What You Need to Know About Water Birth

If you are looking for a more natural option for labor, you might have come across water birth.

Water birth is a great option for low-risk mothers looking to ease the intensity of labor. Laboring in water promotes relaxation, enables the mother to assume any position which is comfortable for labor and birth and gives some mothers more feelings of control over the process. 

Charleston Birth Place’s top-of-the-line birth suites include large birth pools perfect for those interested in water birth, surrounded by midwives who are experienced and certified in water birth from Water Birth International.

When our bodies are in a large body of water, we become more buoyant and feel lighter. This is great for a laboring mother because it allows her to move her body into different positions more easily, which can help allow the baby to descend through the birth canal. Water birth is a safe, calming option to give birth for both mama and baby. 

Water birth provides many benefits for the mother and baby such as: 

  • Reduces the need for drugs and interventions
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Conserves the mother’s energy
  • Encourages an easier birth for the mother and a gentler welcome for the baby

A common question that many mothers ask when considering a water birth is how the babies know not to breathe underwater or how they don’t have issues with getting water in their lungs when they are born. 

Babies are in fluid all throughout pregnancy in the amniotic sac, so they are used to being encompassed in water. The baby receives all of their oxygen from the umbilical cord from mom, but they learn how to use their lungs by practicing breathing amniotic fluid. 

In a water birth, babies are coming into the world from one warm body temperature water into another warm body temperature of water, so they don’t experience that cold air instantly hitting them in the face, which is the trigger for them to take that large breath. 

Instead, they are gently carried up out of the water, and as their face hits the air above the water,  they take that first breath. Throughout this time, the baby is still attached to the umbilical cord that is supplying them with all of that oxygenated blood flow that keeps them safe.

The most important thing to keep in mind is choosing a birthing plan that is right for you and your little one, whether that is a water birth or not. If you want to talk more about water birth at Charleston Birth Place or learn about your other options, send us a message!