Fre­quently asked ques­tions

Your Pregnancy - - Pregnancy Files -

CAN I GET INTO THE WA­TER FROM THE START OF LABOUR AND STAY IN? No, although wa­ter or a bath can be used as pain relief for short pe­ri­ods ear­lier in labour (about 30 min­utes at a time), it does slow down the labour process, so this is an end-of-labour op­tion. You’ll climb into the wa­ter when you’re di­lated to at least seven cen­time­tres, says mid­wife Mary-Ann Alves. CAN I DO THIS IN MY OWN BATH AT HOME? A home bath doesn’t give you a lot of space to ma­noeu­vre and of­ten isn’t deep enough, says Jude Pol­lack, di­rec­tor of Ge­n­e­sis Pri­vate Ma­ter­nity Clinic. A rented birthing pool or a birthing pool at an ac­tive labour unit is big­ger, al­low­ing space to kneel, squat or find other po­si­tions to birth in. WHAT IF I HAVE A BOWEL MOVE­MENT? It can hap­pen – as it can dur­ing a nat­u­ral birth out of the wa­ter, but the mid­wife will use a net to scoop it out of the bath, and she’s used to deal­ing with this as­pect of child­birth. It shouldn’t de­ter you from hav­ing a wa­ter birth. WHAT DO I WEAR? This is up to per­sonal choice – some women feel re­laxed naked, oth­ers wear a sports bra or tank top while giv­ing birth. WILL I TEAR IF I HAVE A WA­TER BIRTH? Mary-Ann says it de­pends on the mother – some peo­ple are pre­dis­posed to tear­ing be­cause of tighter mus­cles or a large baby, while oth­ers are less likely to tear dur­ing nat­u­ral birth. Anec­do­tally, she says, there does seem to be less in­ci­dence of tear­ing, prob­a­bly be­cause moms are more re­laxed and calmer, giv­ing those mus­cles a chance to re­lax and stretch as na­ture in­tended. HOW HOT IS THE WA­TER? The wa­ter in the bath is at body tem­per­a­ture – about 37°C, which is tepid to luke­warm. It should not be any warmer. “Hot wa­ter is not rec­om­mended in preg­nancy in any case,” says Mary-Ann. CAN I USE PAIN RELIEF WITH A WA­TER BIRTH? “Yes, you can still use phar­ma­co­log­i­cal pain relief op­tions such as Pethi­dine or Entonox, but if you want to have an epidu­ral, you can­not have a wa­ter birth be­cause this will stop you from be­ing mo­bile,”ex­plains Jude. WON’T MY BABY IN­HALE THE WA­TER? This has hap­pened, but it’s ex­tremely rare – ba­bies are born with the dive re­flex which prompts them to hold their breath un­der­wa­ter. “The baby isn’t left to float in the wa­ter once he’s out of the birth canal, we bring him up to mom’s chest fairly soon af­ter he is born (lit­er­ally a few sec­onds later),” ex­plains MaryAnn. “The baby doesn’t breathe un­til he’s out of the wa­ter – it’s the change in tem­per­a­ture that prompts him to take his first breath,” she ex­plains.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.