Every pregnant woman has a lot of decisions to make. And the first time you are pregnant, making these decisions is hard since you don't have a very good idea of what to expect. The best thing you can do for yourself is to ask questions and then seek answers. This applies to the matter of water birth — a birth choice that you may be wondering about. Here are some FAQs about water births that first-time moms often have.
Do you have to have a water birth at home?
When you hear the word "water birth" you may picture someone giving birth at home. Indeed, many women who choose water births do give birth at home. But this is not your only option. Many birth centers with midwives on staff offer water birth as an option. Some hospitals are even beginning to offer water births. If you like the idea of water birth but not home birth, then reach out to local birthing centers and hospitals to see what your options are.
Is water birth safe?
This question is impossible to answer with a simple "yes" or "no." Like all birth options, it has its risks and its rewards. Mothers who give birth in the water do tend to have fewer tears and lacerations. They also tend to stay calmer, which can make for a less traumatic birth. However, water birth does increase the risk of your baby inhaling or coming into contact with your fecal matter. This risk can be greatly reduced by the careful action of your midwife, but it is a risk to consider.
What if you decide you don't want to be in the water?
Many women who plan a water birth worry about this. They are concerned they won't like laboring in the water after all but will be stuck with that option. Thankfully, this really doesn't need to be a concern. If you are laboring in the birthing pool and decide you hate it, you can get out and continue laboring on the bed, or on the sofa, or even on the floor. Most birthing centers have other beds and options set up. And if you give birth at home, you can easily prepare a bed or sofa as a backup option.
Hopefully, this article has answered some of the questions you have about water birth as a first-time mother. It's a lovely way to give birth and a smart choice for many, but it's not for everyone, so don't feel bad if you do decide it's not quite right for you.