I'd really like a water birth for this baby, but in my head it is always... really messy. Now, I understand that birth is a fairly messy process and hope to have a my best friend here with me to help clean it up (because, well, DH doesn't handle bodily fluid type mess well. At all.) but I'm not quite sure how to go about it... am I going to need a pump to get rid of the water etc?
Second, thanks to my OB, I tore pretty badly during my first delivery (3rd degree tear). One of the reasons I really want a water birth is that in my head it just makes sense that water would help prevent a bad tear. I'm going to be pro-active in prepping my perineum for birth because I have absolutely no desire to go somewhere to have it stitched up. I don't want to deal with the car ride, the waiting, the questions etc.. So I guess my question is... do you ladies have any good tips to help prevent tearing? Will a water birth make a noticeable difference? Would I be find with just leaving a small tear alone?
I have had 8 waterbirths, the last 7 were UC's. I have never torn w/ any of my waterbirths, all vaginal were waterbirths. We just use a bucket or big bowl to dump out water.
I adore waterbirths because I feel there is less mess since it is all contained in the tub. 2 out of the 3 have been waterbirths, we drain the kiddy pool with a cheap aquarium pump and hose, we just stick the hose out the window.
I tried with my first UC for a water birth, it was wonderful during labor, but when I started getting pushy the water actually made me really uncomfortable, so I got out birthed on my hands and knees with both UC's...
My philosophy on the birth tub: I just went through labor and pushed out a baby. I am now recovering from birth, breastfeeding a newborn, experiencing cramping as my uterus returns to a somewhat normal size. My husband can deal with the tub. I don't know how he did it, nor do I care! Let him figure it out ;)
I think breathing through pushing is really important, and doing your own perineal support. Listen to what your body tells you.
Thanks so much for your input! Your answers were pretty much what I figured, but it's nice to have reassurances from someone who has BTDT, you know?
One of the reasons I'm planning on UCing is because I want/need to be able to listen to my body. It was clearly telling me that my DS needed me to be on my hands and knees (one of the strongest urges I have *ever* had, even more than the pushy feelings), but both OB and nurses refused and even held me down in the "normal" birth position and wouldn't even let me push DS out, let alone support my perineum!
I wish I could rely on DH to clean everything up... but in reality he almost threw up just helping me swap out the towels I was sitting on after they broke my water, so I'll definitely need to have a friend here to help clean up.
I certainly enjoyed having the mess contained in the birth tub, though I do not believe it had any impact on my perineum. I did tear, just a little, and didn't get it stitched. That area actually heals rather rapidly. We just siphoned the water out of the tub with a hose--- a friend actually started the siphoning for us (gross)..... but DH was the one to actually scrub out the pool-- we had let the water sit for 3 days (soooo gross!) before getting around to messing with it--- so he was quite the trooper with his willingness to scrub it! The mess was really the least of our concerns though, as we were just so overjoyed with the new life in our arms and how amazing the experience was UCing together. Much love and luck mamma!
I've done a good bit of research on this and I do personally think that water birth can help prevent large tears especially if you've had a large tear or episiotomy before. That said some tearing can be a normal part of birthing for some births. Like others have said it's very important to listen to your body and prepare to prevent tears (wait to push until the urge is overpowering, letting your uterus do the work, side lying, hand and knees, eating well to help strengthen your tissues etc.) Also, if you do have a small first or second degree tear be prepared to heal it on your own. First get a good idea of what your labia looks like intact. Consult a midwifery book for normal anatomy. Second get one of those mirrors with a long handle that they sell at the Auto parts store so you can get a good look after birth. Third study up on how to heal tears. Possibly raw honey, seaweed, herbs, homeopathy etc. Fourth plan on staying in bed after the baby. For the first few days only get out of bed to pee. Make sure you have lots of help so you heal quickly. Good luck!
You might also think about finding a midwife or ND who would be willing to come out to your house to suture or glue if you needing that.
My last birth, my son didn't tuck his chin so the "fat" part of his head presented. AND he had his hand up by his ear. (Still at 2.5yo, plays with his ear to sleep) I labored the last 2 hours and pushed in the water. I was squatting and like you mentioned with the hands and knees urge, there was NO other possible position for me at that point. I had NO tears. Nada. Nothing. I was shocked because I literally felt like I was going to split in half as he came past my pubic bone. It was definitely rough and I am sure I would have torn had I been "on land". "Marinating" in the water is a great prep for your perineum. :)
I had an unnecessary episiotomy with my first and with my second I mostly pushed hands and knees (until forced on my back at the very last push by stupid doc and nurses.) But, anyway, I didn't have a tear or anything with his birth. I personally couldn't stand staying in water for any length of time. I don't want to be all pruney. I'd say it's possible to have a good birth on dry land too but do what you think you would like best.
Happily married Christian SAHM of 2 boys, DD1 , and DD2 July 2013
Ditto! (2 of my 3 births were also water births even!) All the "mess" was contained in the pool. Even with my "dryland" birth it was fairly clean. There was a bunch of chux pads under me that caught all the fluids (my water broke when I was on the toliet pushing-very clean, lol!) When all was said and done we had one bas of garbage (the chux mainly) and one load of laundry (towels and receiving blankets that were used to wipe off DD, and cover us right after birth.)
Oh, and I've never torn with any of my births. Being able to push in a position that feels right and pushing when you feel the need probably makes a huge difference (I imagine, I've never done it any other way.)
Trish~mama to Kaelie 5/03, Amelia 12/13, and someone new coming 11/15, surro mama to Aidan 2/08 & Ellyss 6/09,
From my experiences as a doula, women rarely tear when they are pushing at their own pace, with their body, and in a position that feels better to them. 9 times out of 10 that pushing position is NOT flat on your back with your feet up in stirrups. Being on your hands and knees, on your side, standing, squatting, or sitting on a stool or something so your perineum isn't against any surface releases the pressure on your tissues and allows your body to open more. Water helps relax even further, and it's pretty much impossible to birth lying flat in the water (unless you're REALLY good at holding your breath) so again the pressure on the perineum is not there.
Momma to my boy (1/99) & girl (7/00), Birthmomma to my Ladybug (8/09), the new baby monkey boy born 6/6/11!
Student nurse, doula, future midwife, and breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, organic gardening, God-loving single momma