Water Birth Safety
Unfortunately, not much research has been conducted to analyze the safety of water birthing. Nevertheless, most health professionals believe that it is quite safe. Many of the concerns that some people have expressed over the risks of water birthing are theoretical. Nonetheless, it is important to consider the potential risks of water birth and discuss the risks with a doctor.
A water embolism could occur if water enters a woman’s bloodstream while she is giving birth in water. This could lead to a blockage in a vein or artery, which could cause a stroke or other serious complications. However, there have been no documented cases of a water embolism caused by water birthing.
During delivery in a water birthing tub, the baby could possibly inhale water while in the birth canal. The baby receives air via the umbilical cord during the birth process. There is a miniscule risk that the umbilical cord could get twisted or kinked during birth, which could theoretically cause the baby to gasp for air.
There is also a very slight risk to the woman and infant of infection from the water birth tub. Stringent sanitizing requirements make this highly unlikely, though. The risk is no greater than the risk of infection from hospital equipment or instruments.
Why Choose Water Birth?
There are many benefits of water birth. Giving birth in water has been shown to significantly reduce a woman’s stress, anxiety, and discomfort. A woman can easily change positions in a water birth pool. The water lessens the strain on a woman’s body, reducing pain. Water softens the woman’s skin, which can lessen tearing during delivery. Water birthing may also be less traumatic for the infant since the environment in the birthing tub is similar to the environment in the womb.
Water Birthing, a Viable Birth Option
Water birth is a viable birth option for women who seek an alternative to traditional labor and delivery. Water has been shown to be very soothing for women in labor, lessening their feelings of tension and pain during childbirth. Water birth is considered by most health professionals to be safe, posing minimal risks to mother and baby.