The history of mankind has never known the mass hobbies of aquatic genera in the context of world cultures - although in some cases women really left to give birth in water: this happened from the Slavs and from those peoples who lived near water bodies of any size.
In this vein, it is more reasonable to say that the birth took place near the water, and not in it - our ancestors, for example, preferred to go to the birth in the bath. But, perhaps, it would be appropriate here to draw a parallel not with childbirth into the water, but with a more or less adequate option of a modern hospital: it is warm in the bath at any time of the year, quiet and dark, there can be no unauthorized people and there you can quickly carry out hygienic procedures which are necessary during childbirth.
The cult obstetrician of our time, Michel Oden, calls the water genera more natural and natural - but there is no direct confirmation of this either among land animals or in world history. There is no convincing evidence of obvious benefit or harm from official medicine: there is a public discussion about water birth, and statistics on which one could draw conclusions about the effectiveness of such a method are simply not collected in sufficient quantities.
If we talk about existing data, then there is no fundamental and reliable difference in the assessment of the course of genera in water and on land. There are only subjective sensations that women giving birth in the bathroom or pool enthusiastically testify to: the effect of anesthesia and the relatively easier experience of having a childbirth at all stages of labor. All of this can be connected elementarily with a psychological attitude — there is practically no official data on the state of the baby in the womb immersed in water.
Advantages and disadvantages
In our country, the method of water birth is closely connected with the name of I. B. Charkovsky, who began to popularize it back in the 60s of the last century. Since then, this method of delivery has received a large number of fans and just as many - opponents. Those and others regularly try to look for the pros and cons of childbirth in water, and we will try to gather all the facts about them together. We understand this difficult question with our expert, midwife Svetlana Bezrokovoywhich has solid experience in water deliveries.
1. At water birth, the pain is less, therefore, the woman spends less energy on the process itself and relaxes more.
- Water, especially warm, acts as an antispasmodic. It can be a shower, and immersion in the bath. The analgesic effect of water is felt by most women.
2. In the water, it is easier to take a comfortable posture and easier to hold your weight.
- Keep weight easier. Take a comfortable position is not always obtained. Much depends on the size and design of the bath / pool. It happens that a woman does not have enough width or depth, there are no handrails. Or you also want to hang on something, and the bath does not always allow it.
3. Passage through the birth canal for the baby is easier compared to traditional methods - accordingly, the risk of injury during childbirth and immediately after it is lower.
- I think if you compare with the classical supine position, then giving birth in water is softer. If a woman has freedom of movement in attempts, then on land it can be soft for the baby and comfortable for the mother.
4. It is more comfortable for a woman to be in warm water: psychologically, emotionally and even aesthetically, such clans live better.
- A very individual moment, strongly dependent on feelings in childbirth and representations of women. It is impossible to predict the reaction of a particular woman during childbirth: often the scenario changes already in the course: what the woman wanted and dreamed about during pregnancy, the woman may not like it.
5. The probability of rupture of soft tissues during childbirth is reduced.
- In my practice, there is no direct connection between the “environment” of childbirth and gaps, so I would not say so unequivocally.
6. It is impossible to ensure the sterility of water: natural discharge during childbirth can not be immediately removed from the bath or pool.
- Yes, but we have no idea to create sterile conditions for childbirth. If this is a woman’s discharge, then this is the environment that the child will meet when passing through the birth canal and on land. It is important that the bath is well cleaned after each woman, if we are talking about the hospital. And it is good to wash the bath at home, if you, for example, wash your dog in the same bath.
7. It is impossible to control the blood loss of a woman in labor or to adequately estimate the amount of blood lost.
- Of course, it is more difficult than on land. But midwives, who often take birth in water, can understand blood loss and adequately assess the risks to the health of women in such situations by the degree of color of the water and the color saturation.
8. Sometimes it is impossible to control the state of the baby - by heartbeat or other key indicators.
- A key indicator of assessing the condition of the baby in childbirth is the heartbeat. It is usually evaluated by CTG. Many devices allow you to contact with water. Personally, I often just wrap the sensor in a bag and drop it into the water. It allows you to listen to the heart. Also, if it is not possible to immerse the sensor, you can ask the woman to “expose” the tummy a little.
9. The ability to get a crotch rupture in the water below
- Predicting whether a break will occur is rather difficult. Indeed, the probability of getting a break in water is somewhat lower - the tissues become more elastic, the baby walks gently along the birth canal.
At the same time, “on land” there are more opportunities to protect the crotch from rupture if it became clear during the process of labor that the risk of a rupture is high. In this matter, everything is very individual.
10. There are a number of contraindications in which water deliveries can be simply dangerous.
- As a rule, there are no direct contraindications to such childbirth. Sometimes they are afraid of water deliveries, if a very large baby or pelvic presentation is expected, as in case of need to provide some urgent measures, it will be more difficult to do it in water.
It can also be questionable to give birth in water if we see copious bloody discharge or in a history of a woman who has had bleeding in a previous birth.
Well, you always need to understand, it is important that a woman is more comfortable in the water, it should not be just a “fixed idea”, a tribute to fashion or a desire to try something new.
It is important to see that water gives the desired effect, but it does not inhibit childbirth. And there are situations when contractions slow down in the water, then it definitely makes sense to “get out to the land”.
The history of the idea
Why exactly water? How could such a thought have come along with the classic childbirth on the back? The thing is that the aquatic environment is the very first with which it occurs and in which the fetus exists during its prenatal development.
In the water, the baby is very comfortable: he feels much less the influence of gravity, the water column that surrounds him constantly, is an excellent protector, smoothing out all sorts of jolts and blows that can occur while walking, in traffic or during sleep.
During childbirth, the baby will have a difficult role: to go through an unusually hard ring of pelvic bones that squeeze it and cause pain. As a result, to be in an unusual environment, dry and oppressive, due to the instantaneous collapse of the emergence of gravity.
That is why supporters of childbirth in the water consider this method more gentle and delicate for the infant itself: leaving the habitat, he again finds himself in the aquatic environment, where he manages to adapt in new conditions for several important minutes, and, therefore, is much softer to transfer the drastically changed the setting of his new existence.
The idea of having a baby in water appeared in the 60s of the last century, with several researchers at once. The main essence of this method was based on the study of ancient rituals, when a woman, in the event of a contraction, was led into a river or any other body of water. As a result, the infant, moving along the birth canal, does not enter the air environment, but the water one, which softens a number of influencing factors.
After the appearance of such a technique, obstetricians from many countries looked closely at it, and, it should be noted, today it has become quite favorably treated abroad, which cannot be said about our hospitals.
For example, in France most of the maternity homes are equipped with rooms with pools and baths, in America also water births are no longer news. In our country, they are skeptical of this method, it is very difficult to find a clinic that would have specialized medical equipment.
Naturally, this is due not to the large number of pluses that proponents attribute to this method, but to the impressive list of minuses, which to this day leave a dual attitude to this issue.
There are two possible options:
- In the first case, the woman in labor is placed in the pool during the contractions period, but when the attempts period comes, she is transferred to the standard maternity ward, where childbirth is taken in the traditional way.
- In the second case, the whole process of the birth of an infant into the world occurs directly in the water.
The first option, less radical, is quite common among modern mothers, which is quite understandable and justified: while the woman is in the water, her body is almost in a state of weightlessness.
As a result of this unusual state, the stress on the muscles of the back, legs, abdomen and thighs is relieved, and hence the process of contractions is facilitated. Many women who, through their own example, survived childbirth in water, claim that pain is much lower, and the whole process is much easier and faster.
On the second option, only the most courageous and confident in the effectiveness of the method women in labor who have undergone preliminary training dare.
By the way, contraindications to this alternative method may be any concerns that may concern your attending physician, especially as women who have had any complications during pregnancy are not allowed to enter the aquatic delivery.
Other important points, such as a narrow pelvis, large fruit, various abnormalities in the work of the cardiovascular system, and so on, can also become a reason for the ban.
Pluses of childbirth in water
- Warm water is an excellent natural anesthetic. As a result of its impact, pain from spasms is reduced, as well as all the muscles of the body relax, which allows the woman to have a rest between contractions.
- Being practically in weightlessness, a woman can completely surrender to instincts and assume the most comfortable and less painful posture. Due to this condition, the normal blood flow in the pelvic organs is maintained, as a result of which the woman in labor does not feel any particular discomfort in the back.
- Under the action of warm water, the cervix opens up better, the soft tissues of the perineum become more elastic, which reduces the likelihood of their ruptures as the fetus advances.
- The kid, having left his usual water “dwelling”, for the first time encounters again with water, which alleviates emotional stress at birth.
With an impressive list of advantages and positive feedback from former mothers, there are a considerable number of shortcomings that, according to skeptics, outweigh the scales in their favor.
Hazards at birth in water
- The whole danger of such a method is that giving birth in the water at home or in the maternity hospital (especially no difference) does not allow for sufficient medical control over the state of the mother and fetus. The entire control procedure that is connected during traditional childbirth becomes inaccessible, which means that it is difficult to notice the beginning of possible complications in time, as a result of which precious minutes of time can be lost.
- Now you know how to give birth in water, and you can assess the unreliability of the situation: during the prolonged stay of the woman in the water, the risk of penetration of pathogenic microbes into the birth canal and into the vagina through gaps develops. Even if the water is carefully changed every 2-3 hours and disinfected, the danger still exists.
- While the woman is in the water, it is very difficult to diagnose the presence of bleeding and assess its degree.
- If any complications occur, it will take significantly more time for the woman in labor with the child to receive the necessary medical care, especially if the birth takes place at home.
- It is very difficult to find a highly qualified doctor who would agree to conduct such childbirth, because it is a great responsibility, and it is completely illegal to take them at home.
You can choose this option only after consulting with doctors.
Childbirth in water
In Moscow, every year there are more and more people who want to try this particular method of delivery. It is worth noting that most of these women have already given birth once. They want to compare sensations and find out which technique is better.
Births in water (in Moscow and other cities of the Russian Federation) are carried out by two methods. The first of these is that the expectant mother is on land until the cervix is fully opened. The essence of the second method is that the mother is in the water throughout the contractions and attempts.
Conditions for this manipulation
Births in the water in the maternity hospital can be carried out only if there are certain conditions and there are no contraindications for the woman.
A woman should be completely healthy, not have infections and various problems with blood vessels and the heart. Also during pregnancy there should be no complications or threats. Fluid temperature should be in the range of 36 to 37 degrees.
It is worth noting that every two hours the water should change. Otherwise, bacteria may multiply and, as a result, infection of the mother and fetus.
Direct contraindication to such a procedure is a caesarean section.
It's no secret that the process of giving birth to a child is quite painful. It is worth noting that the bulk of the discomfort is observed during the bouts.
Water also helps the expectant mother to relax. A person immersed in liquid does not feel the mass of his body. It is because of the decrease in gravity that the feeling of pain is blunt. It is worth noting that theoretically the birth would take place even easier in salt water. However, this method is not practiced by physicians.
Facilitate the passage of the fetus through the birth canal
Water during labor can be a kind of lubricant. If a woman has an early rupture of the amniotic fluid, then the baby will have a hard time moving through the birth canal. In this case, delivery when immersed in a liquid will be very useful.
Water will create a sliding effect, and the baby will be able to quickly go the right way and be born.
Plus for the child
In the process of birth, the baby experiences enormous loads on the brain, visual and respiratory system. Water in this case will be a kind of preparatory stage for the child. Throughout the life of the crumb was in the womb in this fluid. The usual environment will reduce stress and ease the process of entering the human world.
The disadvantages of childbirth in water
Childbirth in water also has its drawbacks. They must always be remembered. So, in some cases, there may be a serious threat to the life of the mother and child. We will understand what can be bad childbirth in water.
Lack of practice
The main disadvantage of this process is the lack of practice among people whose responsibilities include helping women in labor. Most maternity hospitals try to adhere to the classical methods of delivery. The appearance of a child in the water can be called a wonder, despite the fact that this method was described several decades ago.
Due to the lack of skills of doctors and obstetricians, the process can be carried out incorrectly or in violation of sanitary conditions.
Possibility of infection
As mentioned above, during the stay in the water of the future mother, the liquid should be replaced every two hours. Some women can give birth for a very long time. If the water has not been replaced by all the rules, then there is a chance of infection.
It is after two hours that bacteria begin to develop in the water. It can be staphylococcus or streptococcus. Also very frequent guest in this kind of fluid is E. coli. All of these microorganisms do not pose a great danger to the mother. However, if the fetus is infected, irreversible complications can occur.
Problems with the mother's vessels
During childbirth a woman loses a large amount of blood. This happens at the birth of a childish place. That is why it is so important to remove the newly-made mother from the water before the discharge of the placenta. Otherwise, water molecules can get into the smallest vessels and form a thrombus in them.
Such a complication may be completely unnoticed at first, but in the future it may become a serious threat to the life of a woman.
The occurrence of complications in the process of childbirth
Sometimes during attempts there can be complications. Most often it is detachment of the placenta, tears of the perineum and internal organs, the incorrect position of the child, entanglement with the umbilical cord and others. При этом доктору нужно контролировать процесс прохода малыша по родовым путям. В воде это сделать довольно трудно.
Также в процессе родоразрешения может понадобиться хирургическое вмешательство. В такие экстренные моменты все действия должны проводиться очень быстро. Any delay can have completely unexpected consequences. When finding a woman in the water is very difficult to act quickly. This is a clear disadvantage of such manipulation.
The likelihood of liquid in the respiratory tract of a newborn
When a baby is born, the first thing he does is start breathing. Lungs at this moment open and begin to work. If you are in the water, there is a possibility that the liquid will enter the airways of the infant. In this case, there is a serious threat to the life of the crumbs. In the absence of qualified assistance, everything can end very badly.
Lack of timely assistance
Since water deliveries in the hospital are not very common, some women decide to stay at home the whole process of contractions. It is worth noting that it is quite risky. If there is no competent doctor and obstetrician next to you, then everything can end in a rather pitiable way. When complications occur, it is not always possible to quickly get to a medical facility.
Childbirth in water has recently become very fashionable. However, you always need to take into account their capabilities. If you are not confident in your abilities and desires, then you should refuse from such experiments. Trust the competent professionals who will do everything right.
If you are in doubt, it makes sense to consult a gynecologist who is leading your pregnancy. The doctor will tell you in detail about this manipulation and give his recommendations. Approach responsibly to the choice of the method of birth of your baby into the world.
A bit of history.
Water genera were first mentioned in the 16th century. in the writings of the Spanish priest Pedro Cieza de Leon, who chronicled the conquests of South America. It was he who said that Peruvian women gave birth to their children in rivers, experiencing at the same time 50 times less suffering than one Spanish woman in labor.
In France and Germany, water birth began to be practiced in the 19th century, and in Russia, since 1980.
The idea of giving birth in water was developed in the 60s of the last century by Soviet swimming instructor Igor B. Charkovsky. Being a man of erudition, he gave his own theory to the masses about the gravitational impact of newborns, which until now has neither scientific confirmation nor refutation.
As follows from this theory, the brain of a newborn child, when confronted for the first time with terrestrial gravity, experiences an incredible force of shock, similar to contusion. And precisely because of this, a person uses only 3-5% of the capacity of his brain, the rest of the potential is lost through the fault of a severe contusion.
Flowing childbirth under water, radically change the situation. Water softens the effects of gravity on the infant's brain, breathing it first through the umbilical cord, and only when in contact with air does the lungs fill with oxygen or the first breath of a newborn.
In 1978, Igor Borisovich decided to move from theory to practice by organizing a mini maternity home, and in 1979 there were the first volunteers who were ready to try water birth. It should be noted that pregnant women who trusted Charkovsky underwent a special training course, did aerobics in the pools, and in 1980 the first Soviet water child was born.
The greatest popularity today in the water birth in the UK, in addition, they most often occur at home. About 20 thousand English children a year are born in baths and a jacuzzi. Special reservoirs and pools are equipped with very many maternity homes in London. All this, largely due to the outstanding obstetrician Michel Auden, a native of France.
This wonderful doctor conducted his practice first in the French city of Pitivier, and then moved to the UK. His desire to make the process of childbirth more natural and soft led to the formation of the method of water birth. At first, the woman was placed in the pool only during contractions to relieve severe pain, and later the childbirth itself began to occur.
To this day, Dr. Michel Oden has been successfully working with women in labor in his home in London, having official permission for this.
How does birth take place in water?
A pregnant woman at home or in the hospital during periods of strong and painful contractions is almost completely immersed in a large convenient container with clean warm water or with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. No other additives added to the water is unacceptable. It is impossible for a woman to dive into the pool too early, labor can stop altogether. In addition, the water should be constantly comfortable temperature (not higher than 40 and not lower than 32 ° C) and periodically changed to clean.
With the appearance of attempts, the expectant mother can move to the bed or continue to give birth in the water, but after the birth of the child, the woman in any case should leave the pool before the appearance of the placenta.
Being in the water can really significantly alleviate the discomfort during labor. A mother in labor relaxes, calms down and can easily take a comfortable position for herself. Her crotch, due to moisture, becomes more resilient and less prone to injury and tearing.
An infant who has experienced tremendous overloads during his birth, getting into the water, also feels a huge relief.
Specialists in Russia, as in many other countries of the world, do not recommend giving birth in water, and there are a lot of reasons for this. The fact is that not all maternity hospitals have the opportunity for the necessary equipment. And any intentional birth at home, including water, is strictly prohibited by the Ministry of Health due to the high mortality rate of both women in labor and infants during this type of obstetric care.
Some private clinics in Russia still offer water delivery for a fee. Before you decide on them, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons. The obvious disadvantages of such genera:
- lack of sterility
- significant inconvenience for medical personnel
- a possible weakening of labor activity, as a result of which protracted labor,
- the difficulty of providing emergency assistance
- a wide list of contraindications
- with insufficient qualifications of an obstetrician, the child may choke.
In what cases it is impossible to give birth in water?
Only a woman without any complications, peculiarities of pregnancy and other health problems, such as:
- incorrect placenta previa or fetus
- child entanglement with umbilical cord or hypoxia,
- anatomically narrow pelvis or large fruit,
- high or low water,
- preterm labor,
- multiple births
- any infectious or skin diseases,
- problems in the cardiovascular system.
Of course, a perfectly healthy pregnant woman has a choice, and making it in favor of this method of childbirth, it is important to be aware that only within the walls of a modern maternity hospital, with the participation of highly qualified medical personnel, you can be confident in a successful outcome of childbirth.
The whole truth about childbirth in water
In the wake of the popularity of childbirth in water began to appear statements of scientists about the danger of such genera.
Childbirth in water is no different from ordinary childbirth, say scientists. But the risk of infection is very high. And also there is a risk that the child may suffocate. You can parry this statement by saying that children will not suffocate due to the reflex, but there are cases
when the fetus inhales fecal matter while in the uterus. Therefore, the risk that the same can happen in the water is great.
All this applies, of course, the last stage of labor. In the initial stage, to facilitate labor and pain relief contractions, the bath is indicated to the woman in labor. Water treatments are relaxing and accelerate the process of cervical dilatation. But in any case, it is necessary to get out of the water when childbirth enters the active phase and the attempts begin.
In those medical institutions where they practice childbirth in water, they should inform future mothers about all the risks associated with the decision to give birth in water.
A separate question deserves the issue of disinfection baths. It must be remembered that there are still no official documents and regulations regarding birth in water. In any case, it is not recommended to give birth in this way to women who have risks of pregnancy.