Water birth, which has become widespread throughout the world for the last 30 years, is an alternative birth method performed in a bathtub filled with hot water specially designed for birth. The 37-degree water filled in the bathtub reduces labor pain and anxiety by helping the expectant mother’s muscles to relax and the stress level to decrease. The purpose of the delivery in labor with hydrotherapy, known as the water birth unit, is not only to relax the expectant mother and to easily overcome the normal birth process, but also to facilitate the adaptation of the baby, who is immersed in water in the womb for 9 months, to the world. Recent studies have shown that babies born in water are calmer than babies born by normal or cesarean section.
What is a water birth?
The water birth, which begins with the mother-to-be entering into a tub-like unit specially designed for birth, ends with the birth of the baby with the doctor’s control, vaginal delivery. Thanks to this method, which is safely preferred because it carries the same risks with other types of birth, blood flow increases, so the contractions in the uterus are easily regulated. With the effect of hot water, the risk of vaginal rupture that may occur during the baby’s birth to the world is reduced. Located in a water-filled sac in the uterus, the baby cries less and becomes calmer as he is born in a pool filled with water at a similar temperature. Before the water birth method, which has no side effects or harm, is applied to the expectant mother and the baby, the expectant mother and the baby undergo necessary health checks. It is of great importance that water births are performed by an experienced team in hospitals with fully equipped water birth units.
What are the advantages of water birth?
Water birth, which is a very effective method in reducing the stress level of the expectant mother, provides a smoother transition to the environment outside the mother’s womb for the baby. Thanks to the natural relaxing environment provided by water, both mother and baby are exposed to less trauma. The advantages of birth in a water birth unit are as follows:
• It relieves birth pains.
• It relaxes the expectant mother and the baby.
• As the body weight is felt less, the expectant mother moves more easily.
• It shortens the birth period.
• Endorphin secretion is increased and thus less pain is felt.
• It increases the flexibility of the channels from which the baby exits by providing softening.
• The possibility of an incision (episiotomy) in the vaginal area is reduced.
• Most of the time, it does not require medical interventions such as artificial pain.
How to give birth in water?
It is necessary to make sure that the mother and baby are suitable candidates for this method by performing the necessary health checks before birth in water. Water birth is not preferred in multiple pregnancies and pregnancies below 37 weeks. In addition, if the mother has an active infection picture or vaginal bleeding for any reason, water birth cannot be performed. The fact that the baby has not yet taken the birth position and the high birth weight are among the conditions that prevent water birth. If all conditions are suitable for water birth, the mother is given a detailed preparatory training. When the birth begins, the mother enters the hot water that has been prepared in advance and is constantly monitored, accompanied by a staff and a specialist physician who have received the necessary training for water birth. Warm water helps the mother relax and reduces stress. Pains and aches are relieved thanks to the endorphin hormone. The correct breathing methods taught in education also reduce the pain. Water birth takes place with the instructions of the physician.