Is there anything more natural than a birth? This magical moment doesn’t need to happen in an operating room, there are other options such as water birth that is as safe as any other and provides other benefits. The psychoprophylactic method that takes place inside a tub with hot water and without anesthesia, is totally natural.
Hot water is a natural analgesic, which promotes relaxation, so the mother feels lighter, allows movement and the search for comfortable postures, which makes more manageable the process and contractions are better tolerated. Without any doubt, the intimacy created between the mother and the baby is very special. This technique also favors the reduction of cesarean.
When the woman has dilated between 5 to 6 cm is the right moment to get her in the tub. Immersion at an early stage can prolong labor and even could make necessary to use epidural analgesia and oxytocin. According to Dr. Luis Guzman, regulation of water temperature is very important; during labor it should not be less of 36ºC and not exceed 37ºC in the expulsion phase. It is crucial to listen to the baby’s heartbeat frequently to avoid fetal distress. No more than 30 minutes should elapse without tracking it. Johnson highlights the importance of the innate reflex of the newborn's breathing, called the immersion reflex. It is stimulated at birth, when the sensory chemoreceptors that surround the baby's nose and mouth meet the air for the first time.
There are many benefits of using the tub in childbirth, such as: perineal, vaginal and cervical relaxation, endogenous oxytocin secretion due to stimulation of the nipples by water, increased mobility and adaptation of positions that favor fetal descent, and can shorten dilation period, endogenous endorphins predominate, maximizes placental oxygen perfusion, improves pain management.
Why is it advisable to have a water birth? Because it has the advantage that water at body temperature gives a relaxing effect to women, blocks painful stimuli, so that the patient can tolerate contractions pain during labor, and distension of the birth canal. It also provides comfort to the patient, when it is a normal pregnancy without any complication. Besides reducing interventionism, it is even safer for the mother and the newborn. When labor has progressed normally, water birth becomes a mechanism for helping baby’s birth.
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