Many women prefer giving birth in a pool of warm water in order to reduce the pain associated with labor. Water births are also called aquadurals because of the sense of weightlessness and relaxation created. Relaxed muscles reduce labor pains and help a woman more fully enjoy the birthing process, two reasons many midwives and doulas encourage women to consider water births as an alternative to medical pain relief.
Water births provide several other advantages for laboring mothers. First, they increase her energy level by improving circulation throughout the body. Second, they allow freedom of movement. Third, they can decrease blood pressure, which reduces the need of medical interventions, including C-sections. Finally, this method offers a private and calm place for a woman to welcome her baby into the world.
When considering water birth, a woman should be aware of possible disadvantages as well. Water births are not recommended for premature deliveries. It is imperative that the tubs are properly cleaned; if not properly cleaned, infections may result. Newborns especially, are prone to bacterial infections, so it is an absolute necessity to sterilize birthing tubs or to use a sterile birthing tub liner. Finally, very few hospitals provide the option of water births so, a woman desiring a water birth may be limited to birthing at home or at a birth center.
For more information regarding warm water births, consider the following sites:
Kathryn is a baby-wearing, cloth diapering, DIY mom to her quickly growing and pretty cute toddler. When she isn't researching and writing about natural approaches to pregnancy and parenting, she's acting out her favorite children's books or singing off-key made-up songs.