Hudson Valley Birth & Bodywork
Ulster Park, NY 12487

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What is Waterbirth?

The word “waterbirth” is pretty self-explanatory. It is the method of laboring and giving birth in the water. Water has been used throughout the world for many centuries to aid in healing and for spiritual and religious ceremony. Becoming popular in the UK, Canada and Europe in the 1980’s and 90’s, people found that using water as a tool in the birthing process was a safe, effective and comforting way to bring a baby into the world.

Laboring in warm water is relaxing for the mother and eases the pain and discomforts of her contractions. The moist heat of the water penetrates the muscles and joints of the back, legs, hips and abdomen allowing blood to circulate and the muscles to relax more thoroughly. Water allows the woman to be buoyant which takes pressure off joints normally created by gravity. Floating, a woman giving birth is able to move from one position to another with more fluidity and ease. The muscles of the perineum relax and open with increased blood flow. The softened, warmed perineal tissues become more pliable and flexible for stretching when it comes time to push. Often times, when a woman delivers her baby in water there is little or no perineal tearing.

Being born into water is also very positive for baby. In utero, baby is floating in warm amniotic fluid for 9 months. The transition from womb into the outside world can be gentler in water. Doctors and Midwives have found that babies who are born in water are calmer, more alert, and eager to make eye contact with their mother.

If you are curious about waterbirth and want to know more visit: Waterbirth International

Waterbirth Resources

Books on Waterbirth

  • We Are All Waterbabies, by Jessica Johnson and Michael Odent
  • Choosing Waterbirth, by Lakshimi Bertram
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