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homebirthing in water or on dry land?

618 Views 16 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  MyBabiesCome1st
I have been reading lots of homebirth stories and am curious as to why people choose to birth in water, and on the flip side, why some choose not to.

So, if you birthed/are planning to birth in water, what led you to that choice?

And if you birthed/are planning to birth out of water, how come?

Anyone going to wait till the moment to decide?


I am planning on laboring and birthing in the water, though may end up changing my mind at the time.
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I am definitely planning on laboring in the water, and if all feels right, birthing there as well.

I had my ds in the hospital, and we just happened to get 1 of the 3 rooms that had a tub. It was not planned at all, but I ended up spending most of my labor in the tub, and it was wonderful. Each time I got out, the contractions were much more painful. While in the tub, I would actually fall asleep between contractions! I of course was not able to birth there, and considering that I ended up pushing for 3 hours it probably wouldn't have worked out anyway.

This is actually one of the main reasons I chose a homebirth this time - so I could be guaranteed a tub to labor in.
I did a lot of research on waterbirth and birthtubs before my homebirth, and though I admire the concept and wholly believe in the labor-pain reduction that water affords, I just didn't wanna have a waterbirth/rent a tub.

I spent a bit of time in my shower during labor, but most of the time on dry land (also my birth ball and practically dangling from dh's neck.)

Just like some mamas are drawn to water, I just didn't feel the draw. So I planned for and had a land birth, and it was lovely.
I had hoped to birth our baby in water, but apparently tubs full of warm water make me relax too much...
I did labor in water for part of the time, but most of my labor was not in water. Our best pushing scenario ended up being squatting by the side of the bed with my partner doing a hip squeeze. Our midwife was lying on her back with her feet up against the dresser by the edge of the bed and I pushed our baby boy out into the world under the bed. Pictures

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I labored in water for most of my second DD's birth and tried pushing in the tub but just couldn't find my groove. I got out of the tub and delivered her on the bed about 17 minutes later!! For my next birth I will labor in water and just do what feels right when it is time to push.

I want to add that I am not a bath person and was unsure of being in a tub for maybe hours but it was great to relax in. I also think that my not pushing her out in the tub was some sort of mind thing for me since I don't like baths and the tought of being in "birth soup" sort of grossed me out. But laboring was great and even though I may be grossed out by it, I am still open to delivering in it.
I had planned on laboring in water, but when I got out for a check and found out I was fully dilated, I just wanted to be in the tub for pushing. I felt that the water helped me to be able to move freely and find the perfect position to push the baby out, and I was relaed enough to ease her out, avoiding tears and facilitating catching her myself.
For my second and third babies I used a birth tub (rubbermaid trough) to labor in. I didn't plan a birth in the water or on dry land -- I just thought that wherever I was most comfortable would be it. The second birth was in the water, mainly because I liked so much the privacy and distance the tub afforded me and didn't at all feeling like getting out and exposing myself. Would have felt like a major disruption to the process. Third birth was on dry land -- I had a very strong urge to get out of the tub right before she was born.
I have always been more comfortable in the water than on land. I just love it. (I could swim solo before I could walk.) So I am drawn to labor and deliver in water. I plan to get in as soon as active labor hits, and have my babe be born underwater. But, whatever I feel like doing I will go with, of course.
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I thought I'd try the tub with my first, but after one contraction in there, I immediately got out. I was nauseous, and the moving water made my stomach feel even more upset. I also remember feeling out of control, like I just wanted to lay down in bed and sleep. So I did.

But pushing was a really scary part of labor for me, and I'd really like to be upright and in the water to push this time, to help relieve some of the pressure of it. I'd like to be more relaxed to push, too, and I imagine the water will help with that. So I'm going to try the tub again this time, but will just have to see what the body and baby have to say about that at the time.
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I had planned to have my first in water although I approached it in a "whatever feels right at the time" attitude (which I think is always best for labor in general). I ended up laboring in the water pretty much the entire time - standing up occasionally so the m/w's could check fetal heart tones (which made me so grateful for the water b/c I really felt a difference when I was out of it). I began pushing in the water too, but I wasn't pushing very effectively without the help of gravity. M/W's suggested I move to the toilet and I ended up pushing there & on my bed the rest of the time. They offered for me to get back in the tub when the birth was about to happen, but I no longer cared. Just wanted her OUT!
Second time around I labored and birthed in the tub. My entire labor was only 90 minutes and I firmly believe that had I not been in the water I would have torn severely. As it was it felt as though I was going to split right open (it felt nothing like this the first time around). I did end up with a small tear and 2 side tears on my labia. Only the tear on my perineum required a stitch.
My feeling is that warm water is very beneficial to both the laboring mom and in easing the newborn's transition into the world. But you just don't know how you'll feel in the moment and the best thing you can do is whatever feels right at that time.
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This is my first, and I'm planning on laboring and birthing in water for a few reasons. I have to remind myself to relax a lot of the time, so I believe the warmth and water will help with that, and when I'm relaxed I'm more able to cope with pain. It's also a lot easier for me to change positions in water than it is on land, which at this point is a big plus. I also see it as a really gentle way to make the transition from womb to world for the baby. I've also heard you're less likely to tear, but I'm not sure if this is fact or just opinion.
I just got my fishy pool from my midwife this week! I'm planning on laboring in the water, and then we'll see. I think that I'll probably have this baby in the water, too.

The pain relief aspect is very appealing to me. I just like the way warm water feels!
I've had two "dry land" babies and two waterbirthed. The difference was night and day. I'm not a tub person either - in fact, I tend to get woozy in a warm tub. But laboring/giving birth in a tub was a whole other thing! I LOVED it and would never want to do it any other way.

As far as "birth soup" goes - there really wasn't much of anything. It was far less yucky than I expected. The yucky stuff came with the placenta, and my MW requested that I get out of the tub to deliver that, anyway. DH was in the tub with me for both births and it didn't bother him at all. He's a bit squeamish and was hesitant to join me in the tub the first time around. I told him it was his choice, he ended up getting in, and never gave it a second thought the next time.
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I planned on seeing what worked while in labour, but I definitely wanted the option of birthing in water. As it turned out, I spent almost my whole pre-pushing labour on the toilet, and after my midwife checked me and found me fully dialated, it was she who suggested that I get in the tub, otherwise I was so focused it probably wouldn't have occurred to me. So I got in the tub and pushed for about an hour, and gave birth to a 9 lb 14 oz baby. I feel like the pushing would have taken a lot longer on dry land, and I feel like I probably would have torn more. Future births I would like the option of birthing in water, but I will probably still see what works in the moment.
I wanted to add that I also am not normally a tub person. Just can't get into it (hot tubs either). But birthing/laboring in water is for sure my preference. ITA with what Crystal said about it being easier to change positions in the water. I found that I did quite a bit of moving around in the tub just to try to combat the pains. I just needed to move and in the water it was very easy. There was also very little yuckiness in the water post-birth (my dh was in the tub with me too). I did move out of the tub to deliver the placenta.
I read about the benefits of waterbirth with my daughter and it just seemed odd to me........I had no inclination to do it and I didn't.

With my son, my midwives are VERY in favor of the water birth, so I knew I'd have a tub but I didn't know if I'd make it in it.........

Once I was in hard labor, something in me just NEEDED to get in and now that I've done both, I'll never birth on dry land again.
I had planned on birthing in water. We bought a cheap blow up pool and all that. (No big expense) I was open mided to the fact though that I might not use it.

When the time came, I labored in the water but at the last min I decided I wanted to be in my bed.

It was so weird, I just had this look in my eye and I looked at my MW and I said "I want my bed and I want to lay on my BACK!" Everything I read and heard, even having an older child, discouraged laying on your back in labor...but that was what I wanted. It was the most comfortable possition throughout my entire labor. It was probably better however that I did not labor in that possition b/c baby was posterior and laboring in the tub on my hands and knees helped him turn.

My thoughts are to just keep an open mind and do what feels right and good at the time.
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