Your environment establishes the tone for your birth experience. From home to hospital, each birth environment has challenges and advantages worth exploring.
Today, most women in America give birth in hospitals. However, this isn’t the only option available: ladies also provide delivery in free birth centers, hospital birth facilities, or in their own homes.
Be aware that some physicians use the term “birth center” to refer to their normal labor & delivery floor. The American Association of Birth Centers describes a birth center as a home-like environment where health experts, normally midwives, offer family-centered treatment and care to healthy pregnant women.
Most birth facilities are located separately from hospitals, though a few are inside hospital buildings. In-hospital birth centers have to meet specific guidelines and not be part of the hospital’s Labor and Delivery unit to be considered authentic birth centers.
A benchmark study issued in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health shows that birth centers give first-rate care to healthy pregnant women in the U.S. Where you decide to give birth will depend on your birth doctrine.
If you would like natural, unhurried birth, think about having your baby at home or in a birth center. If you are working with an obstetrician, then you will probably give birth at a hospital. Explore your alternatives, and discuss them with your care provider.
A comfortable environment will assist you to remain relaxed, and this is vital in allowing the physiologic process of labor to take place. A complex combination of hormones is discharged during labor — some are useful, but others may be harmful and even slow things down.
Fear and anxiety may “stall” layer and create a need for medical interventions. If you choose a birth environment aside from your home, consider laboring in the house if possible and find ways that you can make the shift into the hospital or birth center as easy as possible.
Eye masks, music, and constant labor support — like a doula, family member, or friend — can be a great help.
Water Birthing Option
Placing a pool of water in a living area transforms the atmosphere quickly. Voices get softer, the mom remains calmer, and everybody becomes less stressed.
The effect of buoyancy that deep-water immersion generates allows natural motion of the mother. Nobody must help the mother get into a new state. She moves as her body and the condition of the infant direct.
The movement supports to open the pelvis, enabling the baby to descend. When a lady in labor unwinds at a warm, deep bath, free from gravity’s strain on her body, with sensory stimulation decreased; her body is not as expected to discharge stress-related hormones. This permits her body to create the pain inhibitors-endorphins-that match labor.
Catecholamines and noradrenaline, the hormones that are discharged through stress, actually increase the blood pressure and may inhibit or slow labor. A laboring lady, who’s ready to relax physically, can relax mentally also.
Many women, midwives, and health experts acknowledge that the analgesic effect of water. Thousands of those mothers state they’d never have the ability to think about laboring without water.
The Benefits and Risks
Water birthing is the practice of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women decide to work in the water and get out for delivery.
Other women also opt to remain in the water for the delivery. The concept behind water birthing is that because the baby has been in the amniotic fluid pouch for nine months, laboring in a related environment is more considerate for the infant and less stressful for the mom.
Midwives, birthing centers, and an increasing number of obstetricians think that reducing the strain of labor and delivery will decrease fetal complications. Water birthing should always take place under the supervision of a qualified health care provider.
Possible Advantages of Water Birthing
- Less pain and higher gratification with the birth experience
- Less medication use for pain relief–this might be important for people that want or need to prevent epidurals or narcotic drugs during labor
- Less the use of artificial oxytocin and perhaps shorter labors
- Higher levels of natural vaginal birth
- Lower possibility of episiotomy
- Higher rates of an intact perineum, particularly in high-episiotomy configurations
- Possibly lower rates of acute tears (3rd or 4th level ), particularly in high-episiotomy settings
- Possibly lower rates of postpartum hemorrhage
Possible Risks of Water Birthing
- We need more study evidence on water birth, so making it increasingly challenging to create a truly informed decision.
- There may be a higher rate of moderate labial tears from water birthing in low-episiotomy settings including homes and birth centers
- Umbilical cord snap is an uncommon but possible occurrence. Care providers will need to take care not to put too much grip on the cord when directing the infant from the water and determine the origin of any bleeding immediately.
- There have been many case reports of water aspiration. These cases haven’t been observed in potential research since 1999, and just about all the babies in the case reports made a complete recovery.
- Although extensive research studies haven’t shown any increase in the probability of disease, there have been many case reports of infections following waterbirths. This risk can be reduced by using pools that are simple to sanitize, filling tubs closer to the time of their arrival, and continually examining hospital water supply, hoses, and birthing pools.
Benefits for Mother:
- Warm water is comforting, soothing,
- In the subsequent stages of labor, the water was demonstrated to improve the female’s energy.
- The effect of buoyancy reduces a mother’s body weight, allowing free movement and new placement.
- Buoyancy supports more efficient uterine contractions and enhanced blood flow, leading to healthier oxygenation of the uterine muscles, much more oxygen to the baby and less pain for the mother.
- Immersion in water frequently helps reduce high blood pressure brought on by anxiety.
- The water appears to lessen stress-related hormones, letting the mother’s body to generate endorphins that serve as pain-inhibitors.
- Water makes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, lessening the frequency and severity of the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
- As the laboring lady rests physically, she can relax mentally with a more exceptional ability to concentrate on the birth procedure.
- Since the water gives a greater sense of privacy, it may lessen anxiety, inhibitions, and fears.
Benefits for Baby:
- Provides an environment like the amniotic sac.
- Eases the strain of birth, thus improving reassurance and sense of safety.
What Are The Threats To The Mother And Infant?
In the last 30 years, as water birth has grown in demand, there was very little research about the risks of water birth. Some research in Europe has shown related perinatal fatality rates between healthy births and water births.
As per the Royal College wrote an article of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there may be a theoretical risk of water embolism, which happens when water invades the mother’s blood. However, the British Medical Journal is 95% confident in the safety of water births; they see a potential threat of water aspiration.
If the infant is undergoing stress from the birth canal or when the umbilical cord gets twisted or kinked, the infant might gasp for air with the chance of inhaling water.
This would be a limited occurrence because infants do not usually inhale until they are opened to air. They proceed to get oxygen through the umbilical cord until they begin to breathe on their own or until the cord is cut. The final potential risk is the umbilical cord could clasp as the infant is taken to the surface of the water. This may be avoided by using care when raising up the baby into the mother’s chest.
What Are Situations Not Well Suited For Water Birth?
Mothers with Herpes: Herpes transfers easily in water, so you should discuss this risk thoroughly, with your doctor.
Breech Baby: Though water birth was done with feet or bottom first presentations, you should consult this risk thoroughly with your doctor.
If you have been tested positive with one of these: excessive bleeding or esophageal disease.
Delivering Twins or Multiples: However, water births are thriving around the world with twin births, you should review this risk thoroughly with your doctor.
Pre-term Labor & Delivery is anticipated: If a baby is preterm (fourteen days or more before due date), water birth isn’t prescribed.
Severe Meconium: Mild to medium meconium is relatively normal. Since meconium swims to the surface in a tub, your medical care provider will watch for it and remove it quickly, or help you out of the tub. Meconium usually wipes off the face of the child and even comes off the mouth and nose while the infant is still underwater. If the water is tinted and birth is expected, the girl can lift her pelvis from the water to birth the baby.
If you have preeclampsia or toxemia: You should thoroughly consult this risk with your health care provider.
Are Whirlpools and Hot Tubs harmful during pregnancy?
The risk depends on the temperature. If the water is too hot, overheating and dehydration become a threat for you and the baby. You must try to stay well hydrated and be sure that the temperature of the water remains at 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Birthing pools are specially designed to avoid this problem.
How do I arrange for a water birth:
First check with your healthcare provider. They may then be furnished for a water birth with a particular tub or may know of a location in your area that’s provided for this.
If you want to give birth in a hospital, be sure their policies allow water birth. Increasing numbers of hospitals are welcoming parents that desire a water birth.
You can rent a birthing tub. Make sure to ask whether the cost includes shipping both ways and what extras they provide to make your birth experience more pleasurable. Consult with your insurance provider to know if they will reimburse the expense of the rental.
Contact a local Birth Center to find out if they offer you a water birth option.