A Brief Description On Water Birth And Its Safety Aspect!

Pregnancy is a time when a woman experiences discomfort and mood swings right from the beginning. She may experience some form of aches, morning sickness and the list goes on and on. Healthy women or women who have been working out on a regular basis do not have much difficulty but still feel some kind of nausea. Pregnant women are advised to be active so that their labour becomes easier. Some form of activity is a must so that women can endure the pain. 

Caesarean deliveries though not that painful do have after effects and most women do not prefer them unless it is an emergency. Water birth is gaining prominence and it has been popular for decades in the developed countries as it is believed to be safer and women experience less pain. In developed countries water birth takes place at home under the supervision of a mid-wife. 

What Is Water Birth?

Water birth is delivering a baby in a bath tub. It can be done at home, a hospital or at a nursing centre. Warm water is filled in the tub to ease pain as warm water offers pain relief.  It is believed that water birth is more advantageous to the mother and baby. Babies are already used to the fluid in the womb and this does not make any change to them. 

Sometimes women are in water during contractions and come out when the dilation is full and give birth outside water. Some women be in water throughout their labour and they deliver in water also. If complications arises women are not given the option of water birth.

Water Birth An Option 

Women having single babies can go in for this. Water birth is not advisable for twin deliveries. A women should have completed at least 37 weeks and the head should be down. The woman is also checked and if any risks arises water birth is not advised. 

Precautions To Be Taken

  • Clean and sterile water must be used. 
  • Additives such as oils, soaps and gels should not be used. 
  • There should be enough water so that water should reach the level of breasts. 
  • The water should be comfortably warm and not too hot. 

What Are The Pros Of Having A Water Birth

Pain Relief

When a woman is in warm water she experiences less painful contractions as warm water eases the pain. 

Enjoy Relaxation

The temperature of the water helps women to relax and when relaxed they feel less pain and they are calm. They also breathe slowly and calmly. 

Good For Babies

Warm water of the pool is similar to the amniotic fluid in the uterus. It is observed that babies born in water are more relaxed and they cry less than babies born in air. 

The Cons Of Water Birth 


Hiring a pool can be costly and the rates are fixed on an hourly basis. If the maternity ward of the hospital has a birthing pool then it comes for free. 


Babies may develop infections faster. If the woman opens up the bowels and if the debris is not cleaned properly then there are all chances of contracting skin infections. Even if the water is sterile it becomes contaminated early just when the mother sits on the pool as the vaginal fluids starts secreting. 

Monitoring Heart Beat

During labour a baby’s heart beat is monitored regularly and in cases of water birth it becomes difficult to monitor the heartbeat. This may lead to further complications. 


Babies are genetically programmed to take their first breaths of air and not water immediately or seconds after their delivery. This happens just when the head the head comes out. 


Cases are reported that water birth babies suffer from pneumonia. It is usually caused by bacteria in the tub water or by contamination of the tub water. Meconium aspiration is also a cause for pneumonia. 


If there are any complications which arise unexpectedly the baby may be in water for too long. The baby’s lungs get filled with water and these cases are rare. Medical professionals bring the baby to the surface as soon as the baby is born so that he breathes. 

So make sure you are aware of the pros and cons before going in for water birth.

Devin Haney

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