Why is water birth not available in more hospitals?
Waterbirth International works diligently with couples who want to use warm water during their births in a hospitals. We have been very successfully with obtaining approvals for our portable pools in many hospitals in the last ten years. Hospitals are more cooperative today than ever before as doctors and midwives begin to see the benefits of allowing women to make their own choices.
Waterbirth profoundly demonstrates that a woman is empowered by “giving birth,” not “being delivered”. Many health care providers are seeing women take charge of their birth experiences and welcome this attitude and do what they can to facilitate a gentle birth. But others are still “locked into” the medical technological model of birth and have a harder time being convinced of the efficacy and safety of waterbirth. As couples become more informed of their options, they are assuming more responsibility for their own birth experience. If you would like one of Waterbirth International’s midwife or physician consultants to work with your doctor or hospital, simply contact us. We’ll call and discuss the approaches to take and the steps that are necessary to change policy.
What prevents baby from breathing under water?
There are four main factors that prevent the baby from inhaling water at the time of birth:
1. Prostaglandin E2 levels from the placenta which cause a slowing down or stopping of the fetal breathing movements. When the baby is born and the Prostaglandin level is still high, the baby’s muscles for breathing simply don’t work, thus engaging the first inhibitory response.
2. Babies are born experiencing mild hypoxia or lack of oxygen. Hypoxia causes apnea and swallowing, not breathing or gasping.
3. Water is a hypotonic solution and lung fluids present in the fetus are hypertonic. So, even if water were to travel in past the larynx, they could not pass into the lungs based on the fact that hypertonic solutions are denser and prevent hypotonic solutions from merging or coming into their presence.
4. The last important inhibitory factor is the Dive Reflex and revolves around the larynx. The larynx is covered all over with chemoreceptors or taste buds. The larynx has five times as many as taste buds as the whole surface of the tongue. So, when a solution hits the back of the throat, passing the larynx, the taste buds interprets what substance it is and the glottis automatically closes and the solution is then swallowed, not inhaled.
Read more water-birthing Q&A from the source article here: http://www.waterbirth.org/waterbirth-faq