All you need to know about water birth

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Blue Mbombo
Blue Mbombo
@blue_mbombo/Instagram
  • Model and entrepreneur Blue Mbombo recently welcomed her daughter.
  • She shared her birth video on social media and revealed she had a water birth.
  • Here are the benefits and risks to water births.


Model and entrepreneur Blue Mbombo recently shared her pregnancy and birth story through a video that she posted on her social media pages. In the video, Blue can be seen preparing to give birth with midwives by her side.

“I’m so proud of myself for pushing for only 26 min without epidural. Also grateful for the support from my man, twinny, midwife and doula. I almost got discouraged for wanting natural birth, many said I was “brave” I laughed coz I’m not,..I’M A WOMAN!!!!! Welcome baby Duchess. You are loved,” she wrote in the caption.

READ MORE | Style Crush | Blue Mbombo’s fabulous pregnancy looks 

Many people who watched the video congratulated the new mom and others were impressed by how she chose to give birth.

And for those who would one day wish to go that route, here’s what you need to know about water birth, which according to Healthline, is a birthing option that involves a woman being submerged in water usually in a stationary or inflatable tub and birthing their baby in the water.

Water birth can take place in a hospital, a birthing centre or at home and a doctor, nurse-midwife or midwife helps you through it.

Benefits of water births

1. Helps to ease pain  

According to Evidence Based Birth, a research study that had 60 participants who gave birth in water revealed that those participants had a lower pain score than the 60 participants who gave birth on land.

“Compared to the land birth group, the waterbirth group had a higher rate of intact perineum (25 percent vs 8 percent). The water birth group also had a much lower rate of episiotomy (2 percent vs 20 percent) and lower pain scores. The total length of labour was also shorter in the water birth group by an average of 50 minutes. They did not find any difference in the amount of lost blood between groups,” the study reads.

2. Keeps you from needing anaesthesia

According to Healthline, anaesthesia is used during birth to bring about the following five distinct states during surgery: pain relief, amnesia, a loss of consciousness, paralysis and weakening of autonomic responses.

However, because there is no surgery involved during water birth, there generally isn’t a need for any anaesthesia.

3. Shortens labour

Speaking to Parents.com, Amber Ford Cottrell, a doula who practices in New York City, revealed that water births reduce labour time significantly compared to a normal (land) birth. She also shared that less vaginal tearing occurs during a water birth.

“Water causes the perineum to become more relaxed, which can reduce the severity of vaginal tearing,” she explained.

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Risk of water births

According to Jeffrey Ecker, MD, who co-wrote the ACOG committee's opinion on water births and spoke to Web MD, there are five rare risks associated with water birth.

“It’s important to emphasise the ‘rare’ part. But these are the sorts of outcomes that are severe, like drowning,” he said.

Here are the five risks:

  • You or your baby could get an infection.
  • The umbilical cord could snap before your baby comes out of the water.
  • Your baby’s body temperature could be too high or too low.
  • Your baby could breathe in bathwater.
  • Your baby could have seizures or not be able to breathe.

Who is eligible to have a water birth?

Speaking to Parents.com,  Edwin Huang, M.D., an OB-GYN practising in Cambridge and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, explained that people with uncomplicated pregnancies were most eligible for water births.

“High-risk conditions or complications in labour often necessitate continuous fetal monitoring or immediate intervention, which is better accomplished outside of the water," he explained.

Web MD also lists people younger than 17 or older than 35 as not good candidates as well as people who are expecting twins or multiples.

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