In recent years I have begun to deliver baby after baby in the water and it has been wonderful! As the baby goes from one warm-water-filled place to the other, the startle is greatly lessened. Babies are often born without even as much as a whimper because the transition is so gradual and smooth. Moms love the water as it eases the pain of contractions, and is easier for movement. Less perineal massage is necessary and warm packs are not needed as the warm water does the job.
We see less tearing and easier second stage. Even big babies, who potentially can have a harder time being born – shoulder dystocia- they are more easily managed in the water as mom’s hips are more fluid which gives baby optimum room.
I have never met anyone yet who has had a water birth who would not choose to do it again!
One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Won’t baby swallow water or drown?”
Consider this… Baby has been swallowing water for nine months. Even if baby attempts to breathe, nothing has changed since being in utero. Until the baby takes its first breath of air, its lungs are not inflated.The baby is not left to swim, but immediately brought up onto mom’s chest. You would never put the baby back in the water once out of water.