Water solution to the many labour pains

Re-popularised by the West, water births are finding takers. Doctors share pros and  cons about the birthing procedure

Published: 02nd February 2022 06:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2022 06:51 AM   |  A+A-

Pregnant Woman

For representational purposes. (File Photo)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Many pregnant couples have been considering giving water birth a try these days, thanks to the West helping re-popularise what was used by the Middle East aeons ago.

Now, when you hear the term ‘water birth’, many of you may picture the iconic scene from the thriller, A Quiet Place, where Evelyn (Emily Blunt) gives birth to her baby in the bathtub. As close as it is to reality, doctors break the process down for us.

D Bhagya Lakshmi S, consultant obstetrics, gynaecologist and laparoscopic surgeon, starts by explaining what the delivery would look like. “When a woman has a water birth, all or part of her labour and delivery happens in a birth pool. Water birth can take place in some hospitals and birthing centres with tubs.

Alternatively, you can choose to have a water birth at home in the presence of a midwife and other certified healthcare professionals.”

There are several reasons why women have been considering this option. Dr Bhagya lists some. “A water birth is said to ease the pain and make labour quicker. The warm water helps comfort and relax the tense mother. Many also say that it reduces stress harming and lowers blood pressure if the mother is anxious.” 

She says, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee (AOCG), being in water during the first stage of labour is associated with a shorter labour and decreased use of spinal and epidural analgesia too. On some of the disadvantages of water birth, Dr Bhagya says, “When the mother is pushing the baby, her bowel may open in the water. This is very common; it is immediately cleaned by the midwife, but there is a chance of infection.”


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