Research shows that using birthing tubs during labor and/or birth is associated with less pain, higher rates of vaginal birth, fewer severe tears, and greater satisfaction. We do not want there to be any barrier to accessing this amazing tool!
Many families desire home water birth for the incredible relaxation and pain relief and the gentle transition for the baby. Some people use the birthing pool for pain relief through labor and others hop in right before they birth their baby; how you use the tub is up to you!
Benefits of water birth
Research shows that laboring & birthing in the tub is associated with fewer epidurals, slightly shorted labors, less pain, more vaginal births, and more satisfaction. Waterbirth is associated with fewer episiotomies and severe tears. In terms of pain relief, water birth may provide similar levels of pain relief as Morphine without the side effects. There is no difference in rates of infection for parents when they give birth in the water. Babies have been found to have equally good or better outcomes when they are born in water vs. born on land.
Drawbacks of water birth
Research suggests that water birth is associated with higher rates of minor tears but lower rates of severe tears. It's not clear why minor tears are more common in water births, but may because it is difficult for midwives to provide the same level of perineal support in the water as they can on land. While rare, there are higher rates of umbilical cords "snapping" after water birth, which can sometimes lead to complications for the baby. It's not clear exactly why this happens, but lifting the baby out of the water gently may help prevent this from happening. Very rarely, if the baby is already distressed, they will try to breathe before they come out of the water.
We want you to be informed and empowered. Please click here for an in-depth look at the research on water birth.
We would love to help you plan your dream home water birth! We offer rentals of the premium AquaDoula birth tub (also known as a birthing pool) with a special 15% discount for Wellspring Midwifery clients.
The full fee of the birth tub rental is $350 + tax, which includes a $75 deposit. Current clients of Wellspring Midwifery automatically receive a 15% discount on these fees. Your rental comes with everything you need for a home water birth, including the birthing pool with a built-in heating element, disposable liner, brand new lead-free hose, floating thermal cover, floating thermometer, fishnet, and submersible pump.
You will pick up the birth tub from us at our office in Federal Way, set up and fill the tub in your home, and enjoy the many benefits of warm water submersion during labor and birth. During your rental period we are available by phone to assist you in setting up your tub. After birth, we will drain, clean, and pack away the birth tub.
The water in the birthing pool should be around body temperature, between about 95 and 100 degrees F and not more than 101 degrees F. The AquaDoula is the only birth tub with a built-in heating element that can keep the water temperature at a comfortable 100 degrees F. This helps you and your birth team focus on your water birth and not on keeping the tub at the correct temperature!
The relaxing effects of the birthing pool can sometimes slow down early labor, so we usually recommend waiting until active labor to get in. If you get in earlier and labor slows down you can always get out! A birthing pool is a great tool not just for "water birth," but "water labor!"
Many people notice that babies who are born in a home water birth are quiet and alert and sometimes don't even cry.
After a water birth, the baby usually only stays underwater in the birthing pool for a few seconds. During this time, they are still receiving oxygen-rich blood from the placenta. After untangling from the cord, the midwife will help lift the baby out of the water and onto the parent's chest.
Healthy babies will not breathe until they are exposed to air. Babies are born with a reflex that closes the throat when the face is exposed to water. You will help lift you baby out of the birthing pool so that they can take their first breath.
If you are a good candidate for home birth, you are most likely a good candidate for water birth. For safety, birthing people need to be able to get into and out out of the birthing pool by themselves; the birth tub is 4 feet 6 inches high. People who have had a recent diarrheal infection are advised against birthing in the tub. If any concerns about you or the baby develop during labor we will most likely ask you to get out of the tub.
Brand new hoses and tub liners are used for every water birth. We recommend starting to fill the birthing pool in early labor and to replace the water and disposable liner every 24-48 hours. Hospital-grade disinfectants are used to sanitize every part of the tub after use.
It depends on the capacity of your water heater and your water pressure. We recommend turning your water heater all the way up to prepare for filling the birthing pool. The AquaDoula has a 150-gallon capacity, so it may take 2-3 times of using up all your hot water before the tub is completely filled. This may take a few hours and can be sped up by adding boiling water from the stove.
You only need a space about 6 feet in diameter to set up an AquaDoula birthing pool.
Wellspring Midwifery is Proudly serving families throughout South King County, including Federal Way, Auburn, Des Moines, Kent, Renton, Burien, West Seattle, SeaTac, Skyway, Normandy Park, Tukwila, Covington, Puyallup, Tacoma, Seattle, and more!
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