What is the benefit of using the birthing pool?

This week a pregnant lady asked me about the benefits of water for labour as her friend recently had a waterbirth.

The use of water during labour has become a popular choice for pain relief and can be used with gas and air and/or alternative therapies.

The main benefit is that the depth of the water allows you to move freely while the water makes you feel relaxed and supported. It seems like women can breathe through the contractions better and seem to rest more inbetween then those that labour on land.The lights are dimmed, calm music playing in the background, drinks and snacks nearby which all play a part at making your labour as calm and relaxing as possible. The water temperature is kept at a level that is comfortable for you around 37c. You don’t need to say that you want a waterbirth, some use the water just for labour but get out for the birth, whereas others stay in the pool until after their baby is born.

Handy tips from the midwife:

  • A flannel can keep you cool as the birthroom can be hot and humid
  • Small battery operated candles can create a feeling of being in a spa
  • Some women bring in gardening kneeling pad so you don’t get sore knees
  • An inflatable bath neck support can be handy for relaxing inbetween contractions
  • Don’t have a manicure and pedicure before going into labour as nail varnish will need to be taken off before getting into the pool
  • Bring a bendy straw so you can easily keep hydrated
  • Slow energy releasing snacks that are easy to digest are recommended
  • If you partner wants to get in to the pool.. pack him some trunks!