Childbirth: Choosing Water Birth in Singapore
Water birth is popular among women who prefer a natural childbirth without the use of epidural or medication, and who see the buoyancy of a warm water environment as a gentle way to support their birthing experience. Water birth has also been known to be less stressful on the mother and child. (Thomson Medical)
Picture a gentle welcome for your baby. You’re in a warm pool of water, and you’re cooling off your face with a washcloth. Your doctor is monitoring your baby with an underwater device. When contractions begin, you feel relaxed and comfortable, even when it’s time to push!
Being immersed in warm water has a relaxing effect on your muscles. It can relieve pain and ease tension throughout your body, and reduces the need for pain-relieving drugs. Being in water also gives you the freedom to experiment with different positions! There’s also less risk of tearing since your tissues will be soft and stretchy.
The Practicalities of a Water Birth
For water birth to be effective, you will need to be immersed up to your nipples in body-temperature water. Your abdomen should be under the water. You can get in and out of the water whenever you want — so keep a comfortable dressing gown or robe handy.
If you’re using a birthing pool in hospital or at home, your midwife or doctor will regularly check the baby’s heartbeat using a handheld ultrasound test.
Although it can be soothing, some women find that the water doesn’t give as much pain relief as they were expecting. Mothers who underwent water birth shared that if the pain was unbearable, you would still need to get out of the water to get your epidural. (Mummy.sg) Always be prepared for a possible change of plan, just in case!
If you’re planning a water birth at home, ask your health professional to see if your bathtub is suitable. Otherwise, you may need to rent or purchase a birthing pool. Some hospitals like NUH Singapore, Thomson Medical and Mount Alvernia are equipped with birth tubs and pools. (Asian Parent) Be sure to check if you need to book a birthing pool in advance!
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