What's Involved With a Water Birth?

Preparing for Water Birth

After weighing the benefits and risks, if you still want to try for a water birth, there are some things you can do to help prepare for the event. Some of the preparations include the following:
  • If you begin to feel uncertain or not well, ask someone to help you get out of the birthing tub.
  • Drink plenty of water to help stay hydrated.
  • Make sure that someone is monitoring the temperature of the water so it doesn't become too hot.
  • Contact your hospital or birthing center to determine whether they have water birth options.
  • The tub should be deep enough for the mother to assume any position comfortably.
  • The water should be kept as clean as possible, with stool and blood clots removed immediately. The tub should be drained, cleaned, and refilled if contaminants cannot be removed easily.
  • Work with your care provider to help determine if you have any risk factors that may complicate a water birth.
  • Find a professional who is trained, experienced, and qualified to assist with your water birth. This can include an obstetrician/gynecologist, a family practitioner, a certified nurse midwife, and certain other certified midwives.
  • If you do not plan to have a hospital birth, make sure you have a backup plan to transfer you to a hospital if complications occur (see Creating a Backup Plan for Home Birth).
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Info

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