Benefits of Waterbirth

benefits of waterbirth

Due to it’s benefits, waterbirth has become increasingly popular with expectant families in the recent years. Let’s explore the benefits and possible disadvantages as well as practicalities a little further.

The Benefits of waterbirth:

  • Contractions will more comfortable
  • No known side effects on baby or mum
  • The warm water helps you to relax
  • Being relaxed helps your body to produce more endorphins (natural pain killers)
  • Being relaxed helps your body to produce more oxytocin (makes your contractions more efficient)
  • Less need for medical pain relief
  • Less need for drugs that accelerate labour
  • Shorter labour
  • Added privacy
  • Water supports your weight and makes you feel more comfortable and it will be easier for you to move and change positions.
  • You are more likely to achieve an unassisted vaginal birth
  • The birth is more gentle for your baby
  • Breastfeeding can be encouraged immediately
  • Reduced tearing as the water relaxes you and softens the perineum (the area between your vagina and anus).
  • A more enjoyable experience of labour and birth

Other comfort measures which can be used alongside/inside the pool:

Possible disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for everyone—under certain circumstances using water for labour / birth may not be recommended
  • Not available everywhere—your local birth unit or hospital may have limited or no pools
  • To hire or buy a birth pool for a homebirth can be expensive
  • Your home / hot water system may not be suitable for a pool

Other comfort measures which CANNOT be used inside the pool:

  • Tens machine – however, you can use your tens machine until you enter the pool!
  • Epidural
  • Opioids

Buying or hiring a pool for your homebirth?

There are many different suppliers and manufacturers. In my over 10 years of experiences in the birth world, I found that the pools from ‘Birth Pool in a box’ get the best reviews. Seek out your local homebirth group (if there is one). They may have a free or reduced-cost pool hire scheme. If you are looking to buy a birth pool or have hired or borrowed one and need further equipment, get 10% off everything at the Birth Pool in a Box shop! (Please note, this is an affiliate link!)

References and further reading:

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