Waterbirth at LA Midwife Collective
Being in warm water during labor is a great tool for natural pain relief. A common reaction to the discomfort of contractions is to tense up, which may affect the rhythm of contractions and your experience of pain. The less tension you have the more likely your body is to have regular and effective contractions to help you open up. Additionally, the relaxing effect of warm water can help you take deeper, more calming breaths to help with the discomforts of labor.
Warm water has also been shown to increase oxytocin levels, the main labor hormone responsible for creating strong and regular contractions. Immersing in warm water during labor can help decrease the stress hormone adrenaline, which inhibits oxytocin. This is why many women seek out a warm bath or a trip to the spa during times of stress.
The birth tub is most often used during the transition part of labor, a time when you may feel more restless and need more support. The buoyancy of the water and lack of gravity allows you to get into positions that may not otherwise be comfortable outside of the tub. The combination of relaxation and freedom of movement that warm water provides can help your baby to navigate through your pelvis more easily.
Although we don’t know for sure about the baby’s experience of birth, water may provide a more gentle transition from the womb environment to the outside world. Because we carry a waterproof Doppler, we are still able to monitor baby’s heartbeat and wellbeing even while you are laboring in the tub. Healthy babies are protected from breathing in the water by an inborn reflex called the diving reflex. The nerves of the face, nose and mouth coming into contact with air stimulates the baby to take his or her first breath. This is why the baby must be completely born into the water and is immediately brought up to the surface once the entire body is born.
We rent the Birth Pool in a Box tub specifically made for waterbirths. The is 5 by 6 feet and is spacious enough for both you and your partner.