Water Births?

  1. I know of an old hippie midwife in my area(she even used to live on The Farm, in Summertown, TN) who swears by waterbirths. She had 11 kids and says she had the last three under water. She is kind of...I guess you could say eccentric. She has even delivered some of her children on her own. Anyway, when she is birthing babies she fills up a cattle trough and the woman labors and gives birth there. She says the difference between water births and dry births is amazing.
    I just know I don't want to hurt. I had my second child "natural" at home with a midwife and I don't ever want to feel that kind of pain again.
    Just wonder if any of the more alternative hospitals offer this and if anyone has had any experiences with it?
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Well you will hurt unless you chose an epidural. Water birth is much easier for some---and definately a great alternative to medicalized birthing. But you will hurt, make no mistake.

    If you are interested in lower-intervention birthing, and you are relatively low-risk, seek out a midwife. But make sure he/she will allow water birthing as not all do---some hospitals simply disallow it by policy. So do check both provider and hospital. Look for a low-intervention birthing center, if you can. Some hospitals have them, others do not. Shop around!
  4. by   33-weeker
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    I know of an old hippie midwife in my area(she even used to live on The Farm, in Summertown, TN) who swears by waterbirths.
    How neat! Which midwife? I've read Spiritual Midwifery and would recognize her probably. If you haven't read it, you should.

    I planned a water birth for my first, but hit transition before I could get to the water and didn't want to move. The second time it was wintertime and I couldn't find a suitable pool in the stores. It ended up being twins and I just stayed on dry land. LOL

    I've heard it really helps the pain. Good luck.
  5. by   KellNY
    I'd also highly advocate for having a good doula--someone who knows diff. positions, massages, aromatherapy, breathing, etc.

    I think that can make all the difference in the world.

    Also re: not hurting with the epidural--I've heard more than a few moms say afterwards "Well if I knew it'd still hurt like that with the epidural, I'd have gone natural", and most moms c/o pain while pushing with epidural.
  6. by   BSNtobe2009
    I read somewhere a few years ago that some birthing centers have a birthing chair (is there such a thing?).

    Supposedly, that is the way nature intended for women to give birth..swatting or standing so you can reach under and pull the baby out.

    Has anyone in OB seen someone use one of those things?
  7. by   morte
  8. by   Mommy TeleRN
    aww waterbirths..one of my fave topics. I have done it both ways: #1 was pure hospital/dr led. OB didn't abide by any of my wishes. He was VERY into inducing moms. I kept telling him "I want to go natural.. I don't want to be induced" and he kept saying "trust me you don't want to go natural" I was young and first pregnancy - so finally he convinced me to be induced. I think pitocin should qualify as torture drug lol. OMG it was soooo awful. And with the internal monitor and iv's and thing and I felt so confined to the bed. I never cussed so much in my life. I had some stadol which only served to knock me out between ctx..so that it felt like one ctx after another. Finally the pain was so bad I said "I can't take it anymore" and got an epi which I have absolutely NO recollection of. Well as it often goes, immediately after my epi they realized I was 10cm and my child was born no more than 30 min later (and probably 10 min of that was waiting for dr to arrive as she was crowing..man that felt like an eternity!)

    ok so fast forward to #2 - I KNEW I didn't want a repeat of #1! It was only a year later and very fresh in my mind. Sooo I started checking into midwives and that is when I discovered home waterbirthing. It was indeed an amazing difference. Of course the major thing is she did not push me to induce... and yes I was a few days late...but my body did it's "thang" and went into labor on a Saturday evening. By lunch time the next day I was holding my baby... all with a WHOLE lot less cussing lol. This time was so much different. For one - I had a BREAK between ctx where I could feel good, laugh, relax. Seriously we were telling jokes between ctx right up to transition. So here I am in the birthing pool, almost in a leapfrog type position, leaning over the edge, gently bouncing up and down during ctx, focusing on my inner self. It was actually SUCH an overwhelming experience that I began to cry, just out of "wow I KNEW I could do this" types of feelings. My midwife whispered to my husband she felt I was in transition due to the hormonal changes lol..and she was right. Close to that time she wanted me to go potty to empty my bladder and I'd say that was the hardest part as I had ctx along the way and while using the potty. That is the part where mabye a few cuss words slipped in lol. But then I got back to the wonderful tub..and gave birth. We got the cord cut and one midwife took my daughter after holding her for a few moments to dry her and attend to her while I birthed the placenta (I have NO recollection from my first birth of birthing the placenta!) Then we all snuggled on the bed while midwife checked me, did all the measuring and things, and I quickly was able to begin breastfeeding my daughter. I would definitely do it all again.

    Now the dilemma: I will graduate nursing school in May. Would love to find a low intervention L&D to help moms with a waterbirth or even non-induction type experiences. But of course those are few and far between.
    When I did L&D clinical pretty much everyone was on pitocin. I of course know it's useful when there is a medical need..but my insides tell me that it is often used for a doctors convenience to schedule deliveries during day time hours... same thing happened to my best friend, I tried to talk her out of induction. But the dr. took advantage of "Im tired of being pregnant" and she was convince no prob..she was getting an epidural. After she told me "no one told me it could still HURT"
    I'm an old fashioned kind of birthing gal I guess lol... and I just cringe at how much the medical field messes with the birhts... first inducing before really ready, then the mom is so hooked up to stuff she doesn't progress, she isn't being up and doing things to help the baby move down because she hurts and just wants to be in bed, or because she is limited in mobility (I have heard of some hospitals using a tele monitor for fetal monitoring) Then we end up with vacuum, forcep, or csections. I also feel from what i have learned about pit that it puts so much responsibility on the nurse, because of so many potential complications that the nurse must be SUPER diligent to closely monitor this drug and be ready to react (as well she should at any birth, but to me this inc. the chance of a problem)
    of course when I do clinicals its 5pt:2 nurses. So the nurses have no time to really help the pt during this awful pain. I think coaching made a HUGE difference in my 2nd birth where I was constantly attended by 2 midwives who gave me relaxation techniques to use and reminded me to breathe during ctx.
    My first day in clinical was with a 17y old who was literally thrashing in bed. Her mom was telling her to "behave" ugh. I felt like I was able to get in there, gain her trust, and help her use some of the techniques I was taught. She calmed down a GREAT amount. But of course I stayed by her side the entire time (actually was very fast, about 1.5 hrs) her epi did not arrive before time to push, and by this time I felt like she was trusting me and I wanted to stay by her side. Of course I got in trouble with my teacher for not doing all my paperwork recording the ctx patterns every 15m and documenting very well lol. I just wanted to hand hold this young girl through so much pain lol. So I just feel like maybe I wouldn't be such a hot L&D nurse in the current medical model. I dunno..I have very torn feelings on it all. I'm considering maybe a focus on postpartum and newborn, and lactation nursing.
  9. by   tvccrn
    Mommy nurse 2b,

    It sounds like you would make a wonderful nurse-midwife. That may be something for you to check into.

    I don't know anything about water-births and they aren't offered anywhere near where I live, but they sound much better than what I had with my first three.

    tvccrn
  10. by   txspadequeenRN
    I was seeking information once about a water birth several years ago and asked a OB/GYN doc , he in turn ask me if I was delivering a fish.. I have wanted to go with a mid-wife with all of my pregnancies but I am high- risk and have had to be induced with everyone because of PIH...I would love to have natural labor for just once....
  11. by   Jo Dirt
    My first one was at a hospital with an epidural but the epidural didn't help as much as I thought it would.

    My husband insisted I have the second one at home with a midwife and boy, I didn't want to be moved or even touched and the midwife and her assistant thought it was "funny" when I would wail out in pain. Man, that hurt so bad.

    Well, with my next one, I went to the hospital and that CRNA was so wonderful, I hardly felt when he put the needle in (he warned me that the way I was made I might feel like and electrical shock when he put the needle in...I did feel that shock with the first epidural) but whatever he gave me...I was as calm and happy as could be and felt absolutely no pain.

    This midwife I speak of is named Carol. I'm all for natural if it doesn't hurt...I just wonder what a waterbirth will be like if I should choose to go that route.
  12. by   Almabella
    Wow, mommynurse--your post is very reassuring as I'm having a water birth, well, any day now! The thought of an epidural is really scary to me--yes, scarier than labor. I had an allergic rxn to lidocaine as a child (dental procedure). I was reassured by my midwife, who spoke with the anesthesiologist, that an epidural would be safe if the need should arise, but I'm still scared of it. Truthfully, I don't really like the idea of anyone messin' with my spine anyway!

    I know exactly how you feel about L&D! I don't think I would function well as a nurse in that setting either since I feel like the whole process is so over-medicalized in so many situations. Sorry to say patient ignorance plays a big role in that, which is certainly not a problem confined to L&D.

    It's much easier to lead a patient who is in pain around by the nose, even if it's for the doc's convenience. During my L&D clinicals I saw all sorts of horrible things including episiotomies that weren't even discussed with patients. Just snip snip. I was also thinking of looking into postpartum after the baby is born.

    Well, I appreciate the positive words! I hope my waterbirth goes as well as yours!
  13. by   tntrn
    Birthing Chair:

    Years ago, and I mean at least 20, the place I worked in No. CA, trialed a birthing chair for several months. In fact, it was one of our pregnant L & D nurses who got that ball rolling because she was interested in it. Mind you, everybody went natural there, all 300 of them each month (unless they had a c/section and our rate for primaries was about 11%). Anyway, what we found out with the birthing chair was that if you, meaning the nurse, didn't tip that chair back into a semi-fowler's position at exactly the right time, terrible perineal lacerations were the result. Needless to say, we didn't keep it.
  14. by   Mommy TeleRN
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    I was seeking information once about a water birth several years ago and asked a OB/GYN doc , he in turn ask me if I was delivering a fish.. I have wanted to go with a mid-wife with all of my pregnancies but I am high- risk and have had to be induced with everyone because of PIH...I would love to have natural labor for just once....
    A fish? That sounds like an OB comment lol. Well they ARE floating around in fluid up til birth ... and a theory I have heard is that the water helps soften the tissues and make them easier to stretch. I had no tears with my 2nd. With my first I had major pelvic wall damage..resulting in a rectocele and cystocele which I'm sure some day along the way I'll have to get surgically fixed.

    Your example is one of a necessary induction. Unfortunately it seems to me too many are being done that are NOT necessary (for the mom anyway)

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