Water births are growing in popularity as mothers become more aware of their benefits. Typically, a water birth takes place at the hospital although it is possible to have one at home. 
 
While many babies are born in the water, you don’t have to actually give birth in it. Many expectant mothers use it to help relieve labour pains and deliver in the normal way.
 
The main benefit of a water birth is the fact that water helps to relieve pressure in joints. This enables mums to move about more freely during their labour. It also creates the feeling of weightlessness which helps the mother feel more relaxed and at ease.
 
Some experts also suggest that a water birth provides a gentler transition for the baby as it is similar to the womb’s environment.
 
Babies will not drown if you deliver in the water as they naturally hold their breath while they are still attached to the umbilical cord. In fact, they won’t take their first gulp of oxygen until the nerves in their face have been stimulated by air. Infants born this way are also calmer and tend to cry less at birth.
 
Mother are also less likely to develop an infection as they will have to endure less vaginal examinations than a normal labour and delivery.
 
However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with this type of delivery. After a baby has been delivered into the water they are usually brought head first up out of the water. In rare instances this can result in a snapped umbilical cord. While this is not life threatening if handled by an experience midwife, it is something that those considering a water birth should be aware of. If an emergency does arise, it may also take you a while to get out of the pool. However, midwives are trained to deal with all situations.
 
If you feel that a water birth is for you, it is important that you talk to your midwife and doctor about all your options. 

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