Water Births? - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   Mommy TeleRN
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    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.
    Aww MM..that is terrible! It is very rare to hear of a mom who was dissatisfied with a home birth - it sounds like you did not have the support you deserved!

    I can not promise you that a waterbirth won't "hurt" because it will still hurt. But to me..the best way I can describe it is that it's just more tolerable because it's natural progression. You adapt to one level of pain/intensity before the next one hits. The pain to me was much less than my induced birth.

    One thing I have come to realize is when you are at the "breaking point" that is indicative of transition and the "worst" part is very short - it's like a signal I think that are bodies are saying "ok I've had enough" and when you are to that point it's all about over.

    The 17y old I spoke of - I remember her saying that to me "I JUST CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE" and I looked at her and rubbed her hair and said "sweetie that means you don't have to... you don't have to... your baby is going to be here before you know it" and sure enough it was push time within minutes. Transition is just that pure hell last push to birth time lol. Other than transition the only other really painful part I remember is right when her head was born because of course it feels like you are crapping a watermelon lol.... but that was very quick and transient.

    I remember asking my midwife what I could do to keep the ctx from getting more painful and she said "well.. we want them to get STRONGER..that means they are working" lol... that was her word for hurts more..they get "stronger" but I dunno..I can't reallly explain it except to say I could HANDLE it... and I learned something really important that day.. relax your face! It's a tendency to squish it all up in pain. If you can focus on relaxing your forehead and eyebrows - you can focus and breathe and it majorly helps you relax through it! Helped the 17 yr old..and funny enough - I had a young stabbing victim where I intern. It was going to be a bit before his meds were up from pharmacy and he was just all wrinkling up that face in pain. I used the same technique for him and talked him through relaxing his face and do you know he was like "wow it really does help" and a few minutes later he was sleeping! lol

    So no matter what route you go - relax the face!! lol

  2. by   eden
    I have no problem working in the hospital for births. I hate how hospitals get such a bad rap. I work in a wonderful facility that has a high and low risk side. We have so many options available that many people don't think we have and they are very surprised when they get there. Less then 1/2 of our patients even have an epidural.I love doing the low key, low intervention labours and most of our drs. are wonderful and very supportive unless we feel there is a problem. We let women labour in water though giving birth in it is not yet an option.

    Not everyone here is induced and the dr's certainly don't do it for convenience. Using oxytocin does not give us daytime babies, whoever said that would you please tell me how to arrange it . We do not have the regular use of oxytocin on our side anyway but I am not sure how common it is down the hall in high risk.

    Mommy nurse2b, you can be there with the patient and do all the charting in a hospital. Our staff ratios are 1:1 in labour ( and 1:4 -1:6 pp, depending on how many labouring) so there is plenty of time to help the patient, just check patient ratios when you apply
    Last edit by eden on Apr 25, '07
  3. by   Mommy TeleRN
    Hi Eden,
    You are correct that irregardless babies will come on out when they are ready I by no means claim to be an expert on the topic...I hope I have not given that impression. Perhaps more OBs are gung ho than others. I would seriously consider L&D if I could find a low key type place. I totally respect each moms decision to birth with what is best for her. And it's awesome when OBs and nurses can really take the time to help the mom and educate her on lower key interventions..and can be patient with her body.
    The hospital where I did clinical I do not believe is well staffed ANYWHERE .. hence why I will not choose to work there when I graduate lol. As I said the ratio is 2 nurses to 5 patients and the days I were there babies were popping out left and right... one doctor's in particular who were all induced. He was hopping room to room. As a matter of fact I did not experience a single labor there who was not induced.
    I think moms can have a great experience in the hospital, provided the ob is more low key (or with a CNM) and the hospital appropriately staffs so that the nurses are able to guide the patient. Of course having more routine use of doulas would probably help tremendously with helping the mom know how to relax. My poor hubby... despite childbirth classes ... well you sometimes just need a woman's touch and comfort.. hubby just really didn't know what to do to help.

    I'm glad to hear there really are great L&D environments out there.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Like I said, shop around. There are centers that have midwives who do water birthing, while others do not allow waterbirth by policy. If you are truly low risk and looking for low to no intervention delivery, you need to find a midwife-run birthing center for your best bet.

    Also you really might want to stop saying you want no pain; you know that is impossible in childbirth.

    Do find a good doula and a midwife and try to find a family-centered birth venue....that is your best shot at having a more natural and low-intervention birth experience. Most hospitals just are not good at this, in my experience! There are a few that do have family birth centers that allow for and encourage more natural experiences, but they are few and far between, I have found. There are a lot of reasons for this. One is poor policy-making not based on solid, evidence-based practicing. The other is crummy staffing. Hard for staff to support naturally-laboring women when they have 2 or 3 actively-laboring patients at one time. It stinks, but these are the facts. That is where having a good doula is a great plan, no matter where you plan to have your baby, birth center or hospital, or home. Check this site out:

    DONA International – Welcome! for info about family birth doulas.

    Also, be aware of how the midwives associated with hospitals or partnered with obsteticians, practice. I have noticed, many CNMs practicing in hospitals practice more like OBs than midwives. They intervene in similarly-medical fashion, which was very shocking to me, at first.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 1, '06
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have found the commode is a great place to labor, as well. I know sounds disgusting, but it works. Opens up the perineum and places a woman in a favorable position for progress. Also, may want to consider purchasing a birthing ball----some patients just LOVE these. Truly, laboring in any position but on one's back in bed, is best. We never had used birthing chairs where I worked.
  6. by   strn96
    I have no problem working in the hospital for births. I hate how hospitals get such a bad rap.

    I agree about hospitals getting a bad rap. I work in labor and delivery, and not all OB docs and nurses are as heartless as they can be made out to be. Most of the ones where I work try to follow pt birth plans when possible. As with any group of people, you have good and bad mixed. As far as a home birth goes, the only suggestion that I would make is make sure that the midwife attending you is prepared if your baby needs resuscitation. NALS stats say that about 1/10th of all babies need some assistance at delivery, and I have seen too many babies that would have died without resuscitation (sometimes to low risk moms with no warning signs during labor that baby isn't going to be fine) to be comfortable planning a delivery without adequate personnel and equipment for resuscitation.
    Water delivery does sound like an interesting option, and I've heard of facilities that will do this.
    I agree that Pitocin labors are much longer and harder, and wish that the patients who are dying for docs to "just get me delivered" could be made to realize this. I would like to point out that many of the posts on this site that are bashing hospital labors are comparing a primip labor experience to a multip labor. Labor for first-time moms is almost always much longer and harder. Also, on the topic of epidurals, I have had several patients who after having an epidural with their first baby declare that they do not want one with their 2nd, but after delivering #2 au naturalle vow that they never want to do that again withoust an epid. I think it all depends on what the person's tolerance level is for pain, but when you have a primip who's only 3cm and already coming off the bed and screaming and cussing in pain, I think an epidural can be a wonderful source of pain relief. I do warn my pts that they are likely to start hurting again at the end. It also helps a lot when you have someone good placing the epidural. Any L&D nurse can tell you that all anesthetists are not created equal! Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
    Congratulations to the mommies to be
  7. by   jenrninmi
    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....
    I LOVE your avatar! LOL! Cracks me up!
  8. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Also you really might want to stop saying you want no pain; you know that is impossible in childbirth.
    I can't help it! Squeezing that baby out is agony!

    I remember thrashing around on the bed when I had my home birth, and I would cry out I can't take anymore! The midwife is kind of a gruff sergeant type and she said, "Well, get used to it because you've got a looong way to go!" :uhoh21: (I laugh about it now, but when it was happening...)

    Seriously, I looked on the website for The Farm. I see they have a birthing center. Apparently, they have an MD on call because they mention rarely doing c-sections. I live a couple of hours away but I wonder if it would be an option to go there. I really don't want the baby plucked up and taken away from me this time.
  9. by   LDRNMOMMY
    Water births are not done here. We will be moving to Germany next year and maybe I'll be able to attempt a more natural birth with #2. I really wanted to go natural with my daughter. I was doing so good, I had been dilated 2-3/80% for the last month of my pregnancy. My water broke on my due date and I was 4cm when I showed up at the hospital. I wasn't really contracting so my midwife was going to let me walk to try to stimulate contractions, he (yes I said HE) was very anti intervention. Well then he started with accupressure, and I still was having very sporadic contractions. It got late and I wanted to sleep so I ended up not walking but trying to rest. Well the ctx's I was having were managable. He then decided maybe we should start a little pit to get things going. I decided to get an epidural at that point so I could sleep. The epidural was VERY strong. I did not feel ANYTHING, not even pressure. The pitocin hadn't been on for very long, I probably didn't need it. In the end I was glad I ened up getting the epidural since I had a second degree lac, but I definatley want to try natural next time.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The Farm is wonderful. I have read Spiritual Midwifery too many times to count. I have also read Ina May's other works /articles at times. Have you considered that (going the the Farm) a possibility? Good luck and best wishes. I hope this birth experience is everything you hope for, and nothing which you dread. I really do.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
  12. by   babycatcher2B
    I have met several of the Farm midwives, including Ina May, and they are wonderful! One of them corresponded with me during my last pregnancy to help me with hyperemesis.

    I've had all 4 of my kiddos at home and have used hydrotherapy each time, although for various reasons never gave birth in the water. The water helped ease ctx immensly though.

    I work in a birth center and we do quite a lot of waterbirths. The water seems to take the edge off for a lot of women and help them stay on top of ctx. A mama we had not long ago submerged herself with ctx, blowing bubbles to the surface. She was doing this instinctively.

    There benefits of waterbirth are many like relaxation of pelvic floor muscles, reduction of opposition to gravity, helps with a dysfunctional labor, helps to stimulate labor...its definately an option worth looking into.
  13. by   Jo Dirt
    I love water, and I like the thought of being able to submerge myself in a big warm tub and when out comes the baby they just pass it right to you. So the more I think about this the more I like the idea, I think.