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Thread: Thinking about a waterbirth...

  1. #1

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    Default Thinking about a waterbirth...

    Hi ladies,

    I've been recently thinking more and more about the possibility of a waterbirth.

    I'm booked into the Family Birth Centre at the Mercy in Melbourne, they have two large labour pools and while they encourage the use of the pools for labour, they do ask that a woman hops out of the pool to deliver.

    However the MW added that if a woman is comfortable in the water and doesn't want/is unable to get out and oops here is baby, then so be it! She said it just means more paperwork for them - they don't mind, but the registrars can get a bit snotty apparently

    I had a vaginal delivery with DD - tho it was vacuum assisted with an episiotomy. I was in a private hospital then, with an Obs. I used a TENS and the gas.



    I'm really hoping this time to go as natural as possible, use the TENS at home for as long as possible, then try the labour pool once I get into the FBC.

    What do people think about using labour pools? What about the possibility that it can slow down labour? What else should I consider?

  2. #2

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    Labour pools are fantastic. I know some midwives who call them an aquadural due to their ability to give pain relief. If you can get one where you can move onto your knees it is better than one where you have to lie just like in a bath as you can still rock and sway with each surge.

    For the pushing stage it is much more comfortable underwater, and it slows 2nd stage down so there is less chance of a tear.

    Most midwives will not recommend you get in the pool too early though as in early labour it can slow things down a bit. But once you are having string, regular contractions and are dilated about 5cm or 6cm there is no reason to avoid the pool.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Traveller! Just the kind of info I was after.

    So maybe my new plan is so stay at home as long as I can - with DD I lasted til I was about 4cm, so I need to last a bit longer... then I can get in the pool hopefully.

    I'm a bit worried about tearing on my epi scar line so hopefully the pool will help with that...

  4. #4

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    More of my waterbirth tips: you can get hot in the warm water so drinkn lots of fluids and be prepared that your midwife will be offering you fluid even if you don't feel thirsty. Keep drinking as dehydration = drip = out of the pool.

    Also I wore a t-shirt in the water which got wet (obviously), and the part that was above the waterline helped cool me down like a cold flannel that could not fall off. I did this with DS2's birth as my MIL was there and I wasn't ready to be naked in front of her, but it was so lovely I repeated it with the twins. (They were not born in the water, I just laboured in it. See my birth story in my sig for details).

  5. #5

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    I had a waterbirth with #1. In my experiences water has been great for relaxation and pain relief.

    With #1, my contractions started regularly at 8mins apart, with no previous warning. After a few hours of dozing between contractions, I laboured at home in a spa bath until my contractions were about 5 min apart. The only thing that got me out was the midwife assuring me she there would be a bath ready when I got there.

    I was in too much pain for them to check where I was at when I got to the hospy (the needed me to lie on my back, but I suspect bub was still posterior at that stage), so I got straight in the water....and back in my zone. Obviously it's labour so it's not entirely a comfortable thing, but in terms of keeping me feeling relaxed and warm it worked really well, which meant I was really focussed.

    There were poles for me to hold on to, so the midwife encouraged me to roll over so I was sort of floating on my back. I didn't want to because I was so comfy on my knees, but I guess with them not knowing how far along I was, they want to be able to better see what's going on? There might have been another reason. At any rate, it was really comfy when I rolled over, so no probs there anyway. I gripped the poles during contractions (and was told to let go inbetween otherwise my arms would be like jelly the next day), made big tidal waves over everyone, and had bub in the bath 3 hours after we got to the hospital.

    With #2 I just used a shower for pain relief and that was relaxing and helped me focus too.

    I tore both times, but to be honest I didn't really hold back when it came to pushing, for me pushing meant labour almost over so I wasn't at my wisest there.

    So yeah. Moral of my story is that I highly recommend water as pain relief. Not that I've tried anything else. But if you don't like it, you can get out. If you find labour slows down, you can get out, wait to progress and hop back in. It's not like you're stuck there. xo

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the t-shirt tip Traveller! I laboured in a nightie with DD, that was short, and buttoned right through for easy opening at the required skin-on-skin time. I like the idea of keeping it on...

    Nelle, I had no idea you could have a VE while in a tub - thanks for the pointer!

    I need to write these things down so I can ask the MW on Tuesday...

  7. #7

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    I don't think you can Traveller...but I do know that the midwife told me to feel between my legs because I'd find something (the head), so she must have been able to see something? Unless she was just guessing from how I sounded/behaved?

    Re: clothes on or off, just see how you go at the time. I bought a top to labour in because no WAY was I getting my kit of unless I needed to, I'm a modest sort of gal. Or was. And seriously, the minute the middy said 'alright you can hop in the' - WHAM - my clothes were off and thrown about the room and I was IN the bath.

  8. #8

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    I think I had to get out of the tub for any VE's, although the heartrate can be checked underwater. The midwives do use mirrors on sticks though so they can see what is happening.

  9. #9

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    I *think* I remember them checking the heartrate. I'll ask DH if they used a mirror. I was sort of in the zone so no-one really talked to me, you know 'when the zebra's in the zone, leave him alone'. I glared at anyone who made noise.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nelle View Post
    'when the zebra's in the zone, leave him alone'


    Most midwives prepared for a labour / birth in water will have a waterproof doppler to monitor heart rate. Apart from that, there's not heaps more a VE will tell you that you can't figure out from what the woman is doing anyway, unless they've been labouring for hours and hours without progress or something.

  11. #11

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    Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it! Water birth is awesome. I had DD1 in the pool, and DD2 was just after geting out for a VE and ARM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmickers View Post

    Most midwives prepared for a labour / birth in water will have a waterproof doppler to monitor heart rate.
    My MW with DD2 accidentally used one of the L&D dopplers, which wasn't waterproof The hospital had 1 less doppler after that.

  12. #12

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    If you have the opportunity - DO IT!!!!!

    I had one with my second baby - tore with my first and not a graze with my WB.

    I lOVED it - took the pain almost away and I had a completely drug free birth (and I am someone who faints with sunburn)

    I only had one VE - which was out of the bath - other than that, doppler was used in the water and the midwife just knew where I was at because of the way I was acting.

    I would almost have another baby just to birth again, and anyone who knows me - knows I would never have thought that before my last birth

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Thinking about a waterbirth...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelle View Post
    I had a waterbirth with #1. In my experiences water has been great for relaxation and pain relief.

    With #1, my contractions started regularly at 8mins apart, with no previous warning. After a few hours of dozing between contractions, I laboured at home in a spa bath until my contractions were about 5 min apart. The only thing that got me out was the midwife assuring me she there would be a bath ready when I got there.

    I was in too much pain for them to check where I was at when I got to the hospy (the needed me to lie on my back, but I suspect bub was still posterior at that stage), so I got straight in the water....and back in my zone. Obviously it's labour so it's not entirely a comfortable thing, but in terms of keeping me feeling relaxed and warm it worked really well, which meant I was really focussed.

    There were poles for me to hold on to, so the midwife encouraged me to roll over so I was sort of floating on my back. I didn't want to because I was so comfy on my knees, but I guess with them not knowing how far along I was, they want to be able to better see what's going on? There might have been another reason. At any rate, it was really comfy when I rolled over, so no probs there anyway. I gripped the poles during contractions (and was told to let go inbetween otherwise my arms would be like jelly the next day), made big tidal waves over everyone, and had bub in the bath 3 hours after we got to the hospital.

    With #2 I just used a shower for pain relief and that was relaxing and helped me focus too.

    I tore both times, but to be honest I didn't really hold back when it came to pushing, for me pushing meant labour almost over so I wasn't at my wisest there.

    So yeah. Moral of my story is that I highly recommend water as pain relief. Not that I've tried anything else. But if you don't like it, you can get out. If you find labour slows down, you can get out, wait to progress and hop back in. It's not like you're stuck there. xo
    Could you please tell me where you had your water birth? Im in south east melbourne and would love a water birth so i'm trying to find everywhere that offers a WB. TIA

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Thinking about a waterbirth...

    Quote Originally Posted by treenie86 View Post
    Could you please tell me where you had your water birth? Im in south east melbourne and would love a water birth so i'm trying to find everywhere that offers a WB. TIA
    the Angliss does waterbirths, if a 'qualified' midwife is on shift. if not, you can labour in their bath but will be asked to get out to birth. the bath is not as deep as a traditional birth pool, but it seemed to be ok.

    alternatively, homebirth with a private midwife will get you a waterbirth if that's what you want.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Thinking about a waterbirth...

    Monash Clayton also do water births. You would need to be considered low risk to have access to the water birth facilities.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Thinking about a waterbirth...

    I am planning for a water birth at Birralee, the maternity ward at Box Hill Hospital.
    I just watched a water birth on One Born Every Minute and it was incredible.! Has made me certain that's what I want and am really happy that Box Hill can offer it to me.

    I was able to labour in the water at Dandenong but was ordered to get out once the urge to push arrived. But that was 9 years ago so their policy may have changed.

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Thinking about a waterbirth...

    Okay, ladies, if you are at a hospy that allows you to labour in birth but says you can't birth in it and you REALLY want to birth in water BRING YOUR OWN PLUG. They can't take that out, they can only remove the hospital plug. I was speaking to a friend who wanted to stay in the bath at Warragul and she was upset that they made her get out while she was crowning
    I'm planning a waterbirth in a few weeks and it's the only way I know how to birth, though I'm sure I'd be fine if I had to do it on dry land I didn't tear with either of them and I had internal grazing only.
    Being in water is magic for me, but that applies any day of the week whether I'm birthing or not. I first heard of it when Elle McPherson had her first child. When I realised I was pregnant with DS I knew I'd be waterbirthing, and that led me to HypnoBirthing, which led me to BB

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