by Jessica Guht
Independent medical and health correspondent
There are many considerations an expectant mother must make regarding the birth of their child, with one of the most important being the way in which they want to give birth. For many mothers, a water birth is appealing, but a mother’s satisfaction with her water birth largely depends on the features of the water birthing pool she uses.
The Benefits of Water Births
The benefits of water for labour and birth are numerous, with many scientific reports detailing the ability of water births to significantly reduce the use of epidurals, episiotomy, and injected opioids. Additionally, pain and heavy bleeding after birth are also reduced in those partaking in a water birth.
Besides the benefits to the mother’s physical comfort, using a birth tub also increases the mother’s satisfaction level and the likelihood of an intact perineum because the water keeps the perineum more elastic and relaxed.
The water also provides buoyancy, which lessens the mother’s body weight, allowing them to find new positions that are more comfortable and more compatible with their laboring body needs. Additionally, this buoyancy promotes improved blood circulation and more efficient uterine contractions, leading to less pain for the mother and more oxygen for the baby.
For mothers who are, understandably, experiencing anxiety from the birthing experience, being in the water can help to lower blood pressure caused by anxiety while also reducing stress-related hormones.
All of these benefits combine to create a more positive birthing experience.
However, all installed birthing pools are not created equal, and it is important to consider which birthing tub is best for expectant mothers considering a water birth.
Appealing Features of Birthing Tubs
When choosing the best hospital water birth pool, there is a need for features that focus on the needs of the mother and midwives, bringing comfort to the mother and ensuring that the midwife can conveniently accomplish all her tasks. Listed below are some features that help in this regard.
The purpose of the water birthing pool is to increase comfort in the mother, and one way in which this is accomplished is through a birthing pool that provides space for the mother to move freely and comfortably. When choosing a birthing pool to have installed in a hospital, one with adequate space is a high priority.
Wide, Flat Rims
One of the most natural and effective positions for women in labor places them in a leaning forward position. Having a birthing pool that allows mothers to adopt this position by leaning their forearms on the rim of the pool is immensely appealing. To gain the most comfort in this position, it is helpful for the pool’s rim to be both wide and flat so that it can comfortably support the mother’s forearms.
Additionally, wide, flat rims provide a space for the midwives or partners to lean on as they attend to the mother. Wide rims also offer secure, stable, and safe support for women as they enter and leave the pool, ensuring their safety is a priority.
Handrails are immensely beneficial when it comes to the safety and ease of movement for the mother. Not only can handrails provide something for the mother to grip when in an upright position, but mothers can also use the handrails to move into a new position, having something to grab onto quickly when they want to move.
Water birthing pools that have a support seat offer a place for the mother to sit that helps her pelvis and birth canal open in preparation for a natural birth.
Yet another important seat for the water birthing pool to incorporate is a rim-level safety seat, which provides a safe means of emergency evacuation for the mother.
Additionally, this type of seat offers an ideal place for a midwife to monitor the mother without needing the mother to stand up or exit the pool. This keeps the mother in a comfortable position and prevents them from having to navigate in and out of the pool unnecessarily.
Besides bringing comfort to the mother, the ideal birthing pool will also help the midwife as they work. Birthing tubs with deep concave skirting panels allow the midwives to work comfortably with their legs under the pool. When a midwife is comfortable, they have an easier time attending to the mother and keeping her comfortable.
In addition to the ability of the water birthing pool to provide comfort to the mother through heat and water therapy, the best water birthing pools will also offer some control over the room’s overall ambiance through two other important senses, sight and sound.
A water birthing pool that also offers multi-colour chromotherapy LED lighting allows the mother to personalise her delivery room, creating an environment that brings her the most comfort.
For many women, immense comfort can also come from sounds, which is why a birthing pool that includes Bluetooth sound is appealing to many mothers, allowing them to wirelessly connect their phones and listen to the music of their choice.
Active Birth Pools
Water births have been proven to offer numerous benefits to mothers as they undergo the birthing process by easing anxiety, lessening pain, and increasing oxygen to the baby. However, to create a seamless birthing experience, it is crucial to have a water birthing pool that possesses features that aid the mother’s birthing journey and keeps her needs in mind.
For hospitals looking for a water birth pool that combines all of the above benefits, creating a birthing environment that focuses on the comfort and safety of the mother, midwife, and all others involved, Active Birth Pools range of specialised birthing pools are the solution.
With wide, flat rims, two seats (labour support and safety), and a deep concave design that allows the midwife to sit comfortably, the mother will appreciate all the features offered by this birthing pool.
Every detail has been designed with the mother’s needs in mind, which is apparent in the increased comfort, security, and safety mothers experience while in an Active Birth Pool.