West Suburban Midwives is proud to be one of the few practices offering waterbirth in the greater Chicago area.
Some of the benefits to laboring and giving birth in water...
- Greater comfort and mobility. The mother has much greater ease and freedom to move spontaneously and to change position to assist the descent of the baby. Immersion reduces opposition to gravity; supports the mother's weight so that her energy can be used to cope with the contractions.
- Reduction of pressure on the abdomen. Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and better blood circulation, resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
- Promotes deeper relaxation. As a woman relaxes deeply in water, her labor becomes more efficient. Water can be an effective way to stimulate dilation of the cervix when the mother has difficulty progressing into the active stage of labor.
- Water minimizes pain. Water stimulates the touch and temperature nerve fibers in the skin. It blocks impulses from the pain fibers, known as the Gate Theory of Pain.
- Lowering of blood pressure. When anxiety is causing high blood pressure, immersion in water often helps lower it.
- Change of consciousness. Immersion in the water helps relieve anxiety and promotes relaxation. Water helps a woman to let go and focus inward as labor strengthens.
- Facilitates the second stage of labor. Many mothers are less inhibited in the water. The warm water softens the vagina, vulva, and perineum, leading to fewer injuries to these tissues.
- Empowerment of the mother. When a woman delivers her baby while remaining awake, aware and in control, her birth experience is greatly enhanced and becomes a source of great personal strength and power that enriches her life forever.
There are some circumstances that risk out of having a waterbirth:
- Current infection or fever
- Thick meconium
- Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40 (laboring in the tub supported)
- Risk of shoulder dystocia (laboring in the tub supported)
To learn more about waterbirth, visit the website for Waterbirth International.