What You Should Know About Water Birth


Water birthing has become ever more popular in recent years, with it now being a common practice in more than a hundred countries across the globe. This birthing preference first gained popularity for home births, but now many hospitals can accommodate mothers with a desire for a water birth. A recent survey by Which Magazine reported that, in the UK, 20% of birthing mothers use water during labor, and 10% used a birthing pool for the entire birthing process.

There are always risks to mother and baby during childbirth. With greater awareness and education, expectant mothers, along with medical professionals, see the benefits of water birthing far outweighing the levels of risk that may be associated with it. So, how can it benefit mother and baby, and what are the risks?

Mother and the Natural Physics of Water

Being immersed in warm water has a naturally soothing effect on humans. It soothes and relaxes, whilst also aiding the body by increasing its energy reserves. This is an ideal state of wellbeing for birthing mothers. Water also provides buoyancy which helps to support the woman’s weight, this allows the body to focus maximum energy on the important job at hand.

Immersion in warm water is also known to reduce blood pressure, another big plus for mother. A warm buoyant environment also reduces the body’s production of stress related hormones. Being in a state of warm immersion will increase the production of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain inhibitors, vital during the process of childbirth.

For the birthing mother, another advantage is that the warm water helps to relax the perineum. This reduces the risk of tearing during the birth and the need for an episiotomy which would result in stitches, this improves the mother’s recovery time, post birthing.

For baby, water birthing can also be a positive. For 9 months baby has known only one environment, that of existing in the amniotic sac. To have that suddenly changed can be stressful, and to the detriment of the infant. A birthing pool offers a more gradual transition from the amniotic fluid, to warm water, to the open air. If baby is less stressed so too is the mother.

The Risks of Water Birthing

The British Medical Journal has stated that it is 95% confident in water birthing, but it should never be considered to be risk free. The risks can be limited by an appropriate appraisal of the expectant mother’s overall health. Some underlying medical conditions may make water birthing a less suitable option. This also applies to the unborn child. Should the unborn baby have been diagnosed with certain prenatal conditions it may be at greater risk from a water birth.

The birthing pool and all instrument and equipment should, obviously, be properly sterilized. However, even if the water used in the pool is sterilized, the outward expelling of infectious bacteria is unavoidable during childbirth. As a result, birthing in water means baby is being born into a potentially infectious environment.

Herpes Infection and Birthing

An expectant mother who is suffering with a vaginal herpes infection needs to gain professional advice. It is very likely that the healthcare experts will strongly advise against a water birth if the expectant mother has a herpes infection. The herpes virus transfers easily in water, thus during a water birth, baby is at risk.

Meconium Aspiration

This medical term refers to when baby has its first bowel movement prior to birth, contaminating the amniotic fluid. This will then be expelled into the birthing pool. Babies have an instinctive “dive reflex” which closes the airways whilst under water. There are, however, some circumstances where baby may attempt to take its first breath while submerged. This results in the child imbibing contaminated water, severely raising the risk of infection. The level of any infection will be directly related to the volume of contaminated fluid that baby has inhaled.


There have not been any detailed studies to ascertain the exact figures of newborns contracting pneumonia that can be directly attributed to water birthing. But, within the medical profession, it is accepted that the risk does exist due to several factors. Pneumonia will normally manifest within the first 48 hours of life. It is essential that the water temperature is maintained between 95- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit. The newborn must be brought immediately to the surface after delivery. Bacteria from unsterilized instruments and equipment, fecal contamination and meconium aspiration all raise the risk of baby contracting pneumonia.


Although very rare in water birthing, where there is water there will be a risk of drowning. Should there be unforeseen complications, and baby is underwater for too long, drowning or near-drowning asphyxiation is a possibility. There are no precise figures of water birth drowning, but the risk is considered to be very low.

Umbilical Cord Tears

Immediately on completion of delivery, baby will be brought to the surface. In any normal birth the umbilical cord is long enough to accommodate this. The length of the umbilical cord varies from baby to baby, but extremely short cords are rare. In a case of baby having a short umbilical cord, on being brought to the surface, there is a risk of the cord tearing or snapping. This is potentially life threatening. A snapped umbilical cord causes baby to bleed freely, and swift action is then required to stem the flow of blood.

Bringing a child into the world is a life changing experience for any couple, perhaps more so for the expectant mothers. It is important to look at, and understand, all the options that relate to giving birth to new life. Essentially, feeling comfortable and confident in the choice of birthing is the bottom line.

Expectant mothers, indeed couples, should always consult professionals, do research and ask questions. Satisfying any concerns, however trivial they may seem, will reduce potential stress and instill a more peaceful and confident attitude to the experience of giving birth, all to the wellbeing of mother and baby.

Water birthing is increasing in popularity across the world. It is certainly not something to be afraid of, it is simply a process that needs to be fully understood. Presided over by competent professionals, water birthing can be a wonderful experience for both mother and baby.

If you want to give water birth in Bangkok, Thailand, visit Samitivej Water Birth.



4 Effective Ways to Stop Stuttering


Stammering is a temporary disability that makes a person unable to move on with the talking. As a result, that person ends up repeating words, syllables, sounds, or even get stuck on a single word for a short time. Stuttering is often considered as the only disability that is often ridiculed with utter inconsideration, which supplements the everyday anxiety of the stutterer.

Fortunately, this condition is not irreversible as many ameliorative steps can be taken to minimize, and even eliminate it for good. Therefore, if you are a stutterer, we have listed four effective ways that you can utilize to eliminate stuttering from your life for good.

  • Take up language therapy:

Language or speech therapy can do wonders to improve your stammering issues because such therapists fully understand the various strategies for how to stop stuttering. Therefore, it is highly advised that you start seeing a competent language therapist because he will not only try to sort out the medical issues with your delivery, but he will also strive to improve your confidence. It is a matter of choice whether you choose individual or group therapy, but we will advise you to take up group therapy sessions as they will boost your confidence a lot more.

Moreover, a competent therapist will work diligently on slowing down the rhythm of your speech so that you can notice when you stutter. Once you start to stutter less on the slower rhythm, the therapist will gradually increase the pace of your speech to a normal level, and you will subsequently get much more fluent.

  • Use electronic devices:

You will not have a therapist around all day to point out if you are not talking slow enough. Fortunately, scientists have come up with electronic devices that rely on delayed auditory feedback that enables you to talk slower. If you are talking faster than you should, these devices produce a distorted sound to remind you and to get you back to the prescribed rhythm.

There are also other devices like the ones that mimic your speech and make it sound as if someone is talking with you. Furthermore, most electronic devices of this sort are small enough to be worn all the time, which makes them incredibly convenient to use.

  • Relax your neck and shoulders:

You need to realize that tongue is the most powerful muscle of your body because it does not get tired even after long hours of blabbering. But, it can be strained by the tension that can develop around your neck and shoulders over time, and can aggravate your stammering issues. Therefore, make a habit of doing relaxing exercises for your neck and shoulders so that they remain nice and loose.

  1. Talk in front of a mirror:

One of the major hurdles in getting rid of your stammer is the poor confidence level because stammering folks get trolled very often. But, you can build your confidence by talking in front of the mirror while looking right into your eyes. You would get to know how you speak, which will enable you to identify some speech issues like difficult words, syllables, and vowels on which you get stuck often. As a result, more you talk to yourself in front of the mirror, less anxiety you will experience while talking to other people.