Is Water Birth Right For You?

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Bringing a child into the world is both beautiful and intense. Thankfully, there are now many ways for expecting mothers to experience the joy of giving birth. Water birth is what’s getting the most attention right now. Celebrities like Gisele Bundchen and Thandie Newton have done it and they sing its praises. Headlines say expecting television star Kourtney Kardashian is the next to consider.

Water Birth

Real-life mothers who have given birth in water say it’s a powerful experience. Many proclaim they wouldn’t have their next children any other way. So what do women who are expecting and thinking about it need to know? Water birth is a means of delivering naturally. It takes place in a tub of warm water and the child is born fully-immersed. Usually, the birth happens right at home with a rented tub, but these days more hospitals are also permitting it. The first recorded water birth actually took place in the early 1800’s, but it has only become more widely practiced in the last 30 years or so.

The idea is that it’s believed to be a gentler way to transition a baby out of the amniotic sac and into the world, thus its appeal. But there are actually a lot of soothing benefits for mothers, too. The buoyancy of the water is what makes the biggest difference. It allows for easy movement in many different positions, and even allows for improved blood circulation and more oxygen to the baby. The water also helps lower increased blood pressure caused by anxiety and even reduces stress-related hormones. That means less pain and a more relaxed delivery. There’s also no need for an episiotomy.

In later stages of labour, the water is also said to increase the woman’s energy. And what’s good for mom is good for baby. Eliminating stress is the best way to avoid fetal complications along the way.

It’s important to note that during labour, the mother must have adequate fluids and be in the active phase of labour, otherwise she could risk dehydration. Water birth also isn’t suitable for birthing twins or a baby in the breech or bottom-first position. If the mother has any pregnancy-related complications such as high blood pressure, the water breaks early, or the baby is lacking oxygen during labour, then a water birth is not safe.

That being said, water birth can be very empowering when carried out safely and properly. It’s an opportunity to shape and control the birthing process according to what you need. Some mothers choose to only labour in the water and deliver outside the water. It’s really up to you and what makes you feel the most comfortable.

There hasn’t been a lot of medical research done on the process to date, so testimonials from mothers who have experienced water birth are very important. We would love for you to share your stories and your tips and tricks as you prepared for the water birthing process.

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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4 Comments

  1. laddy  /  December 17, 2012, 9:28 am Reply

    Hi,

    We’re looking for a doctor who is pro-natural (and possibly water birth) in Bangkok. Would you have any one you can recommend? I’m mid way through my pregnancy and we will be moving to Bangkok in a month or 2.

    Thanks!

    • ExpectingExpats.com
      ExpectingExpats.com  /  December 17, 2012, 11:38 am Reply

      Hi Laddy,

      Congratulations on the upcoming addition to your family, and on your impending move to Thailand. We are glad you found our website, and we hope that the information you find here is helpful in your transition to a new city.

      We have copied your question into our Medical Questions Forum so that you can be provided with a direct response from our medical advisors. You should receive a reply within a day. You can find your question here:

      http://www.expectingexpats.com/forum/topic/seeking-pro-natural-possibly-water-birth-doctor-in-bangkok/

      We will also leave your comment here on this post, and perhaps our other visitors can contribute suggestions of their own. Feel free to contact us with any other questions you have.

      The ExpectingExpats.com Team

    • Samitivej Hospital
      Samitivej Hospital  /  December 19, 2012, 8:22 am Reply

      Hello Laddy,

      We are posting this reply both here and in the Medical Forums.

      Congratulations on your pregnancy and your upcoming move to Bangkok.

      Since you don’t mention your preference for a male doctor or female doctor please let us provide recommendations for both:

      If you prefer a female doctor, please contact Yaowaluk Rapeepattana, M.D. You can check her doctor’s profile at:

      Yaowaluk Rapepattana profile

      Should you need any further information, please feel free to send your inquiries to:

      info@samitivej.co.th

      You can contact us to set up an appointment in advance of your arrival in Bangkok. We look forward to hearing from you.

      Thank you very much,

      Samitivej Women’s Health Center

  2. Jodie  /  December 25, 2012, 8:52 pm Reply

    My doctor was Dr. Nisarat – for both my children. I was planning a water birth with my first child and she had no problem with that. There are not enough words to say how highly I regard Dr. Nisarat.

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