My friend Jessica was asked to share her perspective in an article that is presently being written in Turkey, about the benefits of water birth. The intention of this article is to arouse interest in Turkey about water birth, as people are just becoming aware of this option in birth. The Turkish woman interviewing Jessica, asks, Why do we choose water birth? What is the superiority of it?
Here is what Jessica has to say:
The reason people usually choose waterbirth has nothing to do with them knowing of the superiority of it. It IS a safer, more comfortable way to give birth, with numerous benefits to both the baby and the mother!!! Mostly, people choose it because humans have an innate, primal connection to water. We love to be in water. So, to give birth in water, intuitively, instinctively sounds like a better idea. Most women, though, do not choose the place to give birth by instinct, or intuition. The media, and the modern world have brought fear to the forefront of their minds, so out of such fear, and false information, they choose a hospital thinking it is the 'safest' option. The hospital is the place to go to give birth if you are looking for trouble, not if you are looking for safety. It is important that articles such as this are published so that awareness of the benefits of waterbirth become known. To give birth in water reduces the stress of the mother, easing the birth for both mother and baby. It also, done correctly (not staying in the water for more than an hour and a half at a time), creates a better flow of the labor, which allows the baby and mother to be birthing with only the pleasurable hormones controlling the birth, as opposed to stress hormones induced by pain, or a fearful environment. When a baby is born from the water of the amniotic sac, into water, and is allowed to emerge of their own accord, certain synapses occur in their brain that would not occur in a land birth. These synapses effect everything from their immune systems, to their physical coordination and musical or mathematical capabilities. There are also the emotional benefits of being born gently. Birth is our first impression of life on earth. If this first impression is one of grace, welcoming, love, comfort, autonomy - the person is imprinted with more trust, kindness, and emotional stability.
Erica is a Childbirth Doula in NYC. Her present focus is on the postpartum period.