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  • Water birth is not ideal for women with certain conditions. Dr. Singson states that diabetes, hypertension, and prematurity are contraindicated (meaning, the condition does not allow for a specific procedure) for water birth. Other contraindications include, but are not limited to:
    - Herpes
    - Breeched baby
    - History of excessive bleeding or maternal infection
    - Having more than one baby (twins, triplets, etc.)
    - Toxemia
    - Pre-eclampsia
    - Severe meconium

    Here are advantages and disadvantages of water birth:

    1. Stress reduction and pain relief
    Warm water is especially soothing and calming to pregnant women, providing much-needed relaxation to help facilitate and ease the pains of labor and delivery. High blood pressure caused by anxiety is decreased. Release of stress-related hormones is also decreased, allowing Mom to produce endorphins, which inhibit pain. The warmth of the water provides relaxation to muscles the same way that a hot shower helps to ease back pain. Both physical and mental relaxation enables you to focus solely on the birthing process.

    2. Increased mobility
    The buoyancy of the water lets Mom move more freely as needed to facilitate labor. She can move with the baby and change positions more readily than lying on a regular bed. Buoyancy also makes uterine contractions more efficient, improves blood circulation and oxygenation of muscles, making labor and delivery easier. Many women report having less painful uterine contractions due to immersion in water.

    3. Decreased need for drugs or invasive interventions
    Water causes the perineum to relax and become more elastic, which will reduce the incidence of tearing and the need for episiotomies. Water birth is highly rated by both mothers and healthcare practitioners as a very natural, safe way to give birth. For those seeking refuge from drugs, needles or injections, epidurals, or other invasive procedures, water birth is a highly-recommended alternative. Also, women who have had previous C-sections can safely give birth naturally through water birth.

    4. Provides empowerment for women
    As the buoyancy of the water increases mobility and decreases perception of pain, Mom is able to feel more in control and mentally focused on giving birth. Most women report great satisfaction in knowing “what they were really made of”, finding strength in accomplishing a feat deemed by others as impossible without the help of medical interventions.


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