I have been having a lot of conversations about different ways to give birth lately. As Obstetrics is my passion, although not a specialist (yet!), people tend to ask me which I think is the preferred method of delivery. The obvious discussions of a surgical scar vs possible vaginal tearing, stay in hospital and which is best for baby, usually ensue. In England, one cannot have an elective caesarian and so often vaginal delivery is the only option. The only choices you have are usually with regards to pain relief vs none and water birth vs normal.
Enter the water birth...
It all sounds lovely. Warm soothing water flowing over your aching body. Your newborn bought into this world in a liquid environment, that it is used to.
But let me be the devil's advocate. Think of all the times you have had a bath and accidentally made it too hot. It is unbearable and all you want is to get out. Next comes the actual birth. Is the midwife really able to help you or your baby whilst you are submerged in a tub? And lastly, but by no means leastly, do you really want to be in a bath full of amniotic fluid, blood, placenta and your own poo? C'mon! It's just plain gross and in no way has the Hollywood glamour one sees on TV.
A good friend of mine shared an amusing though horrifying story of a friend of hers, who is considering having a water birth. When she told her midwife of her wishes, she was swiftly told that should she want a water birth, she must supply her own sieve.
So after the ordeal of giving birth, you actually have to then proceed to sieve all the shit (literally) out of the bath water. No, I draw the line there!!!!!
P.S: Did I mention that the bath is also usually of the blow up swimming pool variety?