It is understandable that a lot of women experience the anxiety about the whole process of childbirth, especially revolving around labor pain. Some of them also go to the extent of looking for other manageable and comfortable childbirth options. One such delivery option that is becoming a preferred choice these days is water labor. It is the process where the expectant mother immerses their lower body in the tub/pool of warm water to manage their labor pain and also to deliver their bundle of joy smoothly.

Give a read to know the benefits of water labor and also find whether you are an eligible candidate for it or not!

7 reasons why you should choose water labor for delivery

husband supporting wife in water delivery =
Here are some of best reasons why midwives and healthcare takers suggest for water birth:

1. Soothes and relaxes your labor pain: According to research done regarding immersion in water birth, it has been evident that there has been a significant reduction in the use of analgesia during such a process. Immersing down in the warm water helps to sooth and relax both the mother and the unborn baby, therefore, the overall delivery process becomes little easy and less painful.

2. Helps in effective uterine contractions : Buoyancy felt in water by the mother lessen the body weight of the mother. This allows free movement, varied positioning and promotes efficient contractions in the uterus while improving blood circulation.3

3. Allows to receive other measures of pain relief post delivery: In case the mother needs more help to manage labor pain, she always has aromatherapy, entonox (gas and air), acupressure and massage which are some of the other forms of pain relief which can be combined with water labor.

4. Keeps blood pressure in control: The anxiety that is experienced during labor increases blood pressure. Being immersed in water brings down the anxiety levels and in turn regulates the blood pressure of the mother.

5. Softens the perineum tear for easy delivery: In water birth, the warm water relaxes and softens the perineum to become more elastic. This will reduces severe perineal tears from occurring during the birthing process. In some instances, an episiotomy or stitches may not even be required.

6. Reduces both the psychological and physical stress: As the water is comforting to the mother, this reduces the amount of stress the mother goes through. Endorphins are then produced by the mother’s body which helps her to physically and psychologically focus on the birthing process. It could also be an enjoyable experience for the mother.

7. Provides familiar fluid environment to the newborn: Water birth provides a similar environment as the baby experiences amidst the amniotic fluid in the womb. This makes babies born under water more calm, with less movement and reduced or no crying, than babies born in air. It eases the baby’s transition phase from the womb into the outside world.

Are you a good candidate to opt for water labor?

husband taking newly born baby out of the water birth tub =
You can choose to plan delivery through water birthing technique only if your pregnancy has been normal throughout the terms, which means:

  • The baby is in cephalic (head-down) position during the time of delivery
  • The pregnancy has completed 37 weeks and is a full term labor
  • The pregnancy is only of one baby and not multiple like a twin or a triplet
  • The mother is healthy and not diagnosed with certain health issue such as gestational diabetes, hypertension
  • The mother is fit and not obese or excessively overweight
  • The color of the amniotic fluid when the water breaks is clear
  • The heart rate of the baby is within normal range

When water birth is not recommended?

pregnant woman standing at the beach side =
Your healthcare provider will say strict no to water labor if:

  • Your baby is found in breach position nearing the deliver time
  • Your labor pain has prolonged for more than 18 hours since water breakage
  • Signs of distress are seen in the fetus before labor
  • You are suffering from chronic conditions like kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease etc. during your pregnancy 
  • You have health issues like contagious or sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, hepatitis-B/C, HIV, maternal infection, toxemia, high BP etc.
  • The growth of the baby is found to be stunted
  • You get excessive bleeding before going into labor
  • You are overweight
  • The labor pain is not natural and has to be induced
  • You suffer from hydrophobia (a morbid aversion to water)

There are various research that indicates that water birth is as safe as conventional childbirth. However, with everything that we know, there is still a lot more to learn, explore and research about embracing the practice of water labor and water birth. Always consult a doctor to clearly understand everything about the pregnancy and which birthing practice would best suit the needs of the baby and the mother.

If you or any of your known are expecting the bundle of joy and want to know more about the right method of child birthing, consult an online Obstetrician/Gynecologist to get exclusive guidance. You can also ask any other query related to maternal and fetal health! Stay blessed!

About the Author

Sangeetha Lawrence

Sangeetha is working as a Content Editor at Ebix. She has extensive experience in creating training content for academic purposes along with writing content for health blogs.

2 + 3 + 3 =

Recent Questions