I have this weird affiliation with water, where I dream about water, and I crave to to be near water (maybe I was a mermaid in a past life!). So, when it came to figuring out my birthing options, it only felt natural to choose a water birth. It was my gut feeling that told me I would find comfort being in the water, while welcoming my baby girl into this world.
Here are my top reasons for choosing a water birth:
Decreases Pain Interventions:
I knew straight from the get-go, I did not want an epidural or any other form of pain relievers. I felt strongly about this for many reasons. Firstly, I am just terrified of the thought of a needle being administered around my spinal cord (I would be that person to suddenly move while the needle is being inserted, lol). Secondly, I generally prefer not having anything foreign injected into my body that would affect my awareness and ability to stay present. Thirdly, as taught in my prenatal classes, such interventions for pain can cause further complications during the delivery process for both baby and mama (so, it was an easy no-no for me).
I chose to have a water birth because of its benefits in helping to promote a natural birth and decreasing the chances of having to use pain relievers. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), buoyancy increases the efficiency of uterine contractions, and promotes blood circulation, which helps to oxygenate uterine muscles, thus less pain for mommy and more oxygen for baby. Thats not all, the APA has also stated that water aids in the reduction of stress related hormones, and the mother’s body then has the ability to produce more endorphins to serve as pain-inhibitors.
Not only does a water birth help a mother to relax physically by increasing the production of endorphins and increase circulation of oxygenated blood—but it helps her to relax mentally as well. In my experience, the warm water was extremely comforting and soothing. I felt mentally relaxed, which allowed me to be tremendously present during the entire birthing process, and be in tune with what my body needed to safely deliver my daughter. Owing to the fact that I was fully present and aware, I can honestly say I experienced zero anxiety and fear.
Midwives are truly phenomenal, because they really gave me the confidence and freedom to honour my body during the birthing process. Having not chosen a traditional hospital-bed birth, I had the ability to position myself in ways that would lessen pain, and that worked for my body (and of course, safe for baby). Most people may not know this, but giving birth while laying on your back is for the comfort and convenience of the OB— rather than optimizing the birthing process for the mother. As I laboured in the warm water, the weight of my body felt lighter, and I felt free to move and change positions that worked with gravity, effortlessly.
I feel very fortunate being able to welcome my little mermaid into the world via water birth. Definitely, everyone’s experiences with water births will vary; however, I am glad I experienced all of the benefits having a water birth had to offer. So if you’ve been considering, or have been on the fence about having a water birth, based on my experience, I would strongly recommend it. I would definitely do it again if there’s ever a baby #2 (haha!).