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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Just starting to consider water birth

    Hi all,
    I am 31 weeks pregnant with #2 and have just in the last week or so started to consider waterbirth as an option. I delivered #1 in a squatting position and ended up with what were probably 2nd degree tears. I am pretty fearful of tearing again, but I know that being in a vertical position is probably preferable for a quicker and easier labour. I do not want to give birth on my back and am not interested in giving birth on all fours.
    The reason I had never considered water birth before is because under normal (not pregnant or in labour) circumstances I don't like having baths - having a bath just makes me want to have a shower, I find it gross - and thats in water free from amniotic fluids, blood, poop, etc! Also, I fainted after my first birth due to blood loss and low blodd pressure (my bp is kind of low normally to begin with), knowing I will have to get up and out of the water soon after birth worries me a bit - I don't want to faint on my way down the steps!
    On the other hand, I know how well the water will support my body - how I will feel comparitively weightless and assume to water will soften my skin up a bit, reducing the chances of tearing (of course, being a 2nd pregnancy, my chances of tearing a slightly lower anyway).
    I guess I just have to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons (and take into account the unknowns) and discuss it with my midwife.
    I guess I really just wanted to voice my thoughts and concerns out loud, but if anyone has any feedback, I'd love to hear it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    Assuming that water birth is an option available to you then go for it. If you don't like it you can always get out!

    I had a waterbirth with DS and am hoping to have another one, I can't imagine birthing any other way now. I too have naturally low blood pressure and the water has to be warm (around 37C) but I never felt faint. DH did keep drinking all my water so I'd strongly recommend having lots of water on hand. Although it's hard to know what will happen there are pros and cons to getting in to the water too early but your midwife should let you know when is a good time. I was near the end of transition when I got in and it helped so much with pain relief but DS was pretty close to being born already (I just never got the urge to push so took awhile to get around to that part!) My waters had broken (water birth may not be an option if they haven't as they may need to check for muconium/fetal distress) prior to getting in, I only did one small poop (lovely part of birth isn't it!?) and that got scooped out straight away and I had no tears or grazes so when DS was born he was completely clean. Policy at the birthcentre was I had to leave the pool to birth the placenta. DH and midwife helped me out of the pool while I held DS.

    I gave birth in a semi-reclined position. It was great to be able to rest but due to the water not have to worry about gravity and its affects on my pelvic space. I sat on DH's feet (he was sitting on the edge of the pool behind me) and he just pushed my closer to the midwife during each contraction/push. The water definitely let me feel like less of a bloated whale. I had no tears or grazes and DS was about 3.7kg but with a smallish head (I also used an epi-no so look into that if you'd like to reduce your chance of tearing). And no idea if it applies to you but at my birthcentre waterbirth wasn't an option if you weighed over 100kg (in case of complications and they need to get you out) so that's something to ask about. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    I am planning a waterbirth for this bubby (my first) but I always feel drawn to water. I have loved swimming and bathing throughout my pregnancy. I would suggest that you give it a go. If you dont love it you dont have to stay in. Have you tried perineal massage? I am a little concerned about tearing and have found that this has been helping my stretchiness already and I have only been doing it for a few days. Another tip that is supposed to reduce tearing is having hot oil compesses on that area as baby is coming out. The oil moisturises the area and the heat helps the muscles relax. If you want to try either of those suggestions I highly reccommend almond oil cause its less greasey than a lot of oils but it works well. Wishing you a tear free and awesome birth whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I had a waterbirth with #2 and it was the most beautiful experience, although not planned. My first labour was horribly clinical, tied to a drip (syntocin) on my back and eventually I had an epidural. I used the bath as my first form of pain relief this time and within a few minutes of being in there I had an urge to push and my waters broke, followed by another one in a matter of seconds (his head). It was such a peaceful experience and we both felt calm. Looking back at the pictures, there was a lot of gunk in the water, but at the time I really didn't care. I just felt so calm and relaxed and I think DS was too, because he didn't cry until the water started getting cold!

    I have heard that the water can slow things down sometimes, but I was already 7cm dialated when I got in the water and it definately sped things up. In fact, I only had a 7 minute 2nd stage. Good luck


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