Upon learning that I am a hydrologist, a woman in my prenatal yoga class said “Oh, well, it makes sense that you would want a water birth.” The connection wasn’t immediately obvious to me (which I blame on pregnancy brain), and after seeing my wrinkled brow she adds “Water birth for a hydrologist?” Aha! Hadn’t occurred to me before, but perhaps she has something there…
So, why DO I want a water birth, anyway?
First and foremost, because I think a water birth will provide for the kindest, most gentle birth experience for our baby. Birthing our baby in water provides Baby with a more gentle transition from my belly to this world. After living in someone’s nice warm womb for 9 months, wouldn’t you rather stop off in a warm pool of water before you emerge into the air? Plus, because water births are easier on the mama, Mama is happier, less stressed, and the whole process is generally faster and smoother.
What are some of the benefits of water birth? Here are a just a few:
- Baths are relaxing. Being in nice, warm water is relaxing. Being relaxed means easier birth.
- Water means greater mobility, freedom to change position to find the most comfortable position for various stages of labor.
- Reduces pressure on mama’s belly & allows for better circulation (i.e. more oxygen) to mama and baby
- Reduces stress on pelvic floor muscles, allows these muscles to stretch more easily and thus reduces chances of tearing or need for episiotomy
Being relaxed means it is easier for your body to work like it should. Remember that birth is a natural process, one that women are designed for. When allowed to happen as nature intended, mama’s oxytocin and endorphins levels increase, which means labor progresses smoothly and is less painful.
But won’t the baby breathe water and/or drown? Recall that Baby was previously living in amniotic fluid and never accidentally inhaled that nor drowned in the uterus.
Are hydrologists more prone to water births than non-hydrologists? I can’t speak for the rest of them, and can’t say that I know any other hydrologists who have given birth in water. But I can tell you that this hydrologist is very much looking forward to a water birth.