Water Birth

Calm and Relaxing

The theory behind water birth is that because the baby has lived in the amniotic fluid sac for nine months, birthing into a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother than a traditional birth.

Water births can be arranged at the hospital as well as at our birth center.

How May We Help You?

Call us: (864) 797-7350

Water Birth Benefits for Mom

A water birth can help a woman relax physically, which leads to mental relaxation and an increased ability to focus on the birth process.

  • Warm water is soothing, comforting and relaxing
  • Use of water can boost your energy during the late stages of labor
  • The effect of buoyancy lessens your body weight, allowing free movement and new positioning alternatives
  • Buoyancy promotes efficient uterine contractions and improved blood circulation, which results in increased oxygenation of uterine muscles, reduced pain for you and enhanced oxygen for your baby
  • Immersion in water often helps reduce high blood pressure caused by anxiety
  • Water can reduce stress-related hormones, allowing your body to produce endorphins, which serve as pain inhibitors
  • Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, decreasing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and/or stitches
  • As a laboring woman relaxes physically, she also can relax mentally, resulting in an increased ability to focus on the birth process
  • Because water provides a heightened sense of privacy, it can ease inhibitions, anxiety and fears

Benefits for Baby

  • A water setting is similar to the amniotic sac
  • Being surrounded by water eases the stress of birth, thus increasing reassurance and a sense of security

Who can use water for labor and birth?

You and your baby must meet all of the following criteria for water labor and/or birth:

  • Be generally healthy without major pregnancy complications
  • Be carrying one baby who is presenting head down
  • Be at least 37 weeks pregnant at the time of birth
  • Not be a carrier of (or infected with) HIV, hepatitis B or C, or have other active infections at the time of the birth
  • Have a BMI under 40 and follow weight gain recommendations for pregnancy

Certain women attempting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) may be able to have a water birth. If you have previously had a cesarean section, talk to your doctor about whether you can have a water birth.