Water births are a method of birth for a mother-to-be to give birth to her baby in a pool full of warm water or in a bathtub filled with water. Many people consider water births to be one of the most safe and comfortable birth alternatives amid all the others open to an expectant mother.
However, many critics of water births feel that this method is not a safe means of entry into this world for a newborn. Despite what some have said about the risks associated with water births, this method of childbirth is fast becoming the “in” method for many couples who desire calm and serene environment in which to bring their child in to after it arrives.
History of Water Births: Early Research and Applications
The use of water births is fairly new to most Western civilizations as a rule. However a great deal of research was done regarding the subject by a Russian researcher by the name of Igor Charkovsky in the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Charkovsky concluded that water births were just as safe as standard childbirth options, and felt that this type of delivery had many benefits for the mother and the child.
A French obstetrician named Frederick Leboyer took to taking the newborn babies he delivered and dipped them into warm water immediately after being brought into the world. The practice of this obstetrician was developed as a means so that these infants wouldn’t suffer any trauma after being taken from the womb. Use of the warm water was a way to help them make a smooth transition from the womb and become a part of the outside world.
Dr. Michel Odent, who was another French obstetrician, is the one responsible for taking Leboyer’ work to its highest level by using the warm water pool method as a way to make birthing more normal and to lessen the pain of the new mother to be. Odent was the doctor responsible for furthering research on the subject of underwater births in these pools and studying the advantages and disadvantages to this type of births.
Odent went on to open a birthing centre at Pithiviers and thousands of new mothers have given birth to their babies since the late 1990s. Somehow or other the concept of water births spread from France to other Western civilizations and came to America as an alternative to couples choosing to have their babies at home. Eventually hospitals and separate birthing centers, staffed by both obstetricians and certified midwives embraced water births as an acceptable childbirth method.
What Are The Advantages Of Water Births To Mother And Baby?
- Overall pain management for the mother to be
- Perineal trauma is dramatically reduced
- Need for an episiotomy is also reduced
- Reduced chance of trauma to the baby
- Easier transition from inside the womb to outside
- Makes birth for both mother and baby less strenuous
What Are The Disadvantages And Or Concerns For Water Births?
- Aspiration of water by infant
- Risk of infection
- Risk of increased blood loss for the mother
- Longer labor time
- Chance for lack of oxygen to infant
- Pursuing Water Births as a Deliver Option
If you’re interested in the prospect of water births for you and your unborn child as an alternative birthing method, it is important to conduct thorough research on the subject. Once you decide that water birth is a good option for you, the next step is to get all the information that you can as to what is available as far as the medical services out there.
Where And How To Get A Water Birth?
Here are just some of the choices open to you:
- Special birthing centers designed to accommodate water birth
- Home birth midwives who specialize in water births
- Hospitals that provide water births
No matter which service you decide upon for your very special delivery. Water births are way special in that they offer an atmosphere of peace and togetherness for both the new mother and her little water bundle of joy.