WATER has been used as a method of pain relief in labour for many years, but now women in the Causeway area have the option to give birth in the water.
Baby Tommy was the first baby to be born in the birthing pool at Causeway Hospital and proud mum Charlaine is now recommending water birth to all expectant mothers.
Water birth is the process of giving birth in a pool of warm water. In the past some women chose to labour in the water and get out for birth. But now they are being given the option to stay in the water for the birth of their baby.
Barbara Strawbridge, Clinical Specialist Midwife said, “The theory behind water birth is that it is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother.”
Water birth is encouraged for low risk pregnancies as it is a non-invasive method of pain relief in labour, with no side effects. It empowers women and ultimately gives them more control over their labour and birth.
Mum-of-three Charlaine Leighton said: “I hadn’t really thought about a water birth prior to arriving at the hospital to give birth, but as I was classed as a low risk pregnancy the midwife suggested having a water birth and I thought why not give it a try.”
Water birth encourages an upright position for labour and birth which can help descent of the head and in some cases speed up labour. It is a non-interventional approach for labour and birth and helps promote normality and it is another option of choice for women using Causeway for labour and birth.
Baby Tommy was born weighing 8.3lb and mum Charlaine said: “It turned out to be a great experience for me, it felt natural and helped with the pain relief. I had no complications. Everything went as planned and it was an enjoyable experience.
“Since Tommy’s birth I have recommended water birth to friends who are expecting. They hadn’t previously thought about water birth, but they are now considering it.
“To date all the women whom have experienced water birth in Causeway Hospital have been part of an on-going audit. When asked they have all said that their overall experiences have been good or excellent and that they have felt pain relief has also been good or excellent. This is showing us that women using water for birth are having a positive birth experience which is good for them both psychologically and physically,” said Barbara.