Six Ways to Prepare for a Natural Water Birth
Water births are a great way to have your baby in a natural environment, while helping you to relax during labor as well. While you may have always dreamed of having a natural water birth, it is important to prepare properly to not only ensure that everything goes well medically, but also to make sure it is the setting and experience you have always wanted it to be. To help prepare yourself and your home for your natural water birth, try the six tips below.
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Find a Midwife Who Does Water Births
If you are preparing to have your birth at home you will need to find a midwife who is trained in the water birth process. You will want to find someone who has experience and is prepared if something goes wrong, or if the birth process becomes more complicated. If you plan on giving birth at a hospital or birth center, you will need to check their policy on water births. While more places are trying to accommodate the desires of the mother, many places are ill-equipped, or may have policies that do not coincide with your birth plan.
Prepare Supplies You Will Need
The first and most important supply you need will be the birthing tub. While an actual birthing tub can be quite costly, you can also utilize a kiddie pool just as effectively and can even dispose of it after, if you do not want to worry about clean up. You will also need a water thermometer to ensure the water is the correct temperature for both you and the baby. If your tub is inflatable, you will want to have a pump to blow it up to make set up go more quickly. You will also want to make sure you have a hose to fill the pool and any necessary attachments.
Have a Plan
Write out your birthing plan and any plans for contingencies that may arise. You can work with your midwife and birthing partner to create this so everyone is on the same page and know what your preferences are. A New Jersey attorney, Stewart Cohen also suggests having a doctor or hospital contact at the ready just in case. This is an important step as it will be more difficult to communicate effectively once in active labor.
Do a Practice Run
Setup the tub and go through a trial run preparing everything for the birth. During your trial run, you may find that you would refer the tub in a different location, or may need to move it due to the location of the water source needed to fill it. You may also want to explore your hose connection options and be sure you have all necessary attachments.
Discuss Clean Up Arrangements
Preplan your cleanup to make the process go quicker so you can get on with enjoying your new addition and not have to worry about the mess. Consider getting a liner for the birthing tub or covers for the floor that can simply be wrapped up and tossed out.
Prepare the Setting
Determine what you want in terms of ambiance, and gather everything you will need in advance. Consider candles, music, and photos of loved ones that will help you focus and stay relaxed during the birthing process. Additionally, you will want to make note of everything that you would like removed from the room as well and let your partner and midwife know.
Try the six tips above to make sure you are prepared for your natural water birth. Remember to prepare early as sometimes your little one may try to make their debut ahead of schedule.
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.