Waterbirth tends to create a special atmosphere and can be done at home, in birthing centres and maternity units. You might balk at the idea of giving birth in a tub and feel it is the preserve of hippy chicks and earth mothers – it’s not! Research has confirmed that using a birthing pool can really help you cope with the pain of labour. The great and good institutions involved in policy on birth now support it ie The Royal College of Obstetricians and the Royal College of Midwives.
Advocates of waterbirth say the water eases the baby from the warm wet womb into another warm, wet environment offering familiar comfort after the stresses of being born.And since breathing doesn’t begin until the baby is exposed to the air, so the safety risks are minimal.
Many women have found that wallowing in deep warm water during labour allows them to relax, and gives much relief from the discomfort of contractions. Some choose to get out of the water in the second stage to deliver their baby. Others actually give birth in the water, so that the baby’s first moments of life outside of the uterus are under water.