Many hospitals offer showers or tubs in your room for use during labor. If you are planning to go natural, water can be very soothing and therapeutic in managing your pain during labor. However most hospitals require you to get out of the tub for the actual delivery. You many want to check with your healthcare provider regarding specific policies for our hospital
Does it affect my baby if I give birth in water?
For the baby - who has been in amniotic fluid throughout the pregnancy - it is a gentle transition to life outside the uterus, as they are born into warm water and led up by either the midwife or mother to breathe for the first time once in the air and once out of the water. Giving birth in water benefits the woman as it provides pain relief and improved mobility of the woman due to the buoyancy of the water.
What is important to keep in mind if a baby is born in water is that when the face first makes contact with air, the baby automatically takes its first breath through its lungs. After the first breath, the child must not be placed below the surface again, this is because all the alveoli need to be filled with air first. This is something that is important to remember, but you can be sure that all midwives who assist with water births already are aware and know this.
The water can be very therapeutic and even work as pain killer
The heat from the water can relieve the pain during birth and the feeling of weightlessness usually makes it easier to move and change position in water compared to on land. Many women also experience that the bathtub gives a feeling of security as it is embracing you. That way, you can feel less "left out" physically.
Bathing is known as a non-medical method for pain relief during childbirth and most clinics today have access to some form of a bathtub. However, there are different guidelines in different parts of the country, so it may be a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider to see if they can offer baths as pain relief, and if it is allowed to give birth in the water.
Do I need to be naked?
It is entirely up to you if you want to soak naked or wear some type of clothing. Some prefer to just wear a bikini top or tank top. It all depends on what makes you feel most secure.
Sources: Carlsson T, Ulfsdottir H. Waterbirth in low-risk pregnancy: An exploration of women's experiences. J Adv Nurs. 2020 May;76(5):1221-1231. doi: 10.1111/jan.14336. Epub 2020 Mar 11. PMID: 32090362. Ulfsdottir H, Saltvedt S, Georgsson S. Waterbirth in Sweden - a comparative study. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2018 Mar;97(3):341-348. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13286. Epub 2018 Jan 17. PMID: 29288489.
Sources: - Abascal, G., & Huss, M. S. (2018). Att föda. Bonnier Fakta.