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Water Birth: Delivering The Baby In Bathtub Or Pool

Water birth refers to the process of delivering a baby in a pool or bathtub. Supporters of the theory of child water birth say that it is not only beneficial for mother but also equally advantageous to the baby. They are of the firm opinion that it is a safe substitute of other options used for natural childbirth.

History Of Water Birth

Water birth can be assumed as a comparatively newer occurrence in the western countries. Igor Charkovsky who was a Russian researcher, was among the first to work on the concept of child water birth. In the 1960s, he came out with some facts about the safety and advantages of this method. In the later years, Frederick Leboyer, a French obstetrician told about the benefits of plunging newly born child in warm water. In his opinion, it minimizes the birth complications and makes the transition process from womb to real world a smoother phenomenon.

Michel Odent, another expert from the France took this concept of water birth a step ahead. He suggested that pregnancy birth in water alleviates the pain. During his experiments he observed that some pregnant women who were put in water just for relief from pain expressed unwillingness to come out of water at the time of delivery. He decided to study in details about the advantages and the possible harms of delivering a baby under water. Soon his findings became popular and expectant mothers started coming to him.

Growing Popularity

Popularity of the water birth kept on growing and people took it as a good alternative to the cesarean birth. By the end of decade of 1990s thousands of mothers successfully delivered the baby at Odent's birth center at Pithiviers. In USA, some people tried this method at home. The very first hospital with this kind of arrangements came into existence only in the year 1991. However, Americans quickly realized the benefits of child water birth and by the year 2005 more than 300 hospitals started offering this type of facility. You will find the arrangements for this method of childbirth in more than 75 % of the National Health Service hospitals in United Kingdom.


As far as advantages of water birth are concerned we begin with its benefits to the mothers. Warm water causes a soothing effect and the labor pain is reduced to a great extent because it decreases the secretion of adrenaline. Perineum becomes more elastic and the secretion of endorphins is also increased. Combined effect of all these factors is that there will be fewer slashes and birth will be easier. Coming out in this world is an arduous task for the baby too. There is a lot of similarity between in the intra uterine environment and warm water. Therefore, water birth makes the transition of the baby to outside world easier.

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