Water immersion labor and delivery utilizes the therapeutic properties of warm water for a safe, easy and effective drug-free choice for comfort throughout labor and birth.
*MMC is one of the only clinics to provide this service in West Tennessee*
Some of the benefits of Water Immersion Labor and Delivery include:
- Reduces blood pressure
- Provides significant pain relief
- Speeds up labor
- Allows the mother to feel more in control
- Promotes relaxation
- Conserves the mother’s energy
- Provides the mother with a private, protected space
- Reduces the need for drugs and interventions
- Enables the mother to assume whatever position she feels is comfortable for labor and delivery
- Reduces cesarean section rates
- Is highly rated by experience providers
- Reduces perineal trauma and eliminates episiotomies
- Is highly rated by mothers
One of the primary effects of the warm water during labor is that it reduces the pain of labor. Just consider how relaxing a bubble bath is…water immersion labor and delivery provides a similar comforting/relaxing effect.
Another benefit is that the water supports the mother’s weight so that she can assume more comfortable positions (such as squatting) that would typically require more muscle energy. The water also relaxes the pelvic floor muscles and softens the tissues of the birth canal, which in turn makes pushing and birth easier. It can also reduce the need for stitches or an episiotomy. Furthermore, water immersion labor actually facilitates the progression of the latter stages of labor.
The ease the mother experiences during the water immersion labor and delivery is passed on to her baby. Their bodies’ responses are intricately linked. The mother’s emotions are felt by the baby due to the hormones in her body secreting in response to her emotions, which are then absorbed by the baby. Water immersion labor and delivery allows the baby to spend less time in the cramped birth canal and is free from the frustration, fear or other painful emotions that a mother experiences during a difficult labor.
Is it Really Safe?
Babies instinctively know to not breathe until they are brought out of the water (also known as the DIVE reflex). Water has been the baby’s home for the past 9 months – they are comfortable in water. Being born into water provides them with a smoother transition that is less stressful. When they come out of the water the temperature and pressure changes which lets them know they need to breathe.