-27-2003, 08:23 PM
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Here are a few websites that might be helpful: www.waterbirthinfo.com and www.waterbirth.org and a great site is www.midwiferytoday.com.

I had a waterbirth w/my dd who is now one month old. I remember my birth photographer noticing how quickly she pinked up. My ds, who didn't arrive in the water, took much, much longer to pink up.

I hope this helps~


Lisa, Todd, Dane and Amber: & :::
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#3 of 5 Old 05-27-2003, 08:26 PM
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I had a land-born babe and a waterborn babe. Both were born at home and easy, uncomplicated labors. My first (the landborn) needed oxygen and took a while to get the hang of breathing. My second (waterborn) pinked up right away and had no trouble breathing at all. So, that's not true at all for my family!
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#4 of 5 Old 05-30-2003, 12:23 AM
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I do know what you are talking about! I had two babes.. a land babe and a waterbirth babe...and my waterbirth babe was screaming the moment she was born, so it isn't true in her case...but my midwife and waterbirth tub rental lady have stated that they can sometimes take a little longer for that first breath, as they don't always seem to know that they have been born. It makes sense to me! There is a...what..30 degree difference between the inside of the womb and the outside. A big jolt that causes them to suck in a big breath of air. And the water should be set right at 98 degrees, so they are born from 98.6 to somewhere between 99 and 98 degrees, they don't always notice the difference in going from water to water. Then the mothers chest is warmer then 98.6 (perfected by nature to be the perfect baby warmer) so, babe is right up there on mama, and it can sometimes take a little longer. If we hang out and let baby do it, which can be scary sometimes (and depending on the midwife, she might take over) babe should and most likely will figure it out. I have seen a waterbirth where the babe didn't breath for a good 40 seconds after coming out of the water. The midwife (who happened to also be my midwife CPM) held onto the cord and felt the pulsing giving the baby oxygen. So she was never worried, always knowing babe was getting the oxygen from the placenta. Then babe, after about 40 seconds or so, began crying and pinked right up!! I would do some more research if you are concerned about it! And congratulations on your upcoming birth! I hope you have a wonderful gentle labor and a very pink baby!

wife - mother - midwife


The more you know, the worse it gets.

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#5 of 5 Old 05-30-2003, 12:52 AM
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my dd was born in the water at home and she pinked quite quickly(apgar of 9 and then 10) . we left the placenta attached for a few hours so she could get all the cord blood and had all her iron stores for the first year of life. so she also got all the extra oxygen she needed.

my suggestion would be to discuss this with the mw your using and make sure the oxygen can come to you so you don't have to cut the cord prematurely.
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