Why use water during birth?
Greater comfort and mobility.
The mother has much greater ease and freedom to move spontaneously and to change position to assist the descent of the baby. It supports her natural intuition of adjusting during or after the surges.
Reduction of pressure on the abdomen.
Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine waves and better blood circulation, resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less discomfort for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
Helps mother to conserve her energy.
Immersion reduces opposition to gravity; it supports the mother's weight so that her energy can be used to flow through the surges.
Promotes deeper relaxation.
As a woman relaxes deeply in water, her hormones kick in and she starts progressing faster and with more rhythm; labor becomes more efficient.
Water relaxes the pelvic floor muscles.
Water minimizes discomfort effectively as it stimulates the touch and temperature nerve fibres in the skin.
Water can be an effective way to stimulate dilation of the cervix when the mother has difficulty progressing into the more active stage of labor.
Water can reduce the need for drugs to artificially stimulate labor.
Often, simply getting into the tub will result in dramatic and rapid progress to full dilation within an hour or two.
Lowering of blood pressure.
When anxiety is causing high blood pressure, immersion in water often helps to lower it.
Change of consciousness.
Immersion helps to relieve anxiety and promotes relaxation. Water helps to let go and focus inward as labor progresses.
Moisture in the air makes it easier to breathe (and can be helpful to women with asthma).
Facilitates the second stage of labour.
Many mothers are less inhibited in the water. The warm water softens the vagina, vulva, and perineum, leading to fewer injuries to these tissues.
Many women experience rapid second stages, with the baby emerging minutes after the body starts surging, also known as the "Fetus ejection reflex" (see Odent, The Nature of Birth and Breastfeeding).
Empowerment of the mother.
When a woman births her baby while remaining awake, aware and in control, it greatly enhances the birth experience for her and becomes a source of great personal strength and power that enriches her life forever.
Greater involvement of the father.
Because the mother's discomfort and stress is so greatly reduced, it is much easier for fathers to particpate and take a more active role in the birthing process. They can be a great support during the surges engaging fully in the process (from outside or inside the pool).
Enhanced family relationships.
Both parents and baby get to share a wondrous and spiritual experience that can enhance their relationships with each other for the rest of their lives.
Better parent-child interactions.
A mother who has had a beautiful and empowering birth experience will have an especially positive association in her mind and emotions to that child; and a baby who has had an easy, non-traumatic, non-painful, gentle birth will have an especially positive association to the parent and life in general. This exceptionally positive start to their relationship will likely enhance the parent-child interactions forever and help the child to a beautiful and empowered start into this world.
Evolving humanity in a positive direction. Many psychologists believe that babies born gently grow up to become more gentle adults, and have a greater ability to deal with problems non-violently.
"Peace on earth starts with your birth!"