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Water Birthing

A relaxing alternative to traditional birthing

Water Birthing is a popular option at Tomah Health. More than 1,000 water births have taken place since the option was first offered in 2001.

Birthing your baby in water (or water birth) in a specially designed tub makes it possible to provide relaxation during labor thus decreasing the need for medical interventions. Women who use water birth are more comfortable and able to change positions more easily. Water also reduces the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for episiotomies.

Baby’s experience

The baby experiences the freedom of movement in familiar fluid surroundings as he or she is birthed. The baby’s limbs unfold with greater ease during the first moments when leaving their mother’s body and upon entering the water. The water allows the baby time to become accustomed to being born.

Lights, sound and touch are gentler in water, and the environment is warm and soothing to the baby. The baby emerges into the water and is supported by the mother, father or the birth attendant. The baby is then brought to the surface and snuggled on the mother’s chest. They are then both wrapped in warm towels and blankets.

What moms are saying

Women who have experienced a water birth were amazed at how good it felt, even during the contractions, to be in warm water. Women who had already birthed a baby using traditional birthing options felt there was no comparison between the two methods.

Eligibility for water birthing

Families who are interested in birthing their babies in water need to discuss the option with their healthcare provider. Birthing in water is not for everyone. Women interested in this option are screened for certain health or pregnancy concerns that might prohibit water birthing.

For more information on water birthing, call Women’s Health Service at 608-377-8400.

Tomah Health