Water births have grown in popularity over the last few decades. It is now known as an effective form of pain management during labor. Yet, myths about water births weigh so heavily on our mind.
Even though many health care providers support water birth, there is very little research regarding the risks associated with it. Because of that, there is no dearth of misconceptions about it. Here are a few myths that you need to break about water births.
Myth: Water Births Are Painful
Here is the good news. Many women have shared their experience that water birth reduced their labor pain. Even several researchers have pointed out that water immersion during the first stage of labor reduces pain for women. The first stage of labor may go more quickly than you expected. This can even bring down the chances of using epidural. You may feel more in control as water soothes your pain.
Myth: Water Births Reduce Labor Duration
It may not. It will help you cope with the pain. But may not have any positive effect on labor duration. With the easing of the pain, you may navigate through labor better than land birth. As it relaxes you physically, you will feel more relaxed. You will be better focused on the birth process. However, other than easing your journey, it may not speed up your labor.
Myth: My Baby May Drown
Your baby receives all its oxygen supply form the placenta. Even when it comes out of the womb, the same placenta works for your baby. The water, in fact, provides the baby an environment similar to the amniotic sac.
The risk of your baby inhaling water exists only if the baby experiences stress in the birth canal or if the umbilical cord becomes twisted. In such cases, your baby may gasp for air. No need to panic as this is a very rare occurrence.
Remember that your baby normally never inhale until they are exposed to air. The umbilical cord is their source of oxygen until it is cut.
Myth: Risk Of Infection Is High
This is the most common myth among expectant moms. However, chances of infection are not very high in water births.
The concern for many women is that they may release stool in the birthing pool. They fear that it may be a reason for an infection as the baby may swallow contaminated water. But, it is found that the infection rates for water births are less.
Myth: Water Temperature Is A Concern
Your health care provider knows what is best for you. It is true that too hot water may cause overheating and dehydration. But, your practitioner will definitely keep an eye on the temperature. Moreover, your birthing pools are designed to prevent any such issue.
There is no risk involved if you keep the temperature of water at 97 degrees Fahrenheit. You stay well hydrated throughout labor without any other worry.
Myth: Chances Of Water Births Depend On Your Age
Age usually is not a factor. What matters is your health. Water birth is possible for any low-risk pregnancy. If your baby is in a head-down position and you have reached your due date, the doctor will give a go-ahead for water birth.
However, any complication in your pregnancy may stop you from having a water birth. If you have herpes, maternal infection, or preeclampsia, then it is not ideal to choose water birth.
Well, it’s your choice to go for a water birth or not. Before you make a decision, make sure that you consult with your doctor about all the pros and cons.