All About Water Births

By: Sabrina Tesar

What is Water Birth?

Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery. Other women decide to stay in the water for the delivery as well. The theory behind water birth is that since the baby has already been in the amniotic fluid sac for 9 months, birthing into a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother.

Benefits for Mom/Baby

  • The warm water is soothing, comforting, relaxing. In the later stages of labor, the water has been shown to increase the woman’s energy. Buoyancy promotes more efficient contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby. Immersion in water often helps lower high blood pressure caused by anxiety. Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, reducing the incidence and severity of tearing. Provides an environment similar to the amniotic sac

Risks for Mom/Baby

  • You or your baby could get an infection. The umbilical cord could snap before your baby comes out of the water. Your baby’s body temperature could be too high or too low. Your baby could breathe in bath water. Your baby could have seizures or not be able to breathe.