Michelle Isla Midwife - www.sacredbirthorlando.comWater birth is my favorite way of welcoming babies into the world!  Actually, the majority of births I attend here in Orlando are water births. It is a beautifully gentle way to welcome your baby into the world. For thousands of years women across the world have used water in sacred ceremony, to bathe in, and to ease labor.  Submersing in warm water can bring much relief to a laboring woman.  The buoyancy allows her to move more freely into various positions as her weight is supported by the water.  It allows her body to release endorphins, our natural “feel good” chemicals, and makes it less likely to release stress hormones which can raise blood pressure and prolong labor.

Benefits of using water in labor can include shortening the duration of labor, helping to lower blood pressure, increasing tissue elasticity to minimize tearing, and providing a more gentle transition for your baby from womb to world.  Your baby has been growing and living in a wonderful concoction of its amniotic fluid.  It is a very natural thing for your baby to enter the world into water.  Being in water is what it knows!

Big brother welcoming his baby brother as he is being birthed.

Big brother welcoming his baby brother as he is being birthed.

The safety of waterbirth has been explored and researched for several decades.  One of the pioneers in this research is Barbara Harper, RN, founder of Waterbirth International.  She has produced films, authored books, and established waterbirth options in many hospitals across the world including here in the U.S.  For a list of research and articles regarding waterbirth as well as frequently asked questions please visit the organization’s website: www.waterbirth.org.