Dispelling the Top 3 Myths Surrounding Water Birth

Dispelling the Top 3 Myths Surrounding Water Birth

May 17th 2022

Out of all the concerns surrounding childbirth today, health and safety unequivocally top the list. Several alternative or holistic methods have become popular for labor and delivery, posing questions concerning safety for the mother and child. Water immersion is one such trending method surrounded by common myths and misunderstandings.

Fortunately, we’re dispelling the top three myths surrounding water birth to help separate fact from fiction. Here is what you need to know to decide if this birthing method is right for you and your family.

Myth: Water Increases the Risk of Infection

A heightened risk of infection is a highly cited concern surrounding water birth. However, the reality is that laboring and delivering in water poses no greater risk than vaginal birth. Childbirth itself is not a sterile process. As long as the care team keeps strict protocols in place—and ensures a sanitary water source—the infection rate remains very low. The water can even help dilute environmental or microbiological bacteria and form a partial protective barrier for the baby.

Myth: The Use of Water Slows Down or Stops Birth

Keep this common misconception in mind as we continue to dispel the top three myths surrounding water birth. Water use during labor and delivery does not automatically change the speed of the process. Each birth experience is unique and individual. Water immersion may even help progress labor and not hinder the procedure.

Moms-to-be who use a birthing tub or pool for childbirth tend to find the experience to be more calming. As a result, this helps relax the muscles and adjust the efficiency of contraction patterns. In actuality, many find the length of contractions—during the first and second stages of labor—to be significantly shorter with a water-based method.

Myth: Water Immersion Can Cause Drowning

The possibility of water inhalation is another leading concern regarding the safety of water birth. In reality, there is no risk of a newborn drowning. Instead, the baby is lifted out of the water gently and promptly to signal the proper shift to external breathing. This method can be an easier transition to the outside world, offering warm familiarity instead of direct exposure to harsh air after exiting the womb. Remember, unborn babies are aquatic by nature, receiving oxygen from placental circulation until fresh air pumps blood into the lungs for the very first time.

Water birth can be a soothing and smooth laboring and birthing experience for moms-to-be, but the option isn't for everyone. If you have any lingering questions or concerns, discuss them with your care provider or midwife. Here at Cascade Health Care, we carry a selection of water birth supplies designed by mothers and professional midwives. These water pools, tubs, and accessories are safe and suitable for water-centered deliveries. Browse our collection of high-quality products for childbirth today.