Water Birth Versus Natural Birth: Pain Management And Risks

Water birth is also considered a natural birth in a warm tub of water. The difference is in the natural and water birth come from the step-by-step variation involved in each of them.

Water birth is when either the labor (or apart of labor), birth or both happen when the mother is in a pool f warm water. It can happen at the hospital or home with the assistance of a doctor or midwife. Natural birth is when the mother labors and delivers the baby sans medication, giving the full control to your body for a process that is completely natural.


Both processes include vaginal delivery. The main difference, however, is the use of water bath. Let us have a better understanding of both the process of birth.

What Is The Setup Followed For Natural And Water Birth

Natural birth usually happens at a birth center or at the hospital. There are minimal to no medical intervention and no monitoring through the equipment.


Water birth can happen at a hospital or in the comfort of your own home. Portable water tubs provide mothers the convenience of birthing inside the four walls of their own room. The use of the tub is only restricted to the time until the cervix dilates to its maximum capacity during labor. Post that, the mother could give birth either be in the tub or on the delivery bed.

If the water tub is chosen for the delivery, the mother is asked to submerge her lower body in the water by sitting normally or in a reclining position. The water temperature is controlled for the comfort of the mother and the delivery of the baby.


How Does Pain Management Take Place Natural And Water Birth

If the mother has opted for a natural birth, she starts with preparing herself for the natural delivery both physically and mentally. A drug-free delivery means that she won’t be having epidural as a pain inhibitor. However, there would be other pain-reducing techniques that are natural.

The medical intervention is only needed if any complication arises during the delivery. It is necessary to have a supportive doula, doctor or midwife during the birth, for which the couple must plan beforehand—discuss your plans with the caregiver.


Warm water has a benefit of providing a soothing effect to the mother during labor. Water birth has also shown to reduce the chances of tearing. Unlike hospitals, where the mother doesn’t have the liberty to move around, water birth allows her to move freely and change positions as per her comfort.

Risks Involved In The Both Procedures

Natural birth is only recommended for low-risk pregnancies. Fear and stress can increase the pain of labor—. Mothers are advised to learn and understand more about natural birth and plan for it beforehand. It is also important to learn the pain management techniques that will help you during labor. Have someone experienced by your side, either a doula or your partner, who will support you throughout the labor and birth.


Water birth is not recommended for mothers who have had previous complications, are having twins, breech baby, macrosomia, premature delivery or have a history of excess bleeding. Like natural birth, you must be prepared in your mind that the process will involve next to nil pain inhibition. There is also a risk of infection from the bacteria lurking in the tub, which still makes it a not-so-famous option for birthing.

In both cases, it is important that the couple plans well before their delivery and the mother is aware of the pros and cons of both the procedures. If you have resolved for it, make sure you have the best of doctors or midwives to support you.