Water birth is a technique of giving birth in warm water. It is believed that this is one of the safest methods of child birth and it has a lot of benefits for both the mother and the child. For the mother, it reduces the pain and for the child it is considered to be a less shocking birth experience. However the critics also argue that it creates unnecessary danger of infection for the child.
What can be the Pros and Cons of a water Birth?
- Reduces Labor:
It is said that an underwater delivery reduces labor pain and makes it less painful for the mother. The warm water also makes the process smooth.
- Psychological Benefits:
an underwater delivery has psychological benefits for the newborn as the transition from a fluid filled sac inside the womb to a tub full of water is easier or the baby. It is also believed that such a child adapts to the changing environment better.
- Reduces blood loss:
Many doctors believe that a water birth; if performed by an expert; can actually reduce the amount of blood loss that happens during cesarean or other types of delivery.
- Reduced chances of stitches:
It is also believed that a water birth reduces the stretching of the vaginal muscles and hence minimizes the chances of vaginal stitches or tears.
It becomes easy for the mother to move inside the water and adjust herself as per her comfort. That is why many doctors believe that a water birth offers greater mobility.
- Helps Breathing:
The moisture present in the air facilitates breathing and helps the mother breathe comfortably. It is one of the most comfortable ways of giving birth for women suffering from asthma.
Like any other method of child birth, water birth technique also has its own risks and limitations.
- Availability of Birth tub:
Availability of a birth tub is certainly a major issue concerning the limitation of a water birth. Most of the times, this facility is not available in a hospital. It requires great infrastructure and pool kit availability. But there are some hospitals that arrange the pool kits on request by particular families.
- Risk of infection:
There is much greater risk of the child getting infection during the water birth.
- Not suitable for all:
As stated above, a water birth is not recommended in cases where the pregnancy seems a little complicated or where the mother suffers from high BP. A water birth is not recommended in case of a twin’s delivery or a premature delivery. If the mother is suffering from vaginal herpes or diabetes or if she has had any bleeding a week before the pregnancy, it is suggested not to go for a water birth.
- Measuring the blood loss becomes difficult:
When the whole body is immersed in water, it becomes difficult to trace the blood loss. Heavy blood loss during delivery is also dangerous and therefore in case of a water birth it becomes slightly difficult to measure the blood loss. That is why many doctors suggest the mothers to come out of the water to deliver the placenta.
- Emergency situation:
You can’t really predict a pregnancy till the last moment and in situations of emergency the idea of water birth can create last moment hiccups or complications. But that can always be a case with any other kind of pregnancy as well.
Therefore, it is suggested that one needs to be prepared for an emergency situation as well to avoid any panic situation. Many a times, mothers are asked to step out of the pool at the last moment when the doctor fails to trace the heart beat of the baby.