The Benefits of a Water Birth to Mom & Baby

If you’re considering a natural pregnancy and birth, you’ll probably want to add home or birth center water birth to the list of topics you and your husband are studying. While this process of giving birth in a carefully controlled water tub has been slow to catch on in hospitals, more of them are offering this service to expectant mothers than ever before. This is largely because of the overwhelming benefits of a water birth for both mother and baby, which are listed below.

Pain Management

The decrease in delivery pain provided by a water birth is second only to a hospital’s epidural anesthesia, which means that it’s extremely effective in reducing mom’s pain. Having a water birth is a better way to control pain than using any type of pain medication (except the epidural), and it’s undoubtedly the healthiest way. So if you’re hesitant to use drugs or anesthesia during your birth process, rest assured that you can avoid these potential dangers while keeping your pain under control naturally.

Avoidance of Epidural Anesthesia

Many moms-to-be decide against epidural anesthesia for a variety of reasons. A lot of those reasons have to do with the negative effects of an epidural on both mother and baby, so having a home or birth center water birth will enable you to avoid these effects entirely. Here are some of the complications linked to epidurals, all of which are less likely to occur in water births:

  • Decreased uterine function and longer births
  • Increased rate of operative deliveries (c-sections and use of forceps or vacuum extraction)
  • Unsuccessful positioning of the fetus for normal birth, most likely caused by the epidural’s tendency to impede the mother’s pelvic muscle function
  • Mother’s hypotension (low blood pressure), which can cause a dangerously low fetal heart rate
  • Mother’s fever during labor, which often results in antibiotic treatment and longer hospitalization for the baby
  • Mother’s inability to move or walk during labor, feel contractions, know when to push, and help the birth process along by using pelvic muscles.

Water Birth
Decreased Potential for Tearing

Women who give birth in the water have fewer tears occurring during the birthing process. This results in fewer stitches and a faster recovery time after delivery. The decrease in tears is most likely due to the mother’s ability to relax more successfully in the water. 

Better Mobility & Relaxation for Mom

Even when a new mom has been pregnant for what seems like an endless number of months and has dealt with the difficulty of moving her larger body through space, water has the effect of helping her feel mobile, comfortable, and even graceful again. That “weightless” feeling that results from being partially submerged in water helps her move throughout labor and delivery, enabling her to provide more assistance to the baby moving through the birth canal. The relaxing effects of a warm bath also help mom to feel less pain and stress, making the birthing process more comfortable for her and the baby.

Faster Birth with Fewer Complications

In the end, having a water birth means fewer complications (like c-sections and other drastic interventions) and tends to speed up the delivery process naturally. Because mom can control her muscles and respond to her contractions without feeling as much pain as she would with a “dry” birth, she can provide more pushing force to help the baby emerge faster. A shorter labor and delivery period can mean less pain, stress, and recovery time – what mom wouldn’t want that?

If you’re considering a water birth, your next step is to find a local birth center that provides this service or a midwife and doula who can come to your home, then find out about the processes and policies involved for each option. This can help you decide for certain whether or not you’re interested in having a water birth. Maria Rainer

Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online degrees, and what it takes to succeed as a student getting an online masters degree from home. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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The Lie of the EDD: Why Your Due Date Isn’t when You Think

Click here to read this great article about due dates and how the current thinking was developed.

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Guest Post from Luna Maya on Intimacy

This week in Family Circle we talked about intimacy. The family’s had asked to talk about sex, but I thought before talking about sex life after the baby, perhaps we should talk about intimacy first. We sometimes give sex and our sex life a lot of weight and consider that either we have a sex life or we don’t. That if we have sex, we have intimacy as a couple and if we don’t we don’t. And this is a measurement of our relationship.

What we challenged the families is to think of Areas of Intimacy, as gradients, or degrees, Continue Reading »

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Mothers in Action

I just finished shooting the fundraising video for the Midwives and Mothers in Action Campaign. Visit the MAMA campaign website at These are truly mothers in action! We all need to pull together to help Certified Professional Midwives get recognized on the federal level. We need to ensure that our sons and daughters have much greater access to midwifery care when they get older. Visit the MAMA Campaign website and become a Mother in Action. We need your help!

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Natural Childbirth

If you are enjoying a natural pregnancy and considering natural childbirth, you already believe in yourself. You want to give your child a safe and healthy start.

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Natural Pregnancy Information

Pregnancy is natural. Work with it naturally.

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Natural Pregnancy Source

The New Family

Mothers Naturally is your best source for information about natural pregnancy and natural childbirth. We provide many answers to common pregnancy questions as well as the latest natural pregnancy research.

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