Is a water birth right for you?

Having a water birth is on the increase in Singapore. Here is more about the trend.

In April 2006, Mdm Jo Tang made history by being the first Singaporean to have a water birth. She delivered her baby, Nature, with Dr Chong Yap Seng, at National University Hospital.

Since then more and more Singaporeans have opted for water birth.

What is water birth?

Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery. Other women decide to stay in the water for the delivery as well.

The theory behind water birth is that lying in warm water can help the mother relax and help her cope with labour pains.

Are there any risks?

There has been very little research done to determine the risks of water birth. According to a joint statement by the Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (UK) and Royal College of Midwives (UK), there may be a theoretical risk of water embolism, which is when water enters the mother’s blood stream.

Another potential risk to consider is that the umbilical cord could snap as the baby is brought to the surface of the water. This is preventable by using caution when lifting the baby up to the mother’s chest.

Water birth is not ideal if:

* You have Herpes as herpes transfers easily in water.

* Your baby is breech.

* You have been diagnosed with excessive bleeding or maternal infection.

* You are having multiples.

* Preterm labor is expected: If a baby is pre-term, two weeks or more prior to due date, water birth is not recommended.

* You have toxemia or preeclampsia:

Where to have a water birth

The only official hospital that supports water labour and water delivery in Singapore is NUH. Mt Alvernia and Thompson support water labour but do not do water delivery.

If you do intend to have a water birth it is also advisable to hire a daula as a labour supporter.

To find out more about waterbirth, watch this video: