If the thought of labour is giving you sleepless nights, water births might just be the solution you're looking for. Dr Anita Soni of Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai, helps you weigh the pros and cons.
What, when & why
Water-birthing was first adopted in the West in the '80s. Recently, it has gained popularity in India as well. "In the West, water births were the choice during home births. In India however, water births are done in hospitals, as we advise full medical attention when giving birth," Dr Soni says. "Many also claim that water-babies experiences less trauma during birth than those born on labour tables."
Keep in mind
As advantageous as water births are, Dr Soni does have a few reservations. If you're contemplating a water birth, here are a few things you should think about:
- Water: Dr Soni's main concern is the quality of water used for the birthing. To prevent infections in you and your baby, make sure the water is thoroughly purified for the process.
- Hygiene: This is another abiding concern. "Many women, while giving birth, pass urine or stools. This can make water births very unhygienic and messy, as this is the very same water the baby will be born in," says Dr Soni.
- Training: Water births require proper training. And even then, there isn't a 100% guarantee that things will go smoothly, so discuss contingency plans with your doctor. "I'd recommend a half-n-half," says Dr Soni. "Stay in the water during labour and deliver on the table!"
What do you think about water births? Would you ever contemplate it?