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Water Birth

Water Birth

Some women choose to give birth in a traditional hospital setting; others choose to deliver their child in a home setting where they feel most comfortable. Still other women choose a different route: that of the water birth, or experiencing labor in a pool of water, or even delivering their child in such a location. Generally speaking, a water birth involves a midwife and a home setting rather than a clinical one, though this is not always the case; for some women, these environmental elements alone make the entire process easier and more comfortable. While research is still unclear about the validity of these claims, it is believed that water births can ease pain, keep a woman from needing anesthesia during a difficult child labor, or even speed up the laboring process. Some evidence suggests that water births improve blood flow to the uterus or help prevent the need for an episiotomy during labor, but, again, these claims need confirmation via additional research.

By the time the cervix is dilated, a woman has reached the point in her labor where it is unclear if a water birth is harmful. If something were to go wrong during the laboring process, trying to help a pregnant woman exit the birthing pool might deprive them of necessary time to solve the more pressing issue. Issues of infection for the child or the mother, ingestion of bath water by the child, or deregulation of the baby's temperature are all factors to consider before determining if something needs to be said or done. Ultimately, the decision as to whether this is a viable avenue remains with the mother and her physician; having all the necessary information ensures she will make the best choice for herself and for her baby.

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Water Birth Research Papers

Research papers on water birth discuss the choice that some women make to deliver their babies in a pool of water with a midwife present.

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