Water birth or not?

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mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272
Water birth or not?

Has anyone here had experience with births both in the water and out?

I've wanted a water birth since my first but it wasn't an option that was available to me until now. Our hospital installed a birthing tub about a month after I gave birth to DS so I could have one this time. I got to thinking about it today and honestly it isn't as appealing to me anymore. I had a wonderful birthing experience with DS, I got to pull him out myself and his eyes locked with mine as I pulled him up to my chest with DH right next to me. I guess I'm kind of worried that maybe being in the birthing tub will 'seperate' me from DH and having the water barrier when he first comes out might take away something? DH is adament that if I have a water birth he's not going to be in the tub and he would prefer that I don't but of course ultimately it's up to me.
I do love water, I've been a water person since I was born. I take baths all the time, especially when I'm in pain or uncomfortable, but I know I can handle labor without water too since I've done it. Another thing is, from my understanding the birthing tub is in a special room. Our hospital has you stay in the same room for labor, delivery and postpartum and I liked it that way. I wonder if that will make a difference. Of course I have plenty of time too, so maybe I'll go back to feeling strongly about wanting one before the baby is born. I have my 1st midwife appt on Tuesday so I'm not sure if you have to let them know you want it before you go into labor or if it's something you can decide while in labor. Has anyone had an experience with a hospital water birth?

So, anyone who has had both? What was your experience? Were they pretty equal? Loved the waterbirth(s) and wouldn't have it any other way? Thought both were nice for different reasons? Would prefer an out of water birth?

HockeyTownMom's picture
Joined: 05/20/02
Posts: 417

Every pregnancy is different as well as every labor. Just follow what your body is telling you and birth where ever feels comfortable. Have the tub ready in case you decide to go in. If it's working for you, stay there. If it's not get out. You don't have to decide now. Wink

Joined: 01/22/07
Posts: 170

"HockeyTownMom" wrote:

Every pregnancy is different as well as every labor. Just follow what your body is telling you and birth where ever feels comfortable. Have the tub ready in case you decide to go in. If it's working for you, stay there. If it's not get out. You don't have to decide now. Wink

This is my plan!

I too love the water but I know I may not at the time. I am just going to go with what feels right at the time!

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

i've never had one, but the thought appeals to me... i suppose it depends on how everything falls into place, i can see how a waterbirth could be messy, but if its a long drawn out labor maybe the water will be the only thing to keep a woman sane and focused.

i'm planning on calling it when i get there- if i get in the tub and love it, i just might stay and if i want out or i want to try other things, i'll do that too.

emansmom's picture
Joined: 03/24/09
Posts: 752

Mandi-- I had both and 100% prefer the water birth!! I know everyone is different and some don't like the water. You probably won't know what you want to do until you are in Labor. I personally will never give birth out of water again. I just found it so incredibly relaxing and peaceful. I was only in the water for about 50 minutes before I had Lola (I only got the birth center 50 mins before she was born). She came out and the midwife (who was behind me) pushed her to me under water and I was able grab her up. My husband was not in the tub but right next to me. After I brought her to my chest we were able to lay back for a few minutes and that was just awesome. The water really wasn't gross until the placenta was born. Then all the blood came and I got out of the water and into bed at that point.

Here are a few pics to help you visualize it better,

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Both my babies were born in the water. But really, it's not about the birth in the water, so much as the labour in the water.

I was able to pull both my babies to me immediately and relax with them in the water. And both were born in different positions. One squatting, the other all fours. And there was NO WAY I was getting out of that tub just cause I was 10cm and pushing.

You have a ways to go before deciding. Maybe watch some videos of waterbirth to see if it truly appeals to you!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

I've only had a water birth but I'll chime in. It was AMAZING! I certainly can't say that it wouldn't have been amazing had I not been in the water but I can't imagine doing it any other way. Like Jordan said, it's more about the labor than the actual birth. I had the tub there in case I felt like getting in. When labor really started to kick in all I wanted to do was get in and when I did, it was heaven. But, some women I know have said they got in the tub and hated it. Who knows, maybe next time I'll hate it. Water happened to compliment my labor perfectly. I spent most of my labor on all fours with my belly in the water and cold towels on my back. When it came to the big finale, I flipped over and pushed with my back against one wall and my feet pushed up against the other. This felt really good for me but other women who have labored in that very same tub didn't feel comfortable. When my DD emerged, I grabbed her and pulled her up onto my chest. I felt no barrier. In fact, the feeling of the water surrounding us made me feel so secure. A few minutes after she was born, I noticed that my husband was in the tub with me. I wasn't even aware of where he was for the last 45 minutes or so. But I labor very internally. If you're the same way and DH won't get in the tub, perhaps it won't matter. Or perhaps your DH will hop in after all. My DH wasn't sure how he was going to participate. We played it by ear and it turned out perfectly. I think next time I might ask him to catch the baby. I caught this one so I think he deserves a chance ;).

Having the option is the most important part. You can always try it out and see if you like it!

ETA:
Here's my birth story with pics if you're interested! It's Hypnobirthing/babies friendly.
http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/showpost.php?p=8163011&postcount=3

Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621

I haven't had both since I've only had one birth, but the one thing I realized with my last birth is that I'm not planning on anything 100%. I labored in the tub and it was AWESOME! I can *still* remember the feeling of sinking into that water! In fact, I loved it so much, I've been a bit worried that I have put it up on a pedestal and that it won't feel as good as I remember this time!

I did not birth in the tub. It just didn't feel good for me to push there. So that's why I say nothing 100%! I would love to have this next one in the tub, but again, if it doesn't feel good to push there, I won't. It's kind of as you go, I think! Our new birth center also has a huge shower in each room, so I may utilize that this time...who knows!

As far as baby with you...my friend just had a water VBAC and she was the one who pulled her daughter out and put her on her chest. I'm not sure if her husband was in with her or not....I don't think so but b/c she didn't want him there...she was more comfy by herself.

I didn't have DH with me in the tub, but it was kind of small. The one at my new birth center is huge and he could easily fit, but honestly I don't know if I'll want him in...just wait and see I guess!

renee24's picture
Joined: 08/06/06
Posts: 1096

I didn't get to have a water birth as my hospital didn't have the option. Now I don't know if getting in the tub is different when you're further along in labor, but when I was at the start, I hopped in at home, it felt horrible to me. The idea of a tub birth really appeals to me but I'm afraid that if I get the chance I'll hate it. Like others, I'd just play it by ear if I got the chance. It never hurts to try.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I've also only had one birth. I was in the tub at home and at the hospital. The tub at home was a deep tub, but standard width and I was very uncomfortable. At the hospital the tub was deeper yet and a bit wider, but I was still very uncomfortable. I ended up not spending much time at all in the tub, which was surprising to me, as I was FOR SURE I would love it and want to stay in the whole time. I love the idea of a water birth. I still love the idea of a water birth, but, I feel like I would need a deep (like so I could be in up to my shoulders while sitting or kneeling) pool, not just a tub. Also the water was too hot in both of the tubs I was in, and I was already hot due to laboring, so that just made it worse.

(By the way, Marcia, did the midwives take those pics? My friend who gave birth at the Greenhouse has SUCH great photos that her midwives took. I was so jealous! I'm still trying to figure out how I could live in Kalamazoo, but birth at the Greenhouse...)

mommys's picture
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 6264

I didn't get to deliver in the water, but my hospital had tubs in every room that could be used for laboring. I absolutely loved laboring in the water.

emansmom's picture
Joined: 03/24/09
Posts: 752

"Marite13" wrote:

I've also only had one birth. I was in the tub at home and at the hospital. The tub at home was a deep tub, but standard width and I was very uncomfortable. At the hospital the tub was deeper yet and a bit wider, but I was still very uncomfortable. I ended up not spending much time at all in the tub, which was surprising to me, as I was FOR SURE I would love it and want to stay in the whole time. I love the idea of a water birth. I still love the idea of a water birth, but, I feel like I would need a deep (like so I could be in up to my shoulders while sitting or kneeling) pool, not just a tub. Also the water was too hot in both of the tubs I was in, and I was already hot due to laboring, so that just made it worse.

(By the way, Marcia, did the midwives take those pics? My friend who gave birth at the Greenhouse has SUCH great photos that her midwives took. I was so jealous! I'm still trying to figure out how I could live in Kalamazoo, but birth at the Greenhouse...)

Yes the one of the Midwives and her birth assistant took over 200 pics from the time we walked in the door until we left. I am SO glad they do that for every family!! It is a giant perk of birthing there (among a million other reasons) It is so nice to have all these photos that would have otherwise not been taken since I only had my hubby with me and he was busy Smile
Yeah that is a bit of a drive (like 1.5 hrs?) BUT they have had moms come from further than that to birth there!! I think they have had a couple families like 3ish hrs away birth there!! If I remember right one did a birth story that is on the website. You would just have to get into the car as soon as you were a little bit in labor. I live 30 mins from the GBC but it took us like 45 mins to get there when I was in labor (the roads were icy) and although it sucked big time (because I waited until I was in transition to leave the house) it was VERY much worth it! I am 100% sure I would have driven 1.5 hrs if I had to, I would just make sure I left the house sooner. The place is just amazing!!! When was your friend's baby born and what is her baby's name (if you don't mind me asking)? I want to go see her baby's pic on the website Smile

ETA: Birth Stories from moms with a long drive to GBC Smile
These first 2 are from the same mom but different baby
http://greenhousebirthcenter.com/Lysander%27s_BirthStory.htm
http://greenhousebirthcenter.com/Faolan%20Leif%27s%20Birth%20Story.html

You are not going to believe this next one, she drove 9,000 MILES at 9 months pregnant to give birth there!!!!!
http://greenhousebirthcenter.com/James_Michael_birthstory.html

I swear there is one where the family had a 3 hr drive but I cannot find it.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

His name is James, born on Aug 15 (I think!). Smile You know the thing is, I was actually living out in South Haven during my pregnancy, and drove from South Haven to Kalamazoo (45 mins) while in early labor... so when I think about it like that, it totally wouldn't have been that hard to drive a bit further...had I known the drive was longer, I would have left earlier. That said, I would like to just do a home birth as well. Then I wouldn't have to drive anywhere- just have to get DH to agree to that!

emansmom's picture
Joined: 03/24/09
Posts: 752

Yeah a homebirth would probably be the best option because you are right, no drive! I am thinking that is the route I am going to go with #3 (whenever that may be). I will only do it if the Greenhouse midwives attend (which they occasionally do for previous GBC patients) otherwise I will just go to the GBC again. Oh I added some birth stories on my last post of moms who had long drives to the GBC Smile

James is a cutie!!

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

Thanks for the stories! I'm hoping that I have the option to decide when I'm in labor, I just don't know how it works yet since it's in a different room than the standard L&D rooms, I would assume they have a bed in the room also but I'm not even sure if there is that.
I can relate to worrying that y next labor/birth won't seem as 'perfect'. It was really great with DS, not perfect but overall as good as my body will allow Wink My body is very 'efficient' when it comes to transition and birth so it's fast and furious. My placenta with DS came out a minute after he was born! Not that I'm complaining but things can get a little hectic.
I am still so early but I think I might ask to see the tub, I just can't even picture it right now and maybe that's part of my hesitation.
I'd *love* a birth center birth if it were an option around here. The hospital I will deliver at is really great though, as close to a birth center as a hospital can get.

Sandradee84's picture
Joined: 08/02/08
Posts: 229

I just had a water birth with my little on in December and it was FANTASTIC. I cant wait to do it again Smile