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are land mammals meant to give birth in water? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I attended a conference with Barbara Harper once and she talked about several cultures that have historically birthed in water. It's been a few years so the names escape me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Personally, I don't care if it's natural or not. It feels GREAT and doesn't pose any harm to me or my baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Veritaserum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9016259"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Personally, I don't care if it's natural or not. It feels GREAT and doesn't pose any harm to me or my baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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Not only that, it's good for you! I'm planning a water birth to reduce my risk of tearing.
 

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I wondered about this a lot when I was pregnant. If you take natural to mean not using any artificial sustances, than sure, it's natural. And that's good enough for me!
 

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Both births, the water called to me. I even "planned" a dry land birth for my 2nd, to try something new, and didn't even make it through a quarter of my labor. The water is SO much more comfortable. It is drug free and harmless, so that's good enough for me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annabanana</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9014254"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">are land mammals meant to give birth in water? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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You mean "meant to" as in someone designed us that way? We can swim and so can newborns so I don't see why not.
 

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I'm not sure if we were "meant" to give birth in water, but I don't know that we weren't meant to either. Honestly I don't mind either way; I think that water birth is just one of the many childbirth options that make birth easier and more comfortable for women. I gave birth to both of my children underwater because that's what felt right at the time. If it didn't, I certainly would have employed one of the other options available to me. With childbirth, I don't think there's one "natural" way to do it. I think we just do it whatever way feels and works best, and that in and of itself is "natural".
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SublimeBirthGirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9017379"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Both births, the water called to me. I even "planned" a dry land birth for my 2nd, to try something new, and didn't even make it through a quarter of my labor. The water is SO much more comfortable. It is drug free and harmless, so that's good enough for me.</div>
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Yes. I remember squatting in the kitchen through contractions when the water called me. It was time. And DD was born shortly thereafter <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I know that maori women from new zealand historicly would birth in the rivers. So I think if it calls to the mother during birth, how could it be wrong?
 

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The best reply I have ever seen to this questions is, "Well, it is certainly not natural to give birth lying horizontally with your legs up in stirrups!" Which is begging the questions, obviously, but the point is that few things in our culture are "natural," so water births are, at worst, a lateral move.
 

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One of my clients was telling me recently about the "semi-aquatic ape" theory of human origins. I haven't had time to explore it fully, but I think it is very interesting.<br><br>
According to this theory, we're made for waterbirthing:<br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis</a>
 

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The aquatic ape hypothesis is fascinating, but even if there is a biological basis for us being historically water creatures, I still think that waterbirth is largely a cultural construct. The test would be if you had no preconceptions about what birth is supposed to be like, and if you were in labor and presented with dry land versus water, would you instinctively get in the water to give birth? Impossible to say, but I just have a hard time believing it.<br><br>
Personally, I love water. I've labored in water and have had one waterbirth (semi-planned, basically I thought it was a possibility and once it came time for the birth I was looking to the midwife for guidance, and she didn't suggest getting out so I didn't.) I know the arguments for the safety of it but still have reservations (which are based in subjective experience but may also be superstitious.) With my third baby, and my last labor in water, I felt a spontaneous <i>knowing</i> just minutes before the birth that the birth should happen on dry land. There was a very strong sense of it being wrong for me to remain in the water. And I hadn't planned it either way, nor even had any reservations about waterbirth at that point -- it was total instinct.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fourlittlebirds</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9021845"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I felt a spontaneous <i>knowing</i> just minutes before the birth that the birth should happen on dry land. There was a very strong sense of it being wrong for me to remain in the water. And I hadn't planned it either way, nor even had any reservations about waterbirth at that point -- it was total instinct.</div>
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I agree, that's what happened with me too. I *had* to get out. But I had even planned on a waterbirth. Maybe it's baby specific - I will try another water birth with this one, but I want to be sure there's a good back-up location.<br><br>
But as for labor... I totally think it could be instinctual. Maybe not for primitive man, cos how many cultures had hot water and bath-tubs? The only warm-water areas I've heard of women birthing in is the sea, but even then couldn't that be dangerous, predators and undertow and such? I'd want to be safe inside I think.<br><br>
But I know that from the time I was very little, I would take a bath whenever my tummy hurt, TMI: especially if I had diarrhea. No one told me to do that but the warm water always made me feel better. No doubt it's the same (for me) with contrax.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cicely_m</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9021140"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The best reply I have ever seen to this questions is, "Well, it is certainly not natural to give birth lying horizontally with your legs up in stirrups!" Which is begging the questions, obviously, but the point is that few things in our culture are "natural," so water births are, at worst, a lateral move.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
If a woman feels better in water during labour, then that's the right place for her to be. The only time I consider water birth "unnatural" is when a woman is pressured to get in or stay in the water when she doesn't want to.
 

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I think in labor we women want to be warm, safe, relaxed, supported, comforted, private...all that means water for me.<br><br>
So for me, yes, water birth is natural. It's what I'm drawn to.<br><br>
As far as laboring with no preconceived notions...I would have stayed in the shower! Does that still count as a water birth?
 

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I think different cultures had/have different 'natual' ways and positions for giving birth, so waterbirth can be a very 'natural' way for modern moms <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I imagine that those cultures that didn't give birth in water had reason for not doing so, i.e difficult access to water, unfavorable climate, alligators in the pond etc <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
And I also think waterbirth offers one of the most gentle ways for a baby to come into this world. This idea alone makes waterbirth very 'natural' IMHO <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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The aquatic ape theory holds a lot of appeal for me (as does water in general!), and if you buy into that theory of human evolution, then yes.<br><br>
Also, if by "natural", you mean "what feels right", then yes, <i>for some women, some of the time</i>.<br><br>
But if we're going to get all nitpicky, then being indoors in a heated (or cooled) room with clean water, clean linens, and telephone access to emergency services isn't "natural", because most mamals and most human ancestors didn't have that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> It's a pretty silly argument in my book.
 

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I think whatever a woman instinctually goes for is natural.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fourlittlebirds</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9021845"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">With my third baby, and my last labor in water, I felt a spontaneous <i>knowing</i> just minutes before the birth that the birth should happen on dry land. There was a very strong sense of it being wrong for me to remain in the water. And I hadn't planned it either way, nor even had any reservations about waterbirth at that point -- it was total instinct.</div>
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I had this feeling with DS. Not that it was "wrong" to remain in the pool but that I didn't want to be there and <b>had</b> to get out.
 
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