Water Birth – Labor & Birth In The Bathtub

Have you ever heard about birth in the bathtub? This process is called as water birth.

Water birth in warm water is routine at some centers, but you won’t find it everywhere.

Sometimes you will find bathtubs in some hospital’s labor rooms.

Most of the women want to remain in the water during the labor and then prefer delivery outside. But some other women want to reside in the water for delivery also.

The main reason behind giving birth in water is that, for the 9 months period, your baby grown in the amniotic case and after that birthing into the similar atmosphere is very smoothing for your baby and also less traumatic for you.

Some obstetricians believe that due to the reduction of stress throughout the labor and delivery also decreases the fetal complications. But, when you decide to have water birth, it must be done under the control of an obstetrician.Water birth

Why women prefer labor in the bathtub?

  • After immersion in the warm water, you will feel deep relaxation and reduction of pain. Bathing just prior to the labor stops the labor process. So, immersion is not recommended until 5-6 centimeters of dilation is reached.
  • Immersion in the warm bathtub makes you feel comforting, soothing and relaxing.
  • The warm water increases your energy in the lateral stages of labor.
  • Usually buoyancy decreases your body’s weight, allows new positions and allows free movements. This technique promotes more contraction of the uterine and proper blood circulation thus resulting in lessening your pains, more supply of oxygen for your baby and proper oxygen supplied for the uterine muscles.
  • Warm water immersion often lowers your high blood pressure which is originated from anxiety.
  • Your hormones which cause stress will be decreased thus resulting in the production of endorphins which act as pain inhibitors.
  • You will feel a sense of retreat in the warm water thus releasing your fears, anxiety and inhibitions.
  • Also, water birth is very beneficial for your baby as it offers a similar atmosphere same as the amniotic case.
  • It releases the birth stress in your child thus providing security and reassurance.

Are there any conditions which don’t support water birth?

Preterm labor: Preterm labor or premature birth is birth before 2 weeks or more before the pregnancy due date. In this condition water birth is not recommended.

Preeclampsia: If you have preeclampsia or eclampsia, you should discuss with your doctor whether you can select water birth or not.

Herpes: This disease can easily transfer in the water, so you need to discuss this with your doctor [More about genital herpes].

Twins & multiples: If you have twins or multiples, you should talk with your doctor about your option [Determining twin pregnancy].

Meconium: If there is mild or moderate meconium then it is a normal condition. Usually, meconium helps to wash your baby’s face. But, the condition of severe meconium should be discussed with your doctor.

If you have been diagnosed with the conditions like maternal infection or excessive bleeding then also you can’t prefer water birth.

Are there any risks associated with water birth for you and your baby?

  • Many obstetricians worry about the safety of the water birth. According to the experts, there are some theoretical hazards related with water embolism. This condition occurs when water penetrates into your blood stream.
  • If your baby experiences any pressure in the birth channel or umbilical cord twisted then there may be a chance to grasp the air or inhale fluid into the lungs. But, this is a very rare condition as babies don’t grasp the air until the baby exposed to the air.
  • Another risk associated with water birth is, there is a possibility to break the umbilical cord when the baby brings to the water surface.

You need to be careful in setting the water temperature. Temperature should not be greater than your body temperature so that you and your baby don’t overheat. But, you need to discuss with your doctor about the safety of giving birth in a bathtub.

Often times, midwives are present for water births. For one to become a midwife, she must go through a ms in nursing online program or a certification process of equal value.


  1. However, before getting depressed and sad the first thing you or anyone for that matter should do if they experience any of the symptoms described in this article is to seek medical confirmation of their condition. This is especially true with so many of the signs and symptoms of herpes being similar to other ailments.


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