Water birth is a method of giving birth, which involves immersion in warm water. Proponents believe that this method is safe and provides many benefits for both mother and infant, including pain relief and a less traumatic birth experience for the baby.
Supposedly it mimics the womb, so it is less traumatic for the baby. Childbirth is known to be a exhausting experience for the baby. Properly heated water helps ease the transition from the birth canal to the outside world because the warm liquid softens light and noises.
Doing this type of delivery is a matter of personal choice, therefore any woman can do it but before they do, they need to be acquainted with the pros and cons of it.
Firstly, it reduces the mother’s blood pressure which is usually heightened during labor. Furthermore, it promotes relaxation, sometimes speeding up labor, allows the mother to assume any position that she may want, increases blood flow, and reduces the possibility, and severity of the tearing of the perineum. Also, being that babies do not breathe right away after birth, it is extremely safe for the baby when attended by an experienced midwife.
Slowed labor is one of the major concerns of doctors that are against this type of childbirth. Because the warm water has a relaxing effect, it is actually thought to lessen the intensity of the contractions, therefore leading to slower birth. Scientists argue that that depends on the individual case, but there are still a lot of those who are sure that this is a very possible and very frequent occurrence.
Secondly, what many doctors are worried about is blood loss of the mother. If a midwife is inexperienced, it may be hard to estimate the quantity of blood that the mother has lost. This can lead to other complications if not immediately detected.
Yet another fear is that the warm water may elevate the peril of infections. The cleaning regimes in hospitals are so tight that it is virtually impossible for any bacteria transferring from mother to child and vice versa. However, a certain risk exists. Warm water is a suitable environment for bacteria to multiply, so the concern in rather valid. If one wants to go through childbirth in this way, special care must be paid to the cleanness of the tub and of the mother, in order to avoid infections that may occur.
It is still a matter of great controversy, but as stated already, it is definitely a matter of personal choice. One should always bear in mind the risks and go through the necessary preparations for evading the complications.