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Water Birth experiences please ladies?

Initially my thinking was that if the water pool was free at our hospital then I would give it a try before going for more hardcore pain relief!!

However, the more I think about it the more I think I'd like to give birth in the pool.

So I was just wondering if you could tell me your experiences?  Do I need a costume? I'm not sure about being in it the whole labour, do you get cold/wrinkly?  Was thinking maybe for the pushing and birth only? Can my H get in too to like catch the baby?



  • I havent had a water birth but i would say dont overthink it. Maybe ask to try it once you are admitted and see how you get on. You might not like it and want to get out or might love it and stay there till the end....x

  • It's up to you about clothes, I stripped off fairly early in labour as was so hot and found it easier not to faff with anything when in the bath. I couldn't use the pool as there was a plumbing issue and they couldn't regulate the temp but do think I would have given birth in it as I had a lovely hot bath instead which really helped but had to get out to push as I couldn't deliver in there due to temp not being perfect for baby. However my labour was only 10.5 hours from very first contraction, I imagine if it had been 24 hours+ it would have been a different story so mm's advice to not plan too much (because you can't!) is very wise.

    You won't get cold though as they keep it regulated. At my Hosp, partners were allowed in but there are likely to be lots of undesirable bits floating around in there so he may wish to stay on dry land!

  • I was desperate  for a water birth but I would definitely try & have an open mind as you may not be allowed 1 or may not like or it may not be available. When I got into the midwife led room I was relived that the room with the pool was free but even though I was having regular contractions I was only 3-4 cm dilated & they wouldn't let me get in (or even get the pool filled before I was 5cm), I was then told that I'd be re-examined in 4 hours. Luckily my H was able to persuade them to come back & reassess me in 2 hours. Although that 2 hours felt like a lifetime as I was literally holding onto the pool as I contracted & really just wanted to be in the water. In 2 hours I was reassessed at 5cm & finally allowed in the water after the 15 min it took to fill it up! It did feel more comfortable to be in the water but the mw realised that I was pushing with every contraction (which I think I had been doing all the way through) which she said could be dangerous for the baby so I had to get out after only being in their about 15 mins. If I'm lucky to have another baby I'm definitely opting for a home water birth where hopefully I'll be let in the water earlier!

  • I had a waterbirth as I had hoped, but it was quiet the day i was there. I took a tankini but didn't bother with it in the end, i had completely forgotten about clothing by that point! I found it really helped my pain and managed just with the water and gas and air. H was asked if he wanted to get in with me, but he stayed outside which was actually best as i could cling onto him to push against something.

    I wouldn't bank on using one, but if the opportunity arises then absolutely go for it :)

  • I laboured for about 4 hour in the pool with no 1 - but he got stuck so i had to get out and on to the bed to actually give birth. The water was fantastic for pain relief though and so much more comfortable than being on a bed as you can move around and float. I wasn't wearing anything by the time i had to get out (SO not dignified lol!) but you don't really care by then and its ideal for skin to skin after giving birth.

    With No 2 it was all very quick and the mw only just managed to get the water level high enough for me to get in before she broke my waters and he arrived 10 mins later - but he was born in the water and it was amazing, really amazing. I loved it! Because it was so quick i was still wearing my bra and t shirt but only because i didn't have time to take them off!

    I wouldn't have wanted H in the pool tbh - it was my space and i needed it, someone else in there would have driven me mad! plus all the blood and gunk, not sure he would have wanted to get in!

    and i only used G&A and the pool both times.

  • I used to work in the midwife led unit at a hospital and will definitely be giving the pool a try if it's an option. Some ladies wear a tankini top, but most don't wear anything. They asked mum to take the top after birth if mum wanted to stay in the pool for natural delivery of the placenta as any wet fabric out of the water would be cold against babies skin.

    The temperature is regulated so there is no chance of you getting cold. I never saw any partners getting in to the pool (and like others said there could bit a little bit of floating nasties so might put him off!) so can't comment on that part.

    The reason they wait before getting you in the pool is because a lot of the time if a lady gets in too early it can knock the contractions off so they need to make sure you are in established labour.

  • Thanks ladies!  I'll mention the blood and gunk to him and see what he says!  We'll take his swimmers just in case though.

    There is only one at our hospital so I'm not banking on it.  But the MW at antenatal said that its not that popular and often free, and also said to mention it when you phone up and they can keep you in mind for when it is free.

  • Porkchop- We only had 2 where I worked but there were rarely both in use and it was a very busy maternity unit. Like others have said I would definitely keep an open mind and see how things go :)

  • I had my first in the water.  I'd only intended to use it for pain relief but ended up staying in there and giving birth too.  I took a tankini, but didn't end up wearing it as I really couldn't be bothered to put it on!  As others have said they regulate the temperature so you don't get cold.  I think partners were allowed in but my H didn't want to - which he probably thought was a wise decision when I pooped!!  I fully intended to have my second in the water too, but he came waaaay too quickly so there wasn't time.  One difference I noticed that would have me wanting a water birth if ever I did it again, was that on 'dry land' I definitely experienced the 'ring of fire' when he was coming out which I don't remember it from the water birth.  Might have been other factors that caused it, but I can't help but think the water helped.  

    Good luck! x

  • I attempted a water birth, I was in the pool for about 9 hours and loved the relief and freedom it gave me.  Unfortunately my back to back baby wasn't going to come out that way so we ended up with a EMCS.

    My full birth story is here if you want a read - it's long, but v.positive for one that didn't go to plan.

    I'm still holding out a little bit of hope of using the water for pain relief for a vbac this time - although the chances are pretty slim Sad

  • I had a water birth and loved it- the pool wasn't available so I didn't get in until I was 8cm and was only in there a couple of hours which was perfect for me. I loved the freedom and how there was a bit of distance between me and anyone else. I'm not sure it gave a huge amount of pain relief during the contractions but it helped keep me relaxed- it also took a lot of the sting out of the crowning/ring of fire moment.

    Nothing to do with birth but it also meant the first time I saw J he was nice and clean and looked like I thought a newborn would (obviously this is just a nice touch- I still would have kissed him even if he was covered in green slime!)

  • I had a vest top and bra on- neither made it out of the pool as it was gross by the time I got out- I had started wearing one of H's Tshirts but was too hot

  • I didn't deliver in the pool but did spend a far amount of time having contractions and there wouldn't have been enough space for me to be comfy and my H!

  • I had intended to use the pool but the last bit was so quick there was no time. I want to try again next time though.

  • I planned a home water birth with Zoe, although i got stuck at 8cm and had to transfer in to hospital and a c-section followed.

    I had a tankini all sorted to wear in the pool .... didn't wear anything, and in fact had to be reminded to put some clothes on for when the paramedics arrived.  The pain relief was amazing, i had nothing else apart from the water and when I had to get out to transfer to hospital it really shocked me how different the contractions felt on dry land.

    The one thing I would say is that by the time you reach pushing stage I can't imagine you are going to want to be clambering in to the birth pool.  

    Do you find having a bath relaxing now ?  When i was pregnant with Zoe whenever I was uncomfortable I went for a bath, I had a lot of baths, because it really provided me with relief from the aches, pains and general feeling rubbish so it seemed natural to me to want to labour in water.  Funnily enough this time having a bath does absolutely nothing for me at all, and I can now understand why some people don't have any desire for a waterbirth whereas before I just didn't get it.

    Our hospital don't allow partners in to the birth pool, if you are in hospital, and our one at home would have been too small.  Tbh I didn't even want people in the room with me, I went very introverted and quiet and didn't want to be touched, so the idea of someone else in the pool would have been horrific.

  • I just wore a tankini top.

    Got into the pool about 30 mins after being told I was 4cm, Found it didn't help with the pain but stayed in for about 50 mins until I felt the urge to push. At that point I was on my knees H went to get midwife and she made me turn to check heartbeat, within 3 minutes he was out.

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