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Thread: Need info on water birth

  1. #1

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    Default Need info on water birth

    Was wondering if you ladies may be able to shed some light on water births.
    I have tried to research it on the net, but prefer your opinions.

    Can you have a water birth at a public hospital? (nepean?)
    Can you have the normal drugs, ie gas epidural etc during a water birth?

    please shed some light on water irths and how they are carried out, as i am considering having one.

    thanks for your time and help


  2. #2

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    Most hospitals have a policy in regards to water births. I know many don't allow it.
    As I haven't had a water birth, nor do I seek pain relief during labour or birth I can't answer your other question with a 100% accurate answer but I am fairly certain that epidural wouldn't be allowed for a water birth as it numbs your lower body which would be bad when in the water.

  3. #3

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    I laboured mostly in the birthing pool with the intention of giving birth there. As it turned out things didn't quite happen as planned. But whilst I was in the pool I wasn't allowed any pain relief at all, no gas or peth and an epidural wasn't available to me as I was at a birth centre, but I would imagine that you wouldn't be able to have that either.

    I will say that the pain relief the water offered me was fab though and it wasn't until I was taken out of the water that I felt like I REALLY needed any pain relief, the pain was so much more managable in the water. I highly recommend it, my only regret is that I wasn't able to give birth in the pool, but I ended up having to have a caesar.

  4. #4

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    .....
    Last edited by Oorki Galoorki; June 20th, 2009 at 12:06 PM.

  5. #5

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    Nepean hospital currently doesn't have a policy to allow water births. There are midwives who know how to waterbirth who work there but the manager of the birth unit frowns on any "accidental" waterbirths which may occur. There is a policy in the pipeline to allow waterbirths for hospitals in that area health service (Auburn, Nepean, Blacktown, Westmead, Katoomba and Lithgow) but the bigwigs at the top keep delaying approving it despite lobbying by midwives within these hospitals.

  6. #6

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    Yeah, definitely not epidural during a waterbirth because as mentioned, it numbs you from the waist down and is a pretty major intervention that will require continuous and close monitoring. Possibly gas for pain relief, although one of the benefits of labouring in water is that it provides a great deal of pain relief in and of itself.

    I wouldn't recommend sitting on the plug, though. The only thing worse than giving birth on land when you wanted to birth in water, is a poorly-managed waterbirth. Waterbirth is a beautiful experience that is easily spoiled by a frightened, panicked midwife without experience in waterbirth who is desperately trying to get you out of the water. If you are serious about a waterbirth, and your local hospital midwives cannot support you, then you might want to consider looking into a homebirth with an independently practicing midwife, who is experienced in assisting you to have a waterbirth.

  7. #7

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    Can you have a water birth at a public hospital? (nepean?)
    The short answer is no! They don't have a waterbirth policy.

    Can you have the normal drugs, ie gas epidural etc during a water birth?
    Epidural = unable to walk, so you can't have an epi and a waterbirth. You'll also be continuously monitoed and your labour and birth will be medically managed after you have an epidural. You can have gas and possibly pethidine with a waterbirth, it just depends how much the peth affects you.

    The only place to have a waterbirth is at home with a private / independent midwife. No hospitals in your area support it

  8. #8

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    oh ok.
    Thanks for your help.
    The main reasons i was considering a water birth was that it seems as though the warm water of the bath would be a great natural pain relief, however i am hoping to have the gas aswell to relieve any other severe pain.

    Perhaps i will consider just having it in the bed, where pain relief is easily offered.
    Im just new to all this, and everyone keeps asking me about my 'birthplan'', and to be honest i really dont know what to do, or how to have him/her.

    What other birthing options are out there? Is it just basically in the bed, or in water. I would love to be allowed to shower right up til i have to push, cause i have always found warm/hot water to be an instant pain relief, esecially for back pain which i am experiencing a lot atm.

  9. #9

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    It's definitely not just in the water or in bed! Unless you have the epi or get bullied into continuous monitoring, there's no reason why you shouldn't be allowed to walk around, shower, dance etc, and give birth on/next to a bed, chair, stool, beanbag, ball, floor, partner - whatever is available Google active birth and see what comes up - also try looking at some of the birth plans in this thread...

  10. #10

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    thankyou so much shades for your help, an the link to that thread.
    Im just stressing, or not stressing but getting a little nervous as i really dont have any idea on how to have the baby. I mean i honestly thought it was a matter of put the legs up and push

    I got a shock when all my friends started asking what my birthing plan, and rattling off all these different ideas and ways to give birth

  11. #11

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    Get in contact with your local Childbirth Association or the like and see what classes on birthing are available to you. Most hospitals offer something but many of these are not actually classes on how breath, move and position yourself in birth. In order to let your body work as it is made too you need to be able to move around as you see fit (remember that in all this you are doing the work so its important that your wishes are heard). You have every right to say no to internal examinations and monitoring. If in doubt question what the medical staff want to do to you and don't be afraid to ask why. Having a doula can be of great assistance (birthing attendant who advocates for you and your wishes).

    Another perfectly good option is homebirth with an independent midwife. Homebirth is also an option for waterbirth.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peace Angel View Post
    Nepean hospital currently doesn't have a policy to allow water births. There are midwives who know how to waterbirth who work there but the manager of the birth unit frowns on any "accidental" waterbirths which may occur. There is a policy in the pipeline to allow waterbirths for hospitals in that area health service (Auburn, Nepean, Blacktown, Westmead, Katoomba and Lithgow) but the bigwigs at the top keep delaying approving it despite lobbying by midwives within these hospitals.
    I was offered a water birth a Blacktown Hospital through the midwives clinic but ended up needing medical intervention.

    I had a water birth at Westmead public in April, they definately support it and the facilities are lovely and new!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwife Melissa View Post
    The only place to have a waterbirth is at home with a private / independent midwife. No hospitals in your area support it

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by organicem View Post
    I was offered a water birth a Blacktown Hospital through the midwives clinic but ended up needing medical intervention.

    I had a water birth at Westmead public in April, they definately support it and the facilities are lovely and new!!
    They have baths and they do "unofficial" waterbirths, but it's not the policy of the hospital and it would be unfair to suggest that it's a possibility when really it depends who's on duty and who's not on duty. Blacktown hospital no longer offer waterbirths

  14. #14

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    Hi! I've had two hospital "bed" births, and one home waterbirth. I had good hospital experiences, but I think the waterbirth was definitely nicest. Hoping to have another one. Excellent for pain relief and relaxation. By the way, with gas, everything still hurts, but you can relax, and you don't care. Water does almost the same thing - the pain is still there, but you'll be able to relax better, which helps you manage the pain and focus. And, you won't be groggy and will be able to remember your birth. (which I like!) Plus, nothing bad is going to your baby.
    Epidural is a whole other ball game. Total pain relief, from what I've heard (which is appealing for sure! I haven't had one.) but a host of other possible complications, and a higher c-section rate. Make an informed choice, whatever you decide to do.

    Here's a link to the BellyBelly articles on birth - all kinds of information on the choices and possibilities available to you. Some good information for your labour coach too!

    http://bellybelly.com.au/articles/birth

    All the best for a great birth.

  15. #15

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    First time mummy - I think it's so great you're looking into a waterbirth.

    My first was a waterbirth (Angliss Family Birthing Centre, brilliant amazing resource), and it was wonderful in terms of pain management and focus and relaxation between contractions.

    My second birth, I thought, it'll be fine as long as I can find a bath - I was hanging for a second waterbirth! I didn't make it to the hospital though, and had bub on all fours with my shower falling on my back. That was fine. So be encouraged a bit, that if you decide not to pursue the home water birth option (worth looking into), there are still ways to birth using water as pain relief/relaxation.
    It might be worth asking if the hospital will let you push while under the shower - as Melissa says, you may not be inclined to move anyway at that stage, but ideally you'd have someone supporting you in that stage and not turning off the water and trying to move you.

    I'm pretty sure the only option available to me during my waterbirth would have been gas. I assume on a low setting. It never occurred to me to ask for drugs though in the waterbirth (and there was no option for that at home ), I was taken by surprise by how efficient my birth hormones were in terms of helping me labour and focus and birth. Really amazing.

    All the best as you continue to figure out your options! xo

  16. #16

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    I hope you are getting through those articles ok. I had a fab waterbirth at the same place Nelle did. Don't panic if you can't get one - a few women do get out and give birth on dry land because they feel more comfortable.

    One thing to remember is an Active birth is an easier birth, stay upright, bounce on a fitball (usually provided), walk, rock, sing and dance if you feel. Let gravity help you!

  17. #17

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    I think you would be best of the contact the midwives clinics at the hospitals to find out what their current policies are to ensure you have the most up to date information.

  18. #18

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    FTM: Congrautulations on your pregnancy & I want to say it's great that you are exploring your birthing options. Educating yourself on choices available to you and what resonates with you is an important part of the journey to Mother.

    Waterbirth I can attest is a beautiful, calm and safe way to birth your baby into this world. If you click on the link in my signature you can see photos of one of my births...

    It can be challenging to find a hospital that will support water immersion in labour. However there are places that will and hopefully in time the numbers of hospitals that support waterbirth will grow.

    If you cannot find a hospital that fills your needs you could consider a homebirth. Most homebirth (if not all) are experienced with water birth.

    Options in birth are very important for you may feel like you want a waterbirth but want to get out of the tub at the last minute. (I did this with my son - it felt very important actually urgent to birth "on land"). Without options we run the risk of stifling the natural urges, responses and energy of birth. So, if your local hospital doesn't support water use - petition them. Write letters etc. Activisim & speaking of your experience is a positive way to action change.

    Someone mentioned using the tub but sitting on the plug. I believe this is both potentially dangerous and disrespectful to your careprovider. Forcing a midwife to assist you to deliver your baby in a method she is not comfortable or educated with can be dangerous for your baby. Forcing a midwife (by refusing to get out of the tub or sitting on the plug) sets up a negative and distrustful energy around the birth - birth needs to be as honest and open as possible. It is one of the most sacred events in this world - tainting it intentionally is not a good vibe. Think of the midwife who also may not be covered by indemnity under hospital policy.

    I hope you can source out a model of care and options that are in sync with your values.

    There are far more options than water or bed. There are lots in between that can help with pain relief. An active labour has the most favourable outcomes. Squatting during contractions, hip swivelling, pulling down from (fixed and strong!) furniture, shower on your back, hot packs etc.

    An epidural is not going to happen in water due to the lack of movement and monitoring required. Opiates (pethidine) cannot be used as they will make you too drowsy. Some places will have portable gas - but generally using water means that very little pain relief is needed. Water is a fabulous way of decreasing your discomfort!

    Wishing you a beautiful birth...

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