As soon as I fell pregnant I knew I wanted a water birth. I hadn’t done any research on the subject, it just felt right to me. After reading several books on childbirth I learnt that being born in water is the least traumatic way of coming into the world, that water babies smile more than any other children, that it’s less painful than regular birth. I was instructed by the midwives as early as 2 months into my pregnancy when I went to see the hospital I chose, that you can only birth in water if everything is perfect: low-risk pregnancy, term baby, not too small and not too big.
I birthed my baby in water, just like I desired. On my follow-up appointment with my doctor, he said that only 2% of births in this hospital are water births – a number far lower than I expected. When in labor I was nervous that the birth pool might be taken but after my postpartum visit I realized that the odds of this happening were actually quite low. Who knew!
My baby is a delight – she is a little angel, she cries about 10 minutes a day, feeds like a champ, sleeps at night, smiles a lot, is very lively and attentive. She loves water – taking baths, showers and swimming in the sea at just a few weeks old. I’m sure it’s a mixture of DNA, a tranquil pregnancy, serene parents and living conditions, and being born in water.
Here’s what my favorite baby website has to say about water births:
PROS OF A WATER BIRTH:
- Water relaxes
- Water buoys you up and makes you feel lighter
- It’s easier to cope with pain
- It may be easier to push the baby out in water than in air
- The transition to the outside world is less traumatic for babies who are born in water
CONS OF A WATER BIRTH:
- There may be a risk of infection but it’s not larger than that of giving birth in the air
- You may find that being in a birth pool does not make contractions less painful
- You may have to stay out of the pool if your labor develops complications
- Baby might start to breathe underwater, but this is very unlikely due to babies’ “dive reflex”
- The umbilical cord might get snapped as the baby is quickly brought to the surface (unlikely)
For more info on water births check out Water Birth International and other sites on the subject.
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