Different birthing options are now available to make the whole birthing process easy and comfortable. Apart from giving birth at a hospital, it is now possible to give a water birth at home or a birthing center.
Here the mother submerges herself in warm water to ease the pain and discomfort of labor. Mothers who want natural childbirth without any medication or epidural opt for a water birth.
What is a Water Birth Tub?
A water birth tub is a huge tub in which a pregnant woman sits to give birth to the baby. These are inflatable tubs that are large enough for 1-2 people. Since the tub is spacious, you can sit and move whichever way you want to get a comfortable position. The sides of the tub are of an ideal height that you can hold on to it while pushing.
The water birth tub comes with a lining on the floor of the tub. In addition, the tub needs a floating thermometer to detect the temperature of the water. Ideally, the temperature should be between 95 to 100 degrees to closely resemble your body temperature. A submersible water pump is also required to remove the dirty water.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Water Birth Tub?
The benefits of using a water birth tub include:
- Reduces labor pain considerably. The need for medication and epidural can be considerably reduced while giving birth in a water birth tub.
- Offers more comfort during contraction.
- Duration of labor gets reduced while giving birth in a water birth tub.
- Since you are in a sitting position and can move freely in a water birth tub, it provides you a better sense of control.
Overall, giving birth in a water birth tub provides better relaxation during the early stage of labor.
When Can You Not Use a Water Birth Tub?
Using a water birth tub is not recommended if continuous fetal monitoring is required. Thus, under the following circumstances you cannot use a water birth tub.
- If you had a previous C-section or difficult labor.
- If you have complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia or herpes.
- If your baby is in a breech position.
- If you are carrying multiples.
- If you are giving birth preterm.
A water birth tub is usually recommended during the first stage of labor when the pain builds up. It is not recommended during the second stage when the cervix is fully dilated and you are ready to push. There is no sufficient data regarding the risk of immersion in water during the second stage of labor. Thus, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists doesn’t recommend underwater birth.
If you are planning to undergo birth in a water birth tub, you should first discuss the same with your doctor. The doctor will typically approve this method if you’re not under high risk complications.