Childbirth in water: the pros and cons
Preparation for childbirth should be comprehensive: you need to train the body during pregnancy, prepare the psyche for the upcoming test, and plan where you will give birth and in what way. There are different options for obstetric aid, of which a pregnant woman chooses the right one for herself. Here we do not take into account the circumstances when the birth is unsuccessful or unplanned, or circumstances force us to resort to mechanical delivery.
Firstly, it is necessary to decide whether you will give birth at home, in the maternity hospital, or if you prefer to go on stationary observation in advance: each woman finds for herself different disadvantages and advantages in the environment during childbirth.
In addition to differences in the situation, childbirth is divided according to the position taken by the woman in labor, according to the additional measures that are taken to reduce pain, increase comfort, or reduce the likelihood of an unhappy outcome. One of the original ways are water delivery. Medicine looks at this option differently: the number of opponents and supporters of underwater childbirth is approximately equal, since the ratio of pros and cons here varies. The method is relatively new, unconventional, which causes mistrust, but every year it is more and more mastered, and the number of babies born under water is growing.
The main advantage of this option – the relief of pain during labor. What makes this happen? Remember the law of Archimedes in a ridiculous formulation: “The body, immersed in the water, sticks to freedom with the power of the protruded water …”? 🙂 So, without going into physical details, we can say that water just lifts the woman, relieves tension in the back muscles, birth canal and abdomen, reduces weight, helping to reduce pain. The deeper a woman in labor is immersed in water, the greater the volume she pushes out, and the more the back muscles relax. Water affects millions of tactile receptors, as if someone gives you a continuous massage of all parts of the body. You should not expect that the pain will disappear altogether, but the experience of many women suggests that water is the most effective natural tool for easing contractions.
The second advantage of such obstetric aid is that, plunging into the bathroom with warm, pleasant water, you relax psychologically: stress hormones are replaced by pain reduction hormones.
In addition, the woman in the water can take any comfortable position. Many women who gave birth in the usual way said that they were all the time afraid to move and thereby increase the pain. Being supported by water, the woman in labor can float freely until she finds the most comfortable position for herself. Being in the water makes the birth process more natural.
The results of childbirth in water differ most often in that:
childbirth is faster;
opening the uterus more efficiently – 2.5 centimeters per hour versus 1.25 centimeters per hour for women who have not taken advantage of the water during childbirth;
the speed of lowering the fetus was twice as high;
the percentage of cesarean sections is lower than with traditional births in a hospital;
in women in high-risk groups, due to high blood pressure, the pressure in water is significantly reduced.
Childbirth into the water is not yet actively supported by official Russian medicine (only a few specialized maternity hospitals in Russia can carry out such a birth), although this species has been practiced here for more than 40 years. According to the Association of Parental Culture and Spiritual Obstetrics, in Moscow about a thousand are born in their home baths in a year, in St. Petersburg – about three hundred babies. In some, as a rule, paid, the chambers have special baths or pools, but more often this method is used at home. Here the defects of childbirth in water also surface. Most often, a woman spends in the pool the first period of labor – the period of contractions and disclosure of the birth canal. After this period ends and a period of exile begins, the woman gives birth in the usual way.
But part of the birth completely takes place in the water and in some cases it creates extreme situations that are very difficult to correct, since the birth can take place rapidly and it is almost impossible to predict all possible complications.
For carrying out childbirth in the water (and actually any birth at home) there are a number of strict limitations. Childbirth in water is contraindicated in women:
with narrow pelvis or excessively large fruit;
diagnosed with placenta previa or pelvic presentation of the fetus;
with diseases of the cardiovascular system;
with drug addiction.
Waterbirths are suitable for healthy women, without complicated pregnancies, who have undergone special training courses for aquatic childbirth, ideally engaged in gymnastics for pregnant women.
The reason for the low demand for such births in modern medicine is that the method is still dangerous for the child and requires high professionalism from an obstetrician, in whom it is not always possible to be one hundred percent certain.