Water birth at Cromwell women & children Hospital
1- Family Centered Birthing:
We believe in empowering women in their individual choice for birthing options, while keeping the health and safety of the mother and her baby in mind. From the moment a laboring woman enters our facility, every effort is made to make her birthing process special, comfortable, and safe for her, her baby, and the people who come to provide support.
2- Water birth:
Water has many soothing benefits and has been shown to calm and comfort — even during labor and delivery.
Often called a "gentle birth," water birth is a safe option for both mothers and babies. It has steadily gained in popularity in recent years as many women have found they prefer the calming effects of warm water to a traditional, or "land," birth.
3- What is a Water birth?
During a water birth, the mother gives birth under water in a birthing tub. She may also spend part of her labor in the tub. This special tub is larger and deeper than a regular bathtub and it allows the mother to try a variety of different positions during labor and delivery. The baby emerges into the warm water before being brought out to take a first breath of air.
One common question is, "Doesn't the baby try to breathe under water?" Actually, babies start breathing when they feel the cool, dry air. The baby goes from the fluid in the womb, into the warm water of the tub. The baby is then gently brought out of the water. The mother can hold the baby immediately. After being brought out of the water, the baby takes a first breath of air. The umbilical cord is still attached and the baby continues to get oxygen through the cord.
4- Water birth benefits:
* Many women who've chosen water birth have experienced the following benefits:
♀ A birth that's as safe as a land birth
♀ Reduced pain and increased support to tense muscles
♀ Increased comfort and relaxation
♀ Decreased adrenaline production, allowing for a shorter labor
♀ Easier to move during labor and delivery
♀ Reduced pressure on the abdomen, better blood circulation and more oxygen to the mother and baby due to the buoyancy of the water
♀ Increased sense of independence, power and autonomy during labor and delivery
♀ Reduced need for medical intervention and pain medication
♀ Reduced rate of Cesarean section
♀ Reduced rate of episiotomy, as water relaxes the pelvic floor muscles
♀ Father/partner may take a more active role in the birth experience
* Advantages for baby:
♀ An easier, more gentle transition from mother's womb to an external "womb" of water that is weightless, warm, wet and soft
♀ Decreased trauma at birth
♀ More blood flow to the baby due to better circulation of the mother
♀ Baby isn't stimulated to induce breathing, which results in less crying after birth and a calmer, more alert state
♀ Bacteria is dissipated in the water, reducing the risk of infection to the baby
♀ Cord cutting after birth is delayed until it stops pulsating, allowing a continuous oxygen flow to baby
♀ Moms have reported better initial breastfeeding.
5- During a water birth:
The water temperature is kept between 95 and 100 degrees F. Staying in the water for too long (more than two hours at a time) or getting in the tub too early may slow labor down. Therefore, it is recommended that you not get into the tub until you have reached about five centimeters in cervical dilatation.
You may be asked to leave the tub under the following circumstances:
♀ You become light-headed, dizzy or extremely fatigued
♀ The baby is experiencing distress
♀ There is a need to monitor the baby with the electronic fetal monitor (if telemetry is not available)
♀ Your temperature is above 100.4 degrees F
♀ The amniotic fluid is meconium stained
♀ For the birth of the placenta
♀ For suturing, if needed
♀ To evaluate blood loss
6- Considering a water birth:
When choosing a water birth, it's important to discuss your decision with your provider and meet the criteria listed below. Not all providers include waterbirth in their practice, so it is important to talk with your doctor or midwife about it early in your pregnancy.
If you plan to have a water birth, you will be asked to read the water birth information sheet and sign a consent form.
When considering a water birth, an expectant mother must:
♀ Not have medical conditions such as hypertension or a maternal infection
♀ Not have had a previous Cesarean section
♀ Not be pregnant with multiples
♀ Be 37 to 42 weeks gestation
♀ Have a low-risk pregnancy
♀ Have a fetal heart rate that is reassuring
♀ Not have a baby that is in a breech position
♀ Not have placental abnormalities
♀ Not have a baby expected to be above normal size, creating the likelihood of a difficult birth
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