Laboring in the Tub

When it comes to birthing naturally, there are several ways of providing pain relief effectively. One of those ways is to labor in the tub. This doesn’t necessarily mean a water birth, although many women who enter the tub never want to get out and end up having their babies in there. Most hospitals will allow you to get in and out of the tub freely during your labor, even when you need interventions such as an IV or internal fetal monitoring. As long as you let both your hospital and care provider know that you wish to be able to use the tub, you shouldn’t have any problems.

When I first started to think about what kind of birth I wanted, the idea of a water birth appealed to me (although not to my husband—he thought it was weird). At my next prenatal appointment, I asked my midwife about doing one. She responded that the hospital would not let midwives perform water births, so I immediately had to rule out that option. However, I always knew I would want to labor in the tub and so I included this request in my birth preferences sheet. I’m not sure if it is common for midwives who deliver in hospitals to be denied water birth privileges or not, but if you are interested in a water birth, definitely check on that before choosing a provider and location to have your baby.

I got in the tub once at home, and twice at the hospital. The hospital tub was a bit bigger and was jetted, so I definitely preferred that. The warm water feels so wonderful and eases the intensity of the surges. It also relaxes the body. I found that after a certain amount of time in the water, I needed to change things up again, but it was so nice to come back to and always provided that extra bit of comfort I needed. One of the best parts about it for me was having my water break while I was in the tub. I didn’t feel the awkwardness of it, and the midwife was easily able to check for any meconium. How convenient! Overall, I highly recommend using the tub for any natural birth, and especially for a HypnoBirth.

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