Comfort Measures in Labour: Water Birth

Have you thought about having a water birth? Do you know whether there are birth pools at your local hospital/birth centre?
Hopefully this post will answer some of your questions about water birth and highlight some of the benefits too.
Is it safe? Yes there are numerous studies to show that water birth is safe for both women and their baby (ies). Take a look at Sara Wickhams website for the latest studies on Water Birth.
Is it okay for babies to be born underwater? Yes a baby’s breathing reflex only starts when it comes into contact with the air.
Where can I have a water birth? At home, birth centre or hospital.
You can buy or hire your own birth pool for a home birth, local home birth groups sometime have birth pools to hire and local doulas often have birth pools available to borrow, you will need to buy extras as the liner and hose to fill the pool are only used once.
Local hospital birth pools:
Derby Royal has 2 birth pools (1 in the birth centre and 1 in the labour ward)
Burton hospital has 1 birth pool
Chesterfield Royal has 4 birth pools (3 in midwife led rooms and 1 in a consultant led room)
Queens Medical Centre has 3 pools (2 in the Sanctuary Birth Centre and 1 in the labour ward)
Nottingham City Hospital has 5 pools (3 in the Sanctury Birth Centre and 2 in the labour ward)
Kings Mill Hospital has 1 pool
Can I use water in labour even if I don’t want to give birth in the pool? Yes. Warm water can help during all stages of labour. You can use water in the bath/shower at home and just use a birth pool for labour and get out to give birth if you prefer.
Can I use other pain relief/comfort measures while in the pool? Yes, you can still use gas and air, aromatherapy, massage/pressure, comb, music, breathing techniques, hypnobirthing, affirmations, acupressure/reflexology while you’re in the birthing pool. 

What shall I wear? What makes you feel comfortable. Some people choose to wear a vest top/t-shirt or bikini top. Others choose to be naked.
Can my birth partner get in the pool with me? Yes, if you would like them to. A birth centre or labour ward might ask for partners to wear swimwear. Just leave the snorkel at home….

Some benefits
A greater sense of control and privacy
Provides pain relief
The buoyancy of water makes it easier to move and change position
Reduces the chance of tearing
Aids relaxation which in turn help labour to progress
A gentle transition to the world for the baby


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