Relaxation is Key
A woman in labor needs to be as relaxed as possible to minimize the pain of the contractions and maximize her ability to work with the contractions to speed up the birthing process. Laboring in a nice, warm bath will help the mother relax. The warm water will also support the pregnant belly and unborn baby, making it easier for the laboring mother to find a comfortable position. Many mothers have found that moving around during labor also helps them deal with the contractions, and the supporting effect of the warm water makes it easier for a mother to move around to alleviate her discomfort.
Being relaxed will also help the mother take deep breaths during a contraction, instead of the short, shallow breaths that a tense mother might take. Deep breaths help the mother work thru the pain of the contractions and help her work with her body in the birthing process. Short, shallow breaths increase the mother’s level of pain.
A relaxed mother will release more oxytocin, a labor hormone. The oxytocin will stimulate regular, strong labor contractions, which will speed the birth process. A tense mother will release adrenaline, which is a stress hormone. Stress can inhibit contractions, making them less regular, weaker, and may stop them altogether.
Carmen Lackett Can Help With Water Births
Carmen Lackett is fully trained to assist women who choose to use a birthing pool and have a water birth. Mother to Mother Midwifery will provide the pool, with a small fee to purchase a disposable liner. Carmen will monitor the mother while she is in labor in the pool to ensure her comfort and safety. Carmen will also monitor the baby to be sure the baby’s heart rate is good.
After the mother has become immersed in the pool’s warm waters, she will be inside her own private world and will be able to labor without being disturbed. The effect is heightened even more if the room is quiet and the lights are dim. This can help the mother with feeling more in tune with the labor experience.
When it is time for the baby to emerge, the upright position of the birthing pool will allow gravity to help with the descent through the pelvis. The warm water will help soften and stretch tissues, allowing an easier passage through the birth canal. Don’t be worried that the baby might take his first breath underwater. Infants have a “dive reflex” which causes them to instinctively close their airways to prevent breathing in water. This “dive reflex” should allow sufficient time after the baby emerges from the birth canal to bring the baby to the surface for his first breath.
Please contact Carmen Lackett at Mother to Mother Midwifery if you are considering a water birth. Carmen would be happy to answer any questions you might have and help you determine if this options is right for you.