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Water Births Rss

Please tell me about your experience/s?

Pros? Cons?


There's several threads about water birth in the Homebirth section if you want to have a look.

Hiya, here's my water birth story. Enjoy! I loved my water birth, there were no con's for me, only pro's but everyone is different. Go in with an open mind and you will be fine smile it's kinda long, sorry!

I was due on Sunday the 18th of June and every little bit of me was determined not to go overdue so in the week leading up to this date I started rubbing clary sage oil into my belly and bathing with it, acupressure and brisk walking. To no avail Sunday came and went with no action but a moderately soft and shortening cervix discovered through an internal exam 2 days before my due date.

The Wednesday evening following my due date I started having mild contractions that were about 10 minutes apart but not becoming any stronger or closer together. I thought it was early labour so alerted the Birth Centre and went to bed to get some rest. I slept through the night and woke in the morning to find the contractions had stopped. This happened again on Thursday evening and once again they had stopped when I woke up Friday morning. I had an appointment with my midwife that afternoon at which she did another internal and a stretch and sweep. I was booked in to have my waters broken the following Monday if I hadn’t gone into labour over the weekend. I had some more mild contractions that night but had convinced myself that the baby was never coming out and ignored them and they had once again vanished when I woke up on Saturday morning. (I look back on these now and realize they were just Braxton hicks).

I went to bed at about 10:30pm on Saturday night feeling extremely restless. I dozed on and off until about 1:00am Sunday morning when I started having mild contractions again. I went back to sleep only to be woken at 3:30am with a very strong contraction. I got out of bed and went to the toilet and felt my hind waters break as I sat down. I started timing the contractions which were coming every 2-4minutes and lasting anywhere between 20 seconds and a minute long. They were intensifying quite quickly so I soon realized it wasn’t another false alarm and in fact labour. I rang the Birth Centre and as I was coping ok with the contractions and being my first baby the midwife suggested I stay at home as long as I could (which I wanted to do anyway). By 4:20am the contractions were coming every 2minutes and had intensified so much that I couldn’t time them any more. I got into the shower at 4:30am and stayed there until 5:00am when I got out and got dressed and rang the midwife again. She asked if I wanted to come in and I wasn’t sure so she said stay home a little longer but call back the minute you’re not coping and then come in. By 6:00am I was ready to go to the hospital.

The car ride to the hospital was difficult as I was feeling nauseated but the contractions slowed down a bit so I got some rest in between. We arrived at the hospital at 6:45am and went straight into one of the Birth Centre rooms. I dealt with the contractions by walking around a bit and also by leaning over the sink (cause’ I was still feeling really sick).

My mum arrived not long after we did so she could see the birth of her first grandchild. At about 7:15am my midwife Jo (who I had become familiar with after having my four previous appointments with) did an internal and found that I was 3-4cm dilated. She then asked if I wanted them to run the bath and I told them I definitely did as the contractions were coming thick and fast and I was having trouble breathing through and coping with them. It took about 15 minutes for the bath to fill and once my body hit the warm water I completely relaxed (about 7:30am).It was at this stage that my student midwife Lindsay arrived. Although the contractions were still coming as intense and fast as before the water really helped to take the edge off them. I was in the water for about ½ an hour (about 8:00am) when I was no longer coping with the contractions as well as I was when I first entered the bath. It was at this stage I asked for some pain relief and started using the gas. This worked fantastically for me and soon I was no longer feeling the intensity of the contractions, which was great as I relaxed even more. At about 9:30am as each contraction came I felt the urge to push and my body also started involuntarily pushing for me. For me the pushing stage was not painful at all and I actually enjoyed it very much. I didn’t get the stinging sensation that had been described to me, as I was pushing the head out, only the feeling of euphoria as I knew that each push was bringing me closer to the moment I would meet my baby.

Izaak Ashley entered the world at 9:47am, peacefully into the water. He was then placed on my chest for our first cuddle. He weighed 8lb 11oz and was 51.5cm long… I got away with just two small grazes.

I spent most of my labour with my last baby in the bath and only got out when I was ready to push. I had a completely pain free labour/birth.

natural pain relief (my own experience & recent studies confirm that it is better pain relief than pethadine, gas & air)
decreased risk of tearing (Support from the water slows crowning of the infant's head and offers perineal support)
easier transition for the baby from the womb into the world

Oh I cant remember anymore right now but I am planning a waterbirth for my next lil one.
the cons are things like
may be difficult to assess the amount of maternal blood loss
sometimes slows down labour (although I believe that it just seems that way because it takes away the pain)

Are you planning a water birth?
I would looovvvve a water birth the hospital i will be birthing at only has 1 bath so if i go natural im hoping its available.
Izaak and Kyans mum, thankyou for sharing that story smile

Michael_Amp, I really wanted one with my first, but it didn't happen, so I thought I'd have a think and do a bit of research on it this time smile

I've heard there's risk of haemmoraging, and blood clots etc, does anyone know if it would make a difference if you had bub in the water, but then got out to birth the placenta??

I've heard there's risk of haemmoraging, and blood clots etc, does anyone know if it would make a difference if you had bub in the water, but then got out to birth the placenta??

I'm not sure if it makes a difference but thats what i did.

My story - I was determined to have a water birth, not sure why, i just realy liked the idea of it. I went overdue and had to be induced on the 10th day over. They broke my water then gave me the oxytocin through a drip. My labour started instantly strong and quick. After about 2.5 hours i was already 9 cm dilated. I was still laying on the bed, I was on the gas so wasn't realy aware of what was going on around me. My sister had to remind me that i wanted to get into the water, which i'm glad she did! So the midwife filled up the bath for me. It was kinda annoying having to wheel around the drip with me. So i got into the bath and it was very nice. It was good to just float around.. I started pushing and pushed for about an hour. Finally my beautiful son was born, once his head came out, the rest of him came out very quickly. He kinda just slid out and did a rolly polly in the water, then the midwife scooped him up and put him straight onto my chest and he cried straight away. After a little while the midwife gave DS to daddy while i got up and went onto the bed to deliver the placenta.
I would definatly recommend a water birth, i absolutly loved it.
The only con for me was because i was in the water the midwife was unable to assess how much i was tearing. I ended up with a 3rd degree tear which maybe an episiotomy would have been better?
Also if you have water birth, normally the only pain relief your allowed is the gas, some midwives will let you in the bath after a peth shot, some midwives wont allow it.
So they are my thoughts...
Thank you so much for starting this thread.

I am pregnant with my first and for some random reason i 100% what a water birth i just have a feeling it would be so much more relaxing.

Thank you for all your stories make me want it more!!
I think my home water birth was so worth it. I wanted a water birth with DS1, but unfortunately that didn't happen. It almost didn't happen this time either as we only just got the pool filled in time for me to give birth. I would definitely have one again if I can convince DF a 3rd is a good idea and there is time.

I got woken up out of a dead sleep by a contraction at 5:45am, went to the toilet and had a show so rang the midwife to let her know what was happening. As DS1 was born in under just under 4 hours from first contraction I got DF to start filling the pool as I was concerned it might not get filled in time. After 2 contractions I had to ring the midwife back and tell her to head on over as they were longer, stronger and closer together. The midwife arrived and helped DF fill the pool, while also supporting me through contractions...I seem to recall them doing it in a line; he'd fill it once, then she would, then he would,ect. I kind of lost track of the time but knew things were progressing very quickly. The pool was finally filled when my fore waters went, hind waters went about 3 minutes later after I had just got in the pool.

After what I guess was about 15 minutes in the pool I felt the urge to push and remember thinking that it was too fast. LOL I just went with it and after a 9 minute second stage DS2 was born into the water at 7:56am. I lifted him out of the water and I cut the cord after it had stopped pulsing. The placenta was delivered after about 20 minutes I think with me still in the pool.

DS1 came in and met his baby brother and after I had birthed the placenta I climbed into my warm comfy bed. After I stopped shaking (result of the fast labour) I was supposed to be having a cup of tea but was so enamoured of baby I never got to drink it. laugh


natural pain relief
decreased risk of tearing
easier transition for the baby from the womb into the world
ability to find a comfortable position, including ones that are impractical on dry land...I did quite a bit of floating
leverage; I braced my feet on one side of the pool while reclining on the other. laugh


can slow labour down if you get in too early
lack of temperature control...though I suppose if you got too hot then you can just get out for a bit

I would definitely recommend a water birth to anyone who wants to have one and if there are no medical reasons not to. I did have 2 clots, but can't say that's because of the water and they weren't huge ones either. I think the whole haemorrhaging thing might be because generally the 3rd stage (birthing the placenta; hate the word delivery, it's not a pizza) tends to be physiological and some studies suggest that there is an increased risk of haemorrhage.


I had a wonderful drug free waterbirth with my DD smile I had a pretty traumatic labour with my DS and really wanted to have a much more natural birth with my DD. My midwife particularly recommended it second time around because I developed pelvic instability and things got so bad that I spent the last 2 weeks on bedrest.
The pros for me was that it was very relaxing between contractions, I believe it might have helped me stretch a bit more when she was crowning (and at 9lb 8oz I needed all the help I could get lol) and that I felt kind of protected in the water from a lot of unnecessary exams or involvement.
Funnily enough I hadn't heard about the increased risk of haemorghing which is odd because I had 2 post partum haemorghes with my DS's birth and my midwife with DD still highly recommended a waterbirth. Because of my increased chances of haemorghing again I had a canula inserted when I was admitted at the birthing centre just in case I needed another transfusion again (I passed a large clot immediately after DD was born and they did think that I was haemorghing which turned out I wasn't and they gave DD to my husband after a quick cuddle and got me out straight away and got the placenta out).

i really want a waterbirth next time! i nearly got there, but had complications and had to get out of the bath.

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