Anyone wanted waterbirth but couldn't have one? What happened?

(41 Posts)
BraveLilBear Thu 07-Feb-13 15:57:49

I am a very long way away from B-Day as I'm just 16 weeks, but thought I'd ask this now as it's been bugging me for a while.

I really like the idea of a waterbirth - to me it makes total sense as a natural way of controlling pain, achieving relaxation (as much as possible) and reducing damage.

But I am also painfully aware that my chances of getting a waterbirth appear to be slim at best. There are 20 labour rooms at the only - and evidently incredibly busy - maternity unit near to me (next nearest are 35 and 50 miles away since closure of MLU), yet the ward has just one pool available for waterbirths.

This suggests I'll have a 1:20 chance of getting a waterbirth, unless I have one at home. Unfortunately, OH has ruled this out because of the mess.

So I was wondering, if you wanted a waterbirth but couldn't have one, how did you manage on dry land? How common is it to not get a hoped-for waterbirth?

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 11-Feb-13 21:26:35

Your odds are better than 1:20... anything remotely high risk rules out a water birth so not all women will be allowed to use the pool, then not all women who can want to. I live in a busy area, was convinced I wouldn't get the pool but I did! It was wonderful, definitely go for it if you can.

I wanted a pool, but had an induction as DD was really late. With the benefit of hindsight I actually wanted a day at a spa rather than giving birth.

AmandaCooper Mon 11-Feb-13 23:20:22

We went on a stork walk at the weekend and the pool room was the only room not in use. As others have said not everyone is able or wants to use the pool, so your odds are much better than 1 in 20.

Jojobump1986 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:04:38

If you do end up planning a home birth you can get really cheap plastic dust sheets from B&Q. They're designed for painting but put one of those down with an old sheet or a few towels & the whole lot can be scooped up & thrown away afterward! I had a small hemorrhage after having DS on our bed but thanks to DH & the midwives shoving the plastic underneath me there was just a tiny smudge of blood on the bed. I've had worse from heavy period leakage! DH just popped the sheet in the wash & everything was spotless by the time we got home from the hospital. It's really not all that messy when you're prepared!
Oh, & I was planning on labouring in the bath & getting out when I wanted to push. The unused bath was still sitting there when DH got back from the hospital! I also planned on giving birth in the study, not the bedroom, but once I was comfy on the bed there was no way anyone could've persuaded me to move for anything less than a medical emergency! My friend planned on having a hospital birth but had him at home instead because it was a very fast labour. Even if you don't plan for a homebirth it might be wise to have a few basics, just incase! wink

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Tue 12-Feb-13 09:14:30

I really wanted a water birth with ds1, which was 10 years ago - they said there might be a pool, I think, but it was beingused when I got there. I had a bath instead but tbh I got in and out again in about 10 minutes, it was hopeless - I felt less in control in the water and not remotely comfortable.

I also tried a bath with ds2 (at home) but that was the same - still hurt but with the added complication of water, and slipperyness, and being on my back. Maybe that was it, in most pools you can be upright/leaning forward.

Good luck, I hope you get to try it. a friend had a pool at home but the labour was too quick and it wasn't nearly full by the time he was born.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Tue 12-Feb-13 09:16:15

Jojo - I laid down plastic sheets etc downstairs with ds2, and then went up to use the loo and never came back down - he was born on my bedroom floor! Blood everywhere, the MWs did their best but I could still see the stain so the first thing I did when I could get up was scrub the carpet grin

Best laid plans and all that. It did come out though.

Purplecatti Sat 16-Feb-13 19:46:29

I desperately wanted a water birth at home, but I had to be shipped into hospital to be monitored due to my waters being almost pure meconium.
The mw was really nice about it and held the monitor to me in order to prevent me being on my back. I had really bad hip pain and couldn't stand being on my back. She also got me bean bags and things to lean on without me asking which was kind of her. She was just sorry I'd ended up in hospital and wanted me to be as comfy as possible.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I had to have a clip on my baby's head but it meant I could kneel, stand etc.
The worst part was my baby got stuck and I ended up crouching to get her out which was agony in my back and hips, more so than the labour but it worked and I was only like that for 10 15 minutes max.

MyDarlingClementine Sat 16-Feb-13 19:57:00

I wanted a w birth, went into establised labour - someone was in pool, then it was free, they filled it up and I literally couldnt get to it, I was in too much pain to move an inch; so that was that.

Then I had a meeting a few years later to discuss subsequent birth with MW and she kept saying " Women really dont understand what an amazing pain reliver water is"

I said three time - I tried to get into the water, I am a beliver but I couldnt physically get to it!

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Sat 16-Feb-13 22:44:58

I wanted one with dc1. Unfortunately I discovered whilst in the bath during labour that water did nothing for me.
Made the mistake of getting in the bath with dc2, and has to be assisted out as I hated being in water again didnt help the pain
Am currently 25wks pg, and have no plans to even get in any water this time around.
Just so you know that not all of the 20 (from the1in20) will want the pool.

Rockchick1984 Sun 17-Feb-13 10:19:08

I desperately wanted a water birth with DS, only one pool at my local hospital but was told by midwife that it was hardly ever used so should be no problem if that was what I wanted.

Typically, it was in use when I went into labour! I managed fine though without it, had back to back labour with DS and he got stuck so very long time to push him out. Still did it with no pain relief and no intervention, which was what I'd hoped for.

Expecting DC2 at the moment, hoping for a home water birth this time.

lillyains Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:04

I wanted a water birth but couldn't have one because I had the drip to induce labour and was kept on the monitors!
I just kept my options open and tried not to have my heart set on anything because baby may ultimately decide to throw your desired birth plan out the window!
A lot of the delivery suites had baths in them where I was so you could have a nice bath!
I just focused on what I was there to do and kept thinking it doesn't matter how I have baby as long as he arrives safe and well!
Hope that helps!
From these comments you may even be able to persuade DP to re consider the HB

BraveLilBear Mon 18-Feb-13 14:33:53

Glad to know that not everyone is a waterbaby, that's for sure (no pun intended)!

Also good to know that it's not the end of the world either. Not that I thought it would be, but I imagine that being quite a challenge to get my head round if in pain as I'm stubborn at the best of times wink

Not sure I'll be able to win DP round, he's also very worried about problems and is totally unconvinced that problems are very quickly picked up by midwives at home. He has had a bad experience previously (past relationship) which may be hindering his usual open-mindedness. May try and get him to a mw appt as time moves on to see if that might change his stance...

Floweryhat Mon 18-Feb-13 17:47:14

At home you get one midwife to yourself for most of labour, and two for the birth. In hosp, 'your' midwife might be looking after 3 other mums too. It's a no brainer that at home problems are picked up rapidly. Even if you're on a trace with a machine constantly monitoring you in hosp, that doesn't actually achieve anything except when a professional comes and looks at the printout.

CuppaSarah Tue 19-Feb-13 21:02:26

Like you I really wanted a water birth. But by the time I went into labour, all thoughts of my birth plan went totally out the window. I have no clue if the birth pool was even free or not. In the end I had a few mild complications and wouldn't have been allowed in the water either way, but still. While it's worth having an idea what you want for the birth, don't be too surprised or worried if you don't even consider it when the time comes.
I can honestly say I have NO regrets to how my labour and birth went. It was a really calm, magical experience. I'm glad I had set idea of what I wanted beforehand though, it helped me visualize what would happen even if it couldn't have been further from the reality. Plan for what you want, but don't pressure yourself, what feels right on the day is right.

Teladi Tue 19-Feb-13 21:07:01

I wanted a waterbirth but when I got into the midwives unit, it became clear that I was pre-eclamptic, cue a hustle down to labour ward.

member Tue 19-Feb-13 21:36:36

No pool in the consultant-lead unit I had dd1 in (was sent there because MLU thought I may be haemorrhaging in labour-I wasn't)

Dd 2, had no strong feelings beforehand but had found bath at home helped with pain so decided to go for it. Pool was available & filled in plenty of time. Unfortunately, my contractions slowed right down in the pool which I don't think would have been a problem in itself as dd wasn't distressed, but I was in pain constantly(not just during contractions) because of her back to back presentation & struggling to cope. It was suggested that I come out to see if contractions picked up again, which they did. Labour basically progressed much more quickly out of the pool, so I stayed out.

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