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OK, for those of you ladies who have done it both ways, give me the dirt...what are the ups and downs?
I have always thought that waterbirthing sounded lovely, but it wasn't an option last time, and now that I'm facing another birth (where it can be an option if I want it to be, but it depends which provider I pick and I need to choose asap) I'm starting to realize that maybe I'm ok with staying on land... I like laboring in water, but maybe i don't mind getting out for the delivery, you know?

Issues that come to mind that make me want to lean away from waterbirthing...
blood and sweat in the water
poop floaties

Yes, I do think that going from a warm wet place (my insides) to a warm wet tub is a gentler transition on the baby, but if that water is full of ick then won't I want to get him out of it immediately anyway? and if I've been sitting in ick then I'll want to get me out of it...heck, i probably won't want to be in it in the first place...

SO, given the assumption that I would still be able to labor in the water as long as I wanted, and that we're really only talking about pushing/delivery...what's a waterbirth worth?
 

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Here's another recent thread that might be of interest.

Personally, I can't see myself choosing to birth anywhere other than the water if everything was going well. I've had both land and waterbirths, and I much prefer water
 

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I have had 3 land babies and 1 water baby...and if I have a choice, I can not imagine ever giving birth on land again!!

I really felt it was a much more gentle way to birth a baby, both for Mum and Bub, although more so for baby.

The "ick" in the water is kind of what the baby has been swimming through on its journey out! Someone else took care of my poop floaties...did not notice them at all!

I tore with the little buggers' hand next to her head, so the pool instantly turned to a jello pool, but honestly, I could not have cared less. We were both happy as can be hanging out in the red pool! I only got out because my MW could not monitor blood loss. I was happy to have stayed in for a few more minutes. Plus i have seen lots of wonderful birthing videos where the pools stay clear and un-icky!! Not so for me, but you never know!

For me, the water was all about the pushing and the birth part. I am happy labouring in the shower and walking etc. But pushing in the pool and welcoming baby underwater was so amazing.

Of course it is very subjective. I think it is great to allow yourself to have choices. Perhaps you will not want to get in the water. Perhaps you will never want to get out. Who knows! each baby makes their own birth journey, but I would allow myself the option of a water birth.

So, my totally personal opinion is WATER BIRTH ROCKS!!!! Love it!
 

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Of course it is very subjective. I think it is great to allow yourself to have choices. Perhaps you will not want to get in the water. Perhaps you will never want to get out. Who knows! each baby makes their own birth journey, but I would allow myself the option of a water birth.
ITA
I have really close friends who wanted nothing to do with water when they were birthing. I think if water is an option, it's wonderful to include it if at all possible. There's something so primal and soothing about it. It felt so much more private for me, which was important. Of course, I think sometimes the idea is that water is a magic pain reliever, but IME, it was more a reducer.

I love Barbara's www.waterbirth.org site and Lakshmi Betram's book Choosing Waterbirth. Both great resources
 

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I had a water birth with my first, and then a water labour but land birth with my second.
1st in hospital with midwife: Didn't labour in the tub for long, but was very embarrassed by poop. EMptied and refilled the tub for cleanliness while in transition, which help floaties ed me feel better but was also stressful. I felt it was a peaceful transition for my daughter who was born quiet but alert.

2nd uc at home: I hadn't even really started having show or mucous, but the dust and 'floaties' (bits of mucous etc) in the pool were grossing me out so I birthed on land. My son seemed to have a less peaceful transition, which I imagine had to do with many things, but I feel like the water cushion would have been nice for him.

Next time I'm not sure what I will do. I will give myself the option of the birth pool but I don't know what I will actually do.
 

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I have had one birth sitting upright on a birthing stool (my 1st), and two water births (2nd and 3rd). If I ever have another baby I would go with the water birth. Of course, if in the moment I want to get out then I would. But, I would make sure a water birth were available to me and prepared.

For me, it isn't for the baby directly. It is for me. The way I can relax in the water and release all tension and holding and just open up and let my body do what it needs to do is reason enough for a water birth. I tried getting out of the tub during one of my births and immediately felt the difference between a contraction under water and above. I got right back in. Then there is just no moving....you know when your really transitioning or pushing there is no way I'd move unless it was absolutely medically necessary.
My water babies were born still in the caul and I had no tearing...

So I'd say keep a water birth option open...

A good midwife will take care of any poop, qickly and quietly. It shouldn't even matter...and it just as easily can happen on land.
 

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Just to give you an experiance from someone who doesn't like the water
.......I wanted to get into the water with dd2 but she came too fast, we only got the tub filled about 1/4 of the way. But with ds I MADE sure that it was ready as soon I felt the first cntrx I had dh filling it.....

When I first got in it felt really good but that only lasted for about 2 mins.....For me it felt like I was too buoyant (if that makes any sense) It felt like me belly was in my throat! I remember thinking that the water might not be an option when I was in the swimming pool about a week before ds was born and thinking...."Man, this is sooo uncomfortable" but since I wanted to get in so bad with dd2 I was determined to give it a try. It was even worse when I would have a cntrx, i felt like I was suffocating. I tried leaning over the side of the birth pool for a while but then my legs got all tingly for some reason so I decided to get out.

I don't know if it's because my water hadn't broken yet or the fact that he was 10+lbs. and all that weight made it worse I don't know but he ended up having SD so I would have had to get out anyways because the water was to deep to have done gaskin and I obviously couldn't have done Mcrobert's (which the m/w ended up using anyways in combination with corkscrew maneuver).

I really wanted to LOVE it but it just didn't work for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm in the position right now of needing to choose between two providers/locations. Both are covered by insurance, so there's not really a cost differential for me, it's pretty completely a matter of preference.
A (birth center) provides a whirlpool tub, birth ball, fancy brand-new birthing stool (it's soft and foamy like an armchair with a cutout if you can imagine that--it looks really comfy!) However they won't allow waterbirth.
B (homebirth midwife) has a wooden stool but that's it--if I want a ball I'll need to get my own, if I want to labor and/or birth in water I'll need to provide my own.
We are super duper broke and while I really like provider B I have mixed feelings about spending the money for a pool when I don't know if I'll use it. I DO know that last time (hospital birth) I loved the birth ball, and that I spent a little time in the tub in early labor but as it got near the end I didn't feel like moving around enough to get into it again so I labored and delivered on the bed even though they were wholly supportive of laboring in the tub/shower.
I did have the poop issue last time too, and I remember feeling quite self-conscious, even mid-pushing, about the fact that the nurse was wiping it away. I think I'd probably be even more bothered to see it floating along in the water, you know? So on the one hand I have this notion that I really want to labor/birth in the water, but on the other hand I thought I wanted that last time, and when I was actually in labor I didn't want it at all...so I guess I'm trying to figure out whether it's worth giving up some other options (or spending a lot of extra money) to have the option of waterbirth available...
 

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Not everyone poops.


I doubt I will ever do another land birth. Not sure how you are but I don't really bleed or get floaties (I can't honestly think of any from DD2's birth) until after the baby is born so contact, for me, is limited. And even then it wasn't like a chunky soup.
I was in my tub for maybe an hour after she was born and I never thought, "Eww...floaties. I want out" and I'm pretty dang anal about that stuff. And seriously....not everyone poops. I haven't for either of my 2 births.

I have to point out....the stuff that can float (poop aside....from what I remember if your poop is floating you aren't that healthy so the poop shouldn't be a concern...the floating should be
) isn't going to be the icky stuff that makes you want to get out. The stuff, IMO, that is going to ick you out is likely going to be heavy and sink. You aren't going to notice it that much if that's the case.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Marlet View Post
I have to point out....the stuff that can float (poop aside....from what I remember if your poop is floating you aren't that healthy so the poop shouldn't be a concern...the floating should be
) isn't going to be the icky stuff that makes you want to get out. The stuff, IMO, that is going to ick you out is likely going to be heavy and sink. You aren't going to notice it that much if that's the case.


Really? I always heard that floating poop is a good thing and is a desired outcome.
 

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I had my first in the water, both babies at home and I'm one of those rare people who do not like the water.

A lot of what the pp felt of feeling to buoyant. I also really felt like the water gave me too much sensation. Like so much was going on in the inside, I couldn't stand the water moving around on the outside.

I wanted to love the water. If you do decide on it, don't be afraid to change you mind during labor if it's not working for you...
 

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Every birth is different, but I heart water birth so much!

First birth- labored in water but birthed on birth stool. Water was a great pain reliever/ distraction, but when I tried pushing in the water, it just felt all wrong (baby was asynclitic for most of pushing phase, maybe that was why), so I got out.

Second- much faster labor, got in the water as soon as I got to birth center and started involuntarily pushing with very first contraction in the tub. Everything felt so much more spontaneous, although this could just be due to it being an easier birth overall. It felt so great. I didn't get out until after the placenta was out. Loved the freedom of movement the water gave me. I was aware of the "floaties", but they only happened in the last few minutes of pushing, and it was so fast and intense that I honestly didn't give a crap (pun kinda intended).

I agree with others saying to leave your options open. I didn't plan to have a water birth either time, just went with what felt right at the time.
 
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