Water birth is growing in popularity around the world although here in South Africa perhaps not as significantly as elsewhere. I want to use this post to help expecting ladies and couples envision what it might be like to have a water birth and to inform them around the evidence as well as the general pros and cons so they can make the most informed decisions possible regarding their upcoming birth.
The problem you face once pregnant is trying to sift out the facts and the evidence-based suggestions vs peoples’ opinions and their perspective on what you should do. In this clip, I point expecting couples to Rebecca Dekker’s Evidence-based Birth website and her fantastic article on Water birth (among others). The beautiful images are supplied by our very talented local birth photographer and now videographer, Marysol Blomerus. Hope you enjoy it!
For those considering a water birth in South Africa, I thought you might appreciate these links:
1. A South African Woman’s Birth Story in images (actually an HBAC – home birth after Caesarian)
2. Another water birth story from Cape Town in beautiful images
3. Hiring a Birthing Pool www.motherinstinct.co.za
4. Finding a Private Midwife for your water birth www.capemidwives.co.za
5. Finding a Doula – visit www.wombs.org.za
Birth in itself is not predictable but it is exceptional as an experience you will never forget no matter what unfolds. So we have to prepare ourselves the best we can with the knowledge we have at our disposal:
- Firstly, the knowledge about our own bodies, our general health and taking into account our medical histories and past pregnancies and births.
- We need knowledge around our health care system – so the country and health care system you will give birth in may impact your birth choices.
- The professionals you choose to support you while pregnant and in labour might impact your birth. They each have their training background, their skill set and their bias on what might be best for you.
- Lastly, you need to be informed about each birth option and what it would entail and then knowing your family and your personality, make the call of what your preference would be, making sure your team buys into that decision with you.
This video clip forms part of our Online Antenatal Class, helping prepare expecting mothers and fathers for the realities of labour, birth and early parenting. Each lesson includes video clips, downloadable notes, related articles and blogposts. If you’re pregnant, you can sign up here for the online class and work through all the similar video content in your own space and time. To view the course content, click here.
If you have had a water birth, we would love to hear your story and possibly share it with our readers. You might also have other contacts and links you think could be helpful to expecting moms – send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them as a comment below. I’d also love to hear your comments on the above video clip and content.
To learn more about the services offered by Marysol Blomerus, you can read Ever Considered Birth Photography?
One of the more popular options is a water birth so in this clip I’ll discuss some of the important things to understand on the topic of Water birth.
- a significant decrease or total elimination in the use of episiotomy by their care providers.
- Higher rates of intact perineum
- Lower rates of 3rd and 4th degree tears
- Less blood loss or no difference in blood loss
- Less use of pain medication
- You will need to hire a midwife specially trained to assist in water births.
- You will need to hire a birth pool for a home birth or arrange to give birth somewhere where you will access to a birth pool.
- You will need the space to set up the pool, to fill the pool with hot or warm water and over time to drain water and refill it.