Here are some surprising benefits to water birth:
- Less pain. Laboring in a warm tub of water has been called a "natural epidural" by natural chilbirth enthusiasts. The warmth of the water releives back pressure, round ligament pain, and the pressure caused by the baby descending deeper into the pelvis.
- Less weight. Mom feels less weight as the water lifts the heavy uterus and it's contents, allowing her some relief from the heaviness experienced during labor.
- Positioning dynamics. A baby who is not coming in a vertex position, but insists on breech or even posterior can be born with less distress in the water. The weightlessness of the water allows for a gentler birth for babies who are coming breech or posterior, giving them time to maneuver their way through the birth canal.
Even if a woman doesn't give birth in water, most mom's appreciate laboring in either a shower or tub to help manage the pain and discomfort. Standing in a warm shower or kneeling in a warm tub of water can bring sweet relief to a laboring mom.