Water in L A B O U R
Water has been recognised for its therapeutic uses going back centuries - labour is no exception to this.
A warm shower during labour can help to relax the muscles and ease back pain. Not to mention the added benefit of having gravity work in your favour 😉
Or maybe you’ve considered a water birth, having the water support your weight and allowing you to gently move into different positions, giving you a greater sense of control. Some have also found a decrease in the duration of labour in water births - potentially due to the how calming and relaxing this birth method can be. Given the environment in the womb, a water birth can also be a much gentler transition earth side for your baby.
With water as pain relief, many women do not feel the need to use medical pain relief, and there is a reported decrease in episiotomy rates and severe tears of the perineum.
Sterile water injections have also been used for relief of back pain in labour, and is effective in up to 85% of women. It involves a small amount of sterile water which is injected under the skin in four different locations on the sacrum. The injections are done during contractions, and is often followed by a brief stinging sensation lasting up to 30 seconds. The lower back pain relief then lasts for up to 2 hours. This procedure is beneficial in that it can be repeated, does not implicate the mother's state of consciousness, and does not limit mobility with no known side effects.
Whether you've considered water as a part of your birth plan, it could be great to consider some of these methods in terms of pain relief and comfort during labour.