At the Birth and Women’s Center in Dallas, Texas, a professional staff of midwives give mothers the choice of how they wish to experience the journey of birth. Many mothers at the Birth and Women’s Center of Dallas elect to deliver their babies in a water bath.
When a woman chooses a water birth, she experiences at least a portion of the labor and delivery process in a birthing pool of warm water. The water makes her body feel lighter and allows her to move more freely, while improving the efficiency of each contraction. The buoyancy that the water provides may also improve circulation and oxygenate the contracting muscles, which helps to relieve the mother’s pain. The water may help to speed the labor along as well, provided that the mother enters the bath late enough in the labor stage.
As the warm water soothes the mother’s muscles and helps to relieve her pain, it also calms her emotionally. Water births appear to reduce stress hormones and increase the production of endorphins, which further lessen pain. The woman becomes better able to focus on the task at hand. Many babies who come into the world via water birth also appear more relaxed, possibly because the warm water in the birthing pool feels much like the amniotic fluid in the womb.