In India, giving birth to a child is commonly depicted as the most pleasing experience for a woman. The tell tales of labor pain, screaming and birth went wrong stories are always part of women’s discussion again and again.
A lot of women consider it a “suffering” where they go through all the pain in the hospital; yelling and shouting in pain rather than thinking of it as a beautiful and glorifying moment. Women earlier always preferred natural delivery over surgery. But today with advancement in technology, the surgery for delivery happens in a blink of an eye.
Again, people are turning to natural delivery methods due to several health benefits. Now, water birth in India is a new trend of natural birthing, especially among celebrities.
What is water birth?
Water birth is not just giving birth to a baby in the bathtub but a process that allows for a more comfortable and less painful task for a woman to deliver the baby. It is the process of inducing labor that is pain-free and non-medicated. Therefore, this looks like a great option for would-be-moms to opt for water birthing.
According to media, Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin, who revealed her pregnancy recently, is planning to deliver her baby through water birth. She will be moving to Goa and will deliver her child with the help of a midwife.
It is believed that Kalki herself was born through the process of water birthing. This made her take this decision to give birth to her child in the same way.
Though not so common concept of water birth in India, many celebrities abroad have accepted it openly over the past few years. The names include Pamela Anderson, Thandie Newton and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Indians have some misconceptions about water birth
- The biggest myth of water birth is “How will a baby breathe underwater?”
Truth: The truth is when a baby is born, their oxygen source is still umbilical cord. The first few minutes when the baby comes out and cries, it clears the lungs. That is the reason the first cry is important.
- Another myth is “Water tub gets dirty because mom passes stool during labor”
Truth: Even during birth in the hospital the child is exposed to mom’s bacteria in her stool. Still, health professionals around keep swapping everything that is inside the bathtub.
How to start if you want to opt for water birth?
The time you and your partner plan to go for a water birth, talk to the doctor. How safe is water birth for you? Your doctor will answer this question. She will also tell you if your hospital can provide that facility or can refer you to some good hospital with water birthing facility.
Water birthing hospitals in India are very rare who have specialists and skilled midwives to perform water birthing. You must ensure the following facilities if your hospital has water birth facilities:
- What number of cases come for water births
- How many bathtubs are available
- Do they have trained experts
- Will it be available as and when you need it
If the hospitals or birth centers do not have this facility, you can also set this up at home according to the requirements. You can even talk to the people around you if they have undergone this process.
Who is eligible for water birth?
Certain parameters decide if a woman is eligible for water birthing:
- A woman needs to be fit-medically and physically.
- If a woman is expecting twins, she will not be allowed to go for water birthing.
- Even the orientation or position of the child must be head-first for water birth.
- A woman who complains of blood pressure is also not eligible for a water birth.
- You should not be overweight.
- If the previous delivery was C-section, the doctor may not recommend water birth.
What may be the risks involved in water birth?
There are risks when the baby is born in water:
- Umbilical cord may be twisted resulting in water inhale for the baby
- The baby and mother may catch the infection
- The body temperature of the baby may vary if born in water
- There might be a tear in the perineum skin during water birth
- Too much bleeding in the water birth can be risky
If the complications occur during water birth, both mother and child are shifted to the hospital at the same time. Situations such as fatal heart rate, breathing issues, infection or temperature may complicate the delivery.
What to expect from water birth?
It is not a game where you put any woman in the bathtub and she delivers a baby. There are precautions for water birth:
- The temperature of the water must be monitored regularly.
- There are not many skilled water birth experts in India, make sure you are in safe hands.
- Pain must be before getting into the tub
- You must always be under supervision
- There is an instrument called doppler, to hear fetal heartbeat of the baby in the water.
The cost of water birth in India varies from INR 80,000 to INR 1,50,000 depending upon hospital to hospital.
Water birth in India is said to be a Youtube wonder for a lot of to-be-moms. Talking about the practicality of the process in India, it has a long way to go. In India, a lot of hospitals buy water for their requirements. Therefore, if the demand for water birth in India increases, it might become unrealistic to say that the demands would be met.
Moreover, adequate training of midwives and doctors is important before the process spreads widely across the country. Certified and specialized midwives are the foremost concerns in India for water birthing. Gradually the process is catching fire in India.