Last updated: July 2, 2021
Richard Honaker M.D.
Primary Care Physician
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Thinking of a water birth? These are four vital facts all pregnant women should know.
Have you heard of the popular form of naturally giving birth in water, called water birth? Are you curious about what actually goes on and if it’s safe for pregnant women and their babies? Are you wondering if it can be done at home? Do you have lots of questions and want the facts? Here they are!
Mothers who chose this birthing method swore how amazingly easier they gave birth to their babies. However, according to water birth research by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), there are possible risks and benefits that are still not clear.
The association concluded that because of indefinite and unresolved information on the method’s safety and efficacy. They suggest that it would still be best to give birth out of water. These are just more pregnancy facts you need to be concerned with.
With that being said, you don’t need to stay in a hospital bed the whole time that you’re in labor. You may be planning to undergo this very method or you could just be curious, whatever it is, read on these water birth facts that you should know.
Water Birth Fact #1: Labor Becomes Easier for Pregnant Women
Giving birth is an arduous and grueling experience. It can even become life threatening for some. Water birth may not be as typical as laboring in a hospital bed, but the American Pregnancy Association gave some water birth facts that could be beneficial for pregnant women who want to employ such method.
Warm water can be relaxing for pregnant women and the buoyancy of the water can aid in minimizing the body weight of pregnant women. As a result, they will be able to do more advantageous birthing positions. It could also provide more productive uterine contractions.
Another one of water birth facts that’s helpful for pregnant women is the shortened labor time by around 30 minutes. According to the American Pregnancy Association, in the first phase of labor, the woman’s cervix dilates to 10 cm.
With this rate, labor could last between 11.5 to 19 hours. And being in a tub or pool can be very soothing for all pregnant women. ACOG has stated that for healthy, full-term pregnant women, being in water can reduce labor by half an hour.
A water birth has also been linked with a 10 percent lessened risk of having to resort to epidurals. This is especially beneficial for those who opt for an all-natural labor.
A 2012 research has revealed that pregnant women who chose water birth endured lesser pain and they were also less inclined to require and episiotomy. As stated by the ACOG, laboring in a pool is acceptable and could even aid you in getting through this phase of labor.
Water Birth Fact #2: There are Worrying Risks for Your Baby
Laboring in a tub may appear to have its advantages, but ACOG doesn’t endorse that the actual delivery be held under water in the tub. The main reason for this is that there’s no research that can confirm the benefits a baby or a mother could get from an underwater delivery.
Because of the rare but real risks an underwater birth can surround a newborn, the mom is suggested to step out of the tub once she’s fully dilated. There are plenty of cases of lethal or fresh water drowning that happened to babies born in water. And these pregnancy issues don’t happen when babies are born in air. There’s also no recent research that exhibits how often such cases occur.
Water birth facts also feature some of the other risks that could arise from this type of birth, such as alarming results like infection and umbilical cord avulsion. It simply means that the umbilical cord snaps. It’s not unique to an underwater birth though.
It also happens on regular birthing methods. It just happens noticeably more frequent with water births. There’s also a greater rate of getting complications. CDC has also issued an alert to two cases of Legionnaire’s disease, which is a perilous bacterial pneumonia in infants who were delivered either at home or in a birthing tub.
Some research reveals water birth facts that can be directly harmful to newborns, while some reveal that this method is ideally safe. So, more research is obviously necessary to establish the actual effects of water births.
Water Birth Fact #3: There are Ways to Improve Water Birth Safety
If you’re going to have an underwater delivery, there are clever ways that can stop your baby from getting an infection. Ask your birthing facility about their safety procedures or their infection control plans.
There may be no scientific evidence on the best disinfection systematic plans or how long the water should be allowed to remain in the tub, but pregnant women should still ask these questions to reduce the risks and magnify safety.
Water Birth Fact #4: Talk to a Doctor
If you’re open to having a water birth, the first thing that you should do is to talk to your doctor about water birth facts that could be helpful in your upcoming delivery. Your doctor will provide the possible benefits and risks, but it’s still up to you if you want to go through with this method.
Once you’ve decided, tell your doctor about it as soon as you can so your doctor can tell you if he/she will take care of the process or if you’ll be referred to someone who will support your chosen method.
If you have water birth questions, or any other pregnancy questions, yourdoctors.online has the answers. Our doctors are available via Dr. Chat for free. Get the pregnancy facts you need and deserve today.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.
About Richard Honaker M.D.
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