Everything you need to know about water birth
A water birth can make the arrival of your little one even more precious. Could this birth method be for you?
The big day is coming! You must be eager for the water birth you’ve been dreaming of. Here are details you need to know to help you be more prepared – from the birthing pool to the people supporting your delivery.
With a variety of birthing options available, you can choose one that is most suitable for yourself. You’ve probably seen pictures of water births before – so serene and magical! But you still have concerns. Let’s help you to take a closer look at water births to see if this birth method is right for you.
Why Mummies Choose Water Birth
More and more mums-to-be are choosing to have water births since the benefits are so enticing. A unique method of managing the pain of childbirth is just the start. Water births have also been known to be less stressful for both mother and child. In recent years, they have become more popular for a number of reasons:
- Immersion in the tub during the first stages of labour helps ease the pain and can make you feel more relaxed and in control. It will be best to immerse when you are at 5cm dilated as this is more beneficial.
- The water lets you move around so you can relax in the tub.
- As you stay upright in the water, gravity will naturally help the baby move down the birth canal.
- It may reduce the need for pain medication. The water can help make the perineum stretch gradually, lowering the chances of severe vaginal tearing.
- A water birth provides a less stressful environment to the baby, making his or her introduction into the world more calm and peaceful.
Water Birth at Thomson
Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) is the only private hospital in Singapore to offer this birthing method. If you are opting for a water birth, or if you’re exploring your options, a visit to the hospital is a good idea.
We strive to provide a comfortable environment for a smooth and successful delivery. When you are at 36 weeks of gestation, you will be required to drop by to our Delivery Suite for a discussion with our trained staff. During this visit, she will introduce you and your partner to the surroundings and will also explain to you on the water birth process and clarify any questions you may have.
On the big day, when you arrive at the hospital, you will be brought to the birthing room after admission procedures. You might be feeling anxious and excited at this point, but the experienced nurses will take good care of you.
Likewise, your baby will be monitored regularly and receive the utmost attention. Cardiotocography (CTG) will be done to check foetal heartbeat and your contractions when necessary.
The Suite Life
The birthing suite has been specifically designed to make your birthing experience as comfortable and peaceful as possible.
To help you through labour, you may ask for aromatherapy to help you feel more relaxed. You may also bring along your choice of soothing music if you would like to play them during your labour. Hydrotherapy, a pain relief method, is also available. To help relieve your contractions, there are different-sized exercise balls and mats you can use.
The Birthing Pool
The triangle-shaped tub will be your sanctuary during childbirth. The birthing pool is specifically designed so that you can find the most comfortable position for you.
The tub will be filled with warm water to soothe your pain during labour. And the temperature is constantly checked and maintained to make it similar to that of the womb.
There are handle bars that you can hold on to as you go in and out of the tub, and non-slip mats are also laid out for your safety.
Q&A: All Your Questions About Water Birth Answered
It’s best to have a determined mindset for this special moment. Arm yourself with information, so you can push any worries away. This is your chosen birth plan because you know it will be best for you and your baby!
What to wear?
Wear whatever feels comfortable – be it a bra, a bikini, a tank top or nothing at all. You’ll be in the privacy of your birthing suite and it will be your safe space.
You will be asked to remove your underwear as birthing time draws near.
Is it possible to get an infection?
It’s very rare, but like in all medical procedures, there is always a risk for infection.
The birthing pool at Thomson Medical Centre is thoroughly disinfected before and after every use. Nurses are specially trained for water births and you can also be confident that the doctor, midwife, and nurses attending to you are in the best of health.
Both you and Daddy are also screened prior to the birth date.
What about poop?
Any mum who has had a natural birth before knows this is a very real concern. As labour gets more intense and as you get closer to delivery, you may see different things in the tub water such as mucus, bloody show, and even faeces.
Don’t worry because the nurse or midwife will clean them out. If poop is solid, it can be scooped out. Or they can change the water if watery poop comes out.
There’s no need to feel conscious about it! The nurses will support you throughout the whole process.
How does the baby breathe during a water birth?
During a water birth, a baby’s body behaves as if still in the womb. The baby gets oxygen from the blood that comes from the mother through the placenta. When the baby emerges underwater, the baby will still continue to receive oxygen from the placenta.
Your doctor and medical team will ensure that the baby’s head will never be brought above water and down again, as a newborn lifted out of water will naturally start to take in air through the lungs for the first time.
Each doctor may have a different technique, but will know how to manage each birth the right way.
Will baby be taken out of the water quickly?
You can bond with your baby in the tub as soon as baby is born. The nurses will then help you out of the tub and onto the bed to continue skin to skin bonding. The medical team will check the baby as soon as the umbilical cord is cut. Baby will be cleaned, warmed, weighed, and measured – all inside the birthing suite.
Skin-to-skin contact will be done immediately. In case you’re not feeling well, Daddy will be asked to remove his shirt and do the bonding as well. This is the best start possible for your family!
What about the placenta?
You will need to get out of the tub after birthing so that the medical team can assist for the 3rd stage of labour to deliver your placenta.
For religious purpose (eg: for Muslim mothers), you can make the necessary arrangements with your religious organisation to collect your placenta to be buried in land. If you choose not to collect your placenta, the hospital will dispose it on your behalf.
Who are the people allowed inside the room?
Your husband or partner is strongly encouraged to be there with you. If he’s not around, one family member can take his place.
Your midwife will be there to support you throughout the whole process. And a doula is also allowed.
Who will be on your Support Team?
Birth can be unpredictable, so it’s best to surround yourself with an experienced team to provide medical care and respect your birth plan.
Countless babies have begun their lives at TMC. You can be confident that you will be in the best hands.
How do the delivery nurses support mums-to-be?
- Thomson midwives support natural birth. They will help ease your worries, teach you how to breathe properly, and will support you through every step of the way.
- They are your cheerleaders. Right from the start, they will aim for you to have a successful water birth.
- They will support your husband, too. They will speak with him and make sure he doesn’t panic.
Let’s take a virtual tour of Thomson Water Birth Facilities.
Make the best choice to make your transition into motherhood peaceful and comfortable. Choose a delivery team and hospital that is dedicated to give you the best birthing experience you can possibly have.