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Water birth

  • What is a water birth?

    Allina Health is pleased to offer water birth delivery as an option for a woman's birth experience. During a water birth, the mother gives birth in water in a special birthing tub. She may also spend part of her labor in the tub. This special tub is larger and deeper than a regular bathtub, deep enough for water to cover the mother's abdomen. Water birth deliveries occur in a caring environment and are supported by an experienced team specially trained in water births.

    The following Allina Health hospitals offer water birth delivery:

    Is a water birth an option for me?

    Women who are considering a water birth must meet the following criteria. It is recommended you discuss this option and criteria with your health care provider.

    • full term, low-risk pregnancy
    • free of infection and other medical conditions
    • pregnant with one baby (not twins)
    • no history of high blood pressure
    • no history of bleeding disorders
    • no complications during pregnancy or labor
    • must meet pre-pregnancy BMI criteria

    Benefits of choosing a water birth may include:

    for the mother:

    • comfort, relaxation and soothing feelings from the warm water
    • ability to move more freely during labor
    • more efficient contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in less pain for the mother and more oxygen for the baby
    • reduced stress-related hormones, allowing the mother's body to produce endorphins which serve as pain-inhibitors
    • a more relaxed body, reducing the chance of tearing and a need for stiches
    • physical and mental relaxations, allowing for a greater ability to focus on the birthing process
    • a greater sense of privacy, reducing inhibitions, anxieties and fears

    for the baby:

    • provides an environment similar to being in the uterus surrounded by fluid
    • eases the stress of the birth resulting in greater reassurance and a sense of security
  • Source: Dawn Dahlgren-Roemmi, APRN CNM MS and Kathrine Simon, APRN CNM MS
    Reviewed by: Dawn Dahlgren-Roemmi, APRN CNM MS and Kathrine Simon, APRN CNM MS
    First published: 05/13/2015
    Last reviewed: 05/13/2015

  • Mother kissing newborn