As women become aware of the options available to them for childbirth, many of them choose alternatives to the traditional hospital setting. One method that has become more common is water childbirth. There are a number of pros and cons associated with water childbirth that should be considered before an individual chooses this method. Some of the benefits of water childbirth include relaxation during labor, easier and faster delivery as well as the possibility of less pain during labor. A risk of infection, no decrease in pain or discomfort and the distance from medical personnel and facilities in case of an emergency are some of the negative aspects of water childbirth.
Many women state that they experience less pain during labor when giving birth in the water. This might be because water relaxes the body, leaving the mother less tense and better able to concentrate and relax during labor. Some birthing pools have jets that can be used to massage certain pressure points during labor, which can cause even more relaxation.
An easier and faster delivery is another possible outcome of water childbirth. Some women find that because they are relaxed, labor is not as difficult as expected. Many women are in an upright position when giving birth in the water, so gravity might help with the delivery of the baby as well, causing delivery to proceed faster than normal.
Although some women thoroughly enjoy water childbirth, others might not experience the same benefits. Many times feces, blood or other fluids are present in the water and can cause infections. If contaminates are present, the mother might have to deal with a midwife or other personnel clearing the water of these items. This might prove to be a distraction to the mother, causing her to lose focus.
Some women find that they experience no decrease in their pain or discomfort when giving birth in water. If this is the case, the mother might have to exit the pool and be given pain medications. This might be very frustrating for the mother.
Perhaps the greatest risk associated with water childbirth is the fact that both the mother and child are often away from a medical facility that is equipped to handle emergencies. If a complication arises during labor or delivery, there is a certain amount of time needed to exit the birthing pool and get to a medical facility. In the case of a high-risk pregnancy, water childbirth might not be the best option for a woman