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What is water birth?: Explained

By Preeti

Former South African batsman and the fielding coach of IPL team Mumbai Indians became a proud father of a baby girl on Thursday, April 23.

Rhodes named her as India Jeanne Rhodes as his wife Melanie Jeanne delivered the baby at a Santa Cruz hospital in Mumbai. Rhodes' baby girl was born by natural "water birth".

As many of us wonder about what is "water birth", let us know more about it.


What is water birth?

  • The technique, also known as "hydrotherapy" was first used in France in 1803 and is quite popular in Western countries as doctors feel that it not only makes deliveries more comfortable for women but also prevent any infection or complications.
  • Water birth is an ancient technique that plays a crucial role in reducing labour pain for women during normal delivery and avoid cesarean section.
  • The mother in labor is immersed in pool of adequately warm water.
  • With increased tension, fear, anxiety and stress level, many pregnant women are opting for water birth technique for the delivery of their babies.

Benefits of water birth

  • Water helps provide relief to women in labour and facilitates child birth. Hydrotherapy can be complimented by aromatherapy, massages for relaxation. [Use water birth tech to reduce labour pain, avoid ceasarean]
  • Immersion in warm water raises the body temperature and causes the blood vessels to dilate, resulting in increased blood circulation thereby lowering blood pressure of a labouring woman and decreases any fluid retention or swelling.
  • It also ensures more blood and oxygen reaching the labouring uterine muscles.
  • The hydrostatic pressure of water relieves the discomforts of contraction while easing muscular tension and enhances relaxation during and between contractions.
  • A relaxed body stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers.
  • Moreover, warm water immersion in labour helps in diminishing stress hormones, catecholamine and adrenalin, which are responsible for release of oxytocin and slowing down labour.
  • It also creates comfort for the baby, provide relief in back pain and helps in breathing.
  • The technique not only improves the chances of normal delivery but also removes the use of any painkiller and other drugs required in the conventional method.
      It also prevents chances of any infections to the new born and mother.
  • Birthing in water is considered to be one of the most beneficial options for a woman and her baby. It creates a naturally calm and peaceful atmosphere and allows the freedom of movement and pain release.
  • Risks of water birth

  • Application of water birth technique requires a far greater rigour than the conventional deliveries as it takes more time and one has to arrange huge amounts of processed water of the highest quality and the medical practitioner must be highly motivated to tread a different path. [10 Ways To Speed Up Labour Pain]
    • If baby starts crying as soon as its head is out then there is a chance that it might swallow some water. The water will contain the mother's blood or may be other waste that comes out when the water breaks. This might lead to infections.

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