Category Archives: Water birth

Embracing labour actively and in water – simply awesome!

Labouring is hard work, that is why it is called labour. So often we just want to lay back and hope it’ll go away but by embracing the hard work that lays in front of us, it usually is over quickly. This I have witnessed many times, let me tell you of the most recent.

A labouring young woman came into our care being in the early throes of established labour very distressed. Her contractions were long and doubling up. The doubling up of contractions means that presenting part is not in an ideal position, it’s a little kinked. This can make for a long labour. Being distressed can also make for a long and hard labour. To remedy this an active standing position was advised including a rocking movement so that the presenting part could rotate into a more favourable position and relax her, hence making the journey easier and shorter. The young woman listened, followed the advise and calmed down. Her contractions became more regular and progress was noted after 90 minutes by the woman experiencing pressure in her bottom.

At this stage she was getting distressed again, the pressure can be quite frightening and at this stage women either want to push or resist. Pushing to early can be damaging but at the same time it is what our body is telling us, so why not go for it? My take on this is; yes our body is telling us to do it but it is how we do it. Don’t force it! Our bodies need to relax at this stage. A good way to relax in labour is getting into water. Again a way to make the labour journey easier and shorter.

Getting in to the water made the young woman relax, I imagine the pressure in her bottom was more manageable because the water counterbalanced the pressure. Any urges to push were gone until shortly before she delivered her baby. She had a couple of involuntary pushing and then the baby’s head was visible. A few more involutary pushes and her baby was there in her arms.

She progressed from 5 cm dilation to delivering her baby in 3 hours. Now some of you are probably thinking she has done labour before but in fact, this was her first baby. Amazing, right!

Hearing from other and reading the textbooks on active positions and water births and their benefits is one thing, but to keep seeing it again and again for yourself is simply awesome.

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Beautiful Birth Movie

Beautiful Birth Movie. – watch this truly wonderful water birth!

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60 work hours later and some well deserved rest – I’m back

I thought I might have posted more blogs than this in my first weeks but had some gruelling hours and then just needed to switch off for a few days. My batteries are now recharged and thinking back to my long hours what stands out is a waterbirth I attended and a disagreement. I will tell you about the waterbirth as the disagreement is rather a sad and uncomfortable affair.

This first-time mother had been in for an assessment at 13.00 in the evening and she was sent home as in early labour. Arriving back again at 20.00 she was again assessed and she was now in established labour and 4-5 cm dilated. She started using the gas & air and had no plan for her birth, happy to go with the flow. Showing her the room where she would labour and birth in, and further discussing her option she was keen to try hydrotherapy (the waterpool). After entering the pool she first became very relaxed and then started to contract strongly. She requested for stronger pain relief and decided on having an epidural but she didn’t want to get out of the pool. So she stayed in the pool. Half an hour later she was involutary pushing, that is at 23.15. Decision was made to examine her early but for me to just visit the ladies room and grab a snack beforehand. I suspected she was probably close to delivery hence it was important to be ready on all fronts. I only got as far as to sit on the toilet seat when I heard the student shouting in the corridor – Vertex visible! Well I quickly finished and ran back to the room and sure enough vertex was not only visible, baby’s head was nearly crowning. We all got ready and baby delivered within 20 mins. Baby did it’s little swim and was then handed to mum in great condition. The tears and laughter of both mother and father were so heart-warming! There was kisses, hugs and hand squeezes all round.

I love to see all that emotion that the birth of a child brings to the new parents, it often brings me a little tear of joy myself. Speaking to very experienced midwives with more than 20 years experience they say this never changes. As another friend of mine would express it – We are truly blessed!

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Filed under Birth, childbirth, labour and birth, Midwifery, Water birth