Why Labor in Water?
In the 1970s the brilliant physician Michel Odent studied the benefits of water to reduce labor complications and create a more relaxed environment where the mother can feel comfortable to give birth. His findings confirmed that the less stress introduced into a birth setting, the safer and easier the whole process is for mother and baby.
Hydrotherapy involves the use of water for soothing pains. In labor the warm water acts on the Gate Control Theory of Pain, which states that pain receptacles can be repressed or blocked by sending positive stimulus neurons to the brain instead. Other studies show that full immersion in water promotes physiological responses in the mother that reduce stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins which serve as pain-inhibitors. Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby. Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, reducing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
While it must be taken into account that every labor is unique and therefore needs different comfort measures, a Birth Pool has become one of the trademarks of Home Birth. Many women claim they have felt noticeable relief from the discomforts of labor when enjoying the warm water of their Birth Pool.
Whether you plan to enjoy the benefits of laboring in a warm and soothing pool or hope for a waterbirth, the AquaDoula will provide the comfort and support you need.