Water birth is the process of giving birth in a pool of warm water under controlled and careful conditions, requiring extensive planning and patient education. Water birth offers many physiological benefits to the mother, originating in the 1970’s and gaining popularity in the…
re, improves the mother’s concentration, reduces stress hormones which inhibit oxytocin and the need for an epidural is reduced due to the increased release of hormonal endorphins which make contractions less painful. The perineum becomes more elastic, reducing tears, and the buoyancy created in the pool promotes more efficient contractions and allows greater freedom of movement.
A study completed from March 2001 through April 2004 at a British birthing center evaluated a number of factors in a comparison study. The study aimed to differentiate between ‘pool users’ and ‘pool births,’ women who labored in the pool and those who actually remained in the pool to give birth. Factors evaluated included parity, deciding factors in laboring and delivery within the pool and the effectiveness of the warm water on pain relief.
The study indicated that an equal amount of primigravidae and multigravidae women were interested in the pool and the outcome indicated that 89% of the women who used the pool received both verbal and written information from their midwives during their antenatal appointments and training classes. Pool births increased steadily from 2001-2003 while the number of pool users remained nearly the same. This suggests that the idea of being calm and relaxed appealed to birthing mothers who chose to remain in the pool during the actual birth. 98% insisted they would both recommend using the pool and would also use the pool again themselves.
Reasons for leaving the pool were various and included slowing down contractions when immersion was completed too quickly. This prolonged labor and guidelines were then established to make sure that labor was in an active phase before entering the pool and the majority who decided not to remain the pool left once labor reached the transitional or second stage. Other main reasons for leaving the pool were a prolonged second stage of labor, fetal heart rate deceleration, meconium staining, poor contractions in ...
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On Feb 7th 20515, I attended a childbirth booth camp class which was held on the Sibley Memorial
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