Imagine for a moment the stress of labor melting away as you step into a spacious tub. The warm water ripples around you, as you sink deeply into it. The lights are dimmed while soothing music plays softly in the background. The aroma of your favorite essential oils linger around you. Candles flicker. Your caring birth partner holds your hand, whispering words of affirmation and encouragement while gently wiping your face with a soft, cool cloth. Moving freely and easily in the embrace of the warm water, you are relaxed, calm and ready to meet your sweet baby, soon.
Water enables relaxation, and using it during labor is no exception. Water has been known to reduce the intensity of labor and to make a laboring mother buoyant, as she moves with ease through the water. Most of all, water’s calming effect lends to a gentler birth, as baby transitions from its water womb to water world.
For the greatest pain relief in labor, the mother should be immersed in water, so it covers her belly completely. This creates buoyancy, which will counteract the weight of the belly and the pressure of the contractions. It is also much easier for the mother to move in water, making changing positions easier. Being immersed in the water allows for a natural increase in the body’s production of feel-good humorous, such as oxytocin, which naturally decreases pain.
Our birth tubs are deep and have plenty of space for you to move and change positions. There is also room for your partner to join you in the tub if so desired.
Water birth has been shown to be a safe option for birth. Our midwives use handheld, waterproof dopplers to check the baby’s heartbeat and can easily do this while you are in the water. No need to worry about your baby trying to breathe under water; studies have shown that babies are prompted to take their first breaths when oxygen hits the roof of their mouths or when there is a significant change in temperature around them. We keep the water temperature close to your body temperature, so your baby will not take a breath until out of the water. In one study, babies born in water had a lower rate of admission to NICU (Gilbert and Tookey 1999).
We offer luxurious, built in birth tubs at both our Lehi and Provo locations. We use specific sanitation measures to ensure cleanliness after each tub use. Water birth is a part of all of our birth center births.