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Birth Pool From East Yorkshire HypnoBirthing®         Practical issues, Installing & filling etc.

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Labour and birth questions and answers                         Pool information

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Labour and Birth Issues Questions & Answers

These are issues that you need to think about before the birth, as there is a lot of variation in midwives' approaches and attitudes. It is a good idea to bring up these points in your birth plan and to discuss them with your midwife team. If you don't discuss it beforehand, you may find yourself having to deal with complex issues in labour.

How long can I be in the water?

As long as you need/want to be, it sometimes happens that water slows things down to a point where the midwife suggests that you get out and walk about for a bit. How long you can stay in the pool if things have slowed down will depend on

• The experience and open-mindedness of your midwife.
• How able you are to challenge her request to leave the pool if you don't want to. (Your birth partner and birth plan can help you here)

Why might my midwife ask me to leave the pool?

There are occasions when the midwife might require you to leave the pool for good reasons.

• An abnormal foetal heart beat
• Meconium
• Abnormal maternal observation such as high temp, pulse or BP
• Agreement on the need for an internal examination
• Midwife's intuition

The role of the midwife is to assess that labour is progressing normally, and if deviating from normal to take appropriate steps. How she assesses, and what the appropriate steps are will to a degree depend on her knowledge, experience and intuition. Therefore it is fine for you to ask for her rationale in asking you to do something you might not want to do, and to expect a reasonably detailed explanation. However, you may not be able to take in all the information, and your partner (and/or doula) can help here. When all is said and done, the midwife is legally responsible for the safe delivery of baby and mother, and if she has real concerns for you then it is advisable to accept her recommendation.

When can I get in?

When labour is "established". This is about 4-5cms dilated, or when contractions are about 2 minutes long, regular, and about 5 mins apart. Use this "tool" when you find that other techniques like massage, TENS, dancing, no longer help, when you begin to think; "now I really need something". Often, getting into the pool at this point gives a wonderful whooshing release of tension. This relaxes the muscles, eases fear and anxiety, floods the body with endorphins and quite often moves you along the road of labour quite a way.

Once in, will I be able to get out again?

You can get in and out as often as you want to. You may wish to use the toilet, or want a change of position i.e. walking, birth ball etc.

Why does the baby not drown?

A baby born without distress into water will not receive the stimulus to breathe.
Breathing may be stimulated by

• A significant drop in temperature
• Having received some distress during delivery
• Excessive handling while still underwater

The baby is still connected to the umbilical cord and receiving an oxygenated blood supply via the placenta, so the baby does not need to breathe until after the cord is cut.

Can I deliver the placenta in the pool?

Some midwives may prefer you to leave the pool for the third stage because it is very hard to assess blood loss in the water. You should discuss this with your midwife either before or during the early stages of labour.

If you do deliver your placenta in the pool, how soon afterwards will you get out of the pool? Some women love to lounge in the pool and get to know their baby, while others can't wait to get on dry land. The water may be quite murky after the birth, which could influence your decision!

Why are some midwives more at ease with water birth than others?

The Midwife's Code of Practice states that midwives should operate within the sphere of their expertise. Some might interpret this to use as a get -out clause if they have not been trained in the use of water. However, the Royal College of Midwives clearly says that it is also the duty of the midwives to gain knowledge in this area in order to offer it as part of normal practice.

1. Make sure that the Community Midwives office knows that you are intending to use water and to request that an adequately knowledgeable midwife attend you.
2. Give an unfamiliar midwife a chance to extend her sphere of knowledge by accepting that she has limitations, but negotiating to go beyond them together

Can I use other forms of pain relief while in the pool?

Use of other forms of pain relief such as light touch massage, acupressure, homoeopathy, aromatherapy to mention but a few, along with loving and encouraging words from birth partner or midwife, HypnoBirthing techniques, breathing, visualisation and maybe gas and air will all help you to have a comfortable birth experience.

There are no side effects connected to the use of water as pain relief so it does not preclude any other form of analgesia that may be appropriate at a later time. Using water as pain relief can help you get further down the road of labour without closing doors on other options.

Why is a birth pool better then my bath?

In one word, comfort. One of the most important features of an inflatable pool is the depth and space, which enables you to move and float easily. The inflatable seat and base make any position relaxing and comfortable. The padded rim is also lovely to rest your neck on or lean over during labour. The sides of the pool can also be lower to give shorter ladies easier access.



 


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