Waterbirth: Advantages and Disadvantages

Executed correctly and with the necessary precautions, the birth in water has many benefits, such as the reduction in the number of episiotomiesand tears in childbirth , and its relaxing effects on the mother; but it is not without risk. These are the main advantages and disadvantages of a delivery of this kind.

Advantages

  • Less tears and episiotomies. Underwater births result in less tearing in the perineum (the area between your vagina and anus) and episiotomies (incisions or cutting of the perineum). This is because the skin and tissues are stretched more easily under water.
  • Pain relief and soothing effect. Warm water helps relieve pain and to relax. This reduces the need for medications and epidural anesthesia, with its possible risks and complications. To be relaxed, you is also easier to control your breathing (also you can interest: relaxation and meditation for labor exercises, breathing techniques to manage labor pains, management of pain in childbirth: birth ball exercises and How to maintain control during labor )).
  • Ease of movement. The water relieves your body (and all those pounds more which loads in pregnancy). In this way is you easier to move and change position.
  • More favorable position. The position used frequently in deliveries under the water is “squatting”, which facilitates the opening of the vaginal canal. In addition, the mother and the baby are with the help of the force of gravity to facilitate birth, and being underwater, there is no risk that the baby will fall or hit (more information at: positions for easy natural childbirth )).
  • Less trauma to your baby. The warm water is an environment similar to that housed the baby during the past nine months. In theory, this facilitates its transition to the outside world.
  • Access to drugs. Even if the majority of your body is under the water, you can receive medications or anesthesia IV.
  • Privacy. Once submerged in the water and you are not so exposed.

Risks and disadvantages

Risks and complications in childbirth in the water seem to be few and infrequent, although there is no sufficient evidence to make that you happen. These are the main risks documented so far:

  • Risk of infection. Due to the force you use to bid on your baby, it is normal that you need your intestines during the labor. “Dry” babies this will not affect the birth. In the water, on the other hand, the pollution is inevitable, which increases the risk of infection.
  • Rupture of the umbilical cord. In some reported cases, the umbilical cord broke, causing bleeding. If so, your baby may require a blood transfusion.
  • Inhaling water. The baby can try to breathe when it’s still in the water. The risk of this happening is low, since the reflections of the baby lead him to breathe only when it comes into contact with the air. A study cited by the Professional Royal College of obstetrics and Gynecology of the United Kingdom (RCOG for its acronym in English, reports a case of drowning by inhalation of water during a delivery of this kind.
  • Of labor slowdown. Entering the water very early can cause relax too much and delay of labor. Try to wait for the five centimeters of dilatation prior to entering.
  • Difficulty for fetal monitoring. The major instruments used to for the fetal monitoring are not waterproof. To check the welfare of the baby along of labor it is likely that you should leave the bathtub or pool of labour. Consult your medical center or your specialist if you have Doppler monitors for use under water.
  • Warning signs. Any signs of complication, such as excessive bleeding, stagnation in your work of delivery or fetal distress, requires that you leave the birth tub.

 

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