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Waterbirth Blog

Filtering by Tag: waterbirth

Sophia's Waterbirth Story

Maryn Taylor

I wasn't attached to the idea of giving birth in a tub. I actually pictured giving birth on my bed. My team filled the tub and I got inside. HEAVEN! My feet, knees and whole body were tired from the positions I was in before. Once I got in the tub, I was relaxed and could relieve the pressure from my tired limbs. I'm pregnant again and the tub is a requirement for me now!

Siti-Khalisah Yasmin's Waterbirth Story

Maryn Taylor

My estimated due date was 12/27/15. Being my second pregnancy, I was sure my baby girl was going to arrive early. My pregnancy had been great, the complete opposite of my first pregnancy. This time around, I didn't suffer from gestational diabetes that needed to be controlled with insulin, I didn't gain too much weight, and didn't need to be induced. It was everything I could ask for! 

Because my pregnancy was coming along so smoothly, I chose to do something I never thought I'd get to do... I chose to have a home birth. I attempted to have a home birth with my first pregnancy but was considered high risk and couldn't follow through. I finally had the opportunity to get the birth experience I always wanted. I met with a team of midwives from a practice called Birth Matters Midwifery Care. They were great! All my prenatal appointments were about an hour long. We would sit, talk about the pregnancy, how I was feeling, they would check my BP, fundal height, check baby's heart rate, and palpate me to see where baby was located. 

So my due date came and went with no impending signs of labor aside from the occasional contraction here and there. The day I turned 41 weeks, I woke up feeling rested and followed my normal morning routine. I sat up in bed after my three year old daughter came into my room greeting me with her traditional "Good morning Mommy". After sitting up for a few minutes, I suddenly felt a gush of fluid. It wasn't like they show you in the movies and to be honest, I wasn't totally convinced my water had broken. So I put on a pad, went back to sleep. When I woke up again, I noticed more fluid and some bloody show. This was a sure sign baby was on her way! 

I called my midwives to give them the heads up. They kept checking in on me every few hours. I went about my normal routine (and maybe walked a few extra miles that day). As the day continued, there were no signs of labor. I felt disappointed. I figured I'd get as much rest as I could, while I could. 

The next day the midwives dropped by to check in on me and baby. Everything seemed to be going well. They recommended trying some things to get labor started, one of those things being castor oil. So later that day, I took castor oil with a homemade pina colada smoothie. I noticed an increase in some contractions. As the evening went on, my contractions picked up. They weren't very intense to begin with, lasting about 30 seconds every 10 minutes. Once the contractions picked up some more and I found myself breathing through them, my three midwives came over. 

My husband, Woody, had already set up the tub. I began by laboring on the birth ball and moved in and out of the tub throughout the night. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I noticed my contractions slowing down. The midwives recommended I try to lay down and get some sleep. I did just that! I knew I'd have quite the journey ahead of me. So I went to bed thinking I'd wake up to more contractions. To my surprise, I slept through the night and woke up late morning. 

The midwives had stayed with us overnight. After speaking to them, they decided to check me and see if I had made any progress overnight, see if my water bag was still in fact ruptured, and check on baby. Before going into labor I was already 3cm dilated and 70% effected. When they checked me again, I had made no progress. My water bag seemed to be intact. The midwives explained that the bag has layers and the first layer was probably what ruptured. The other thing they realized was that baby had some rotating to do. She was in a posterior (sunny side up) position. They recommended I rest up during the day and eventually labor would pick up again. I felt a little discouraged; after hours of contractions, my labor had stalled. But I listened to the midwives and rested as much as I could that day and attempted to turn the baby with exercises and a chiropractic treatment. 

That evening labor had picked up again. This time labor was fast and swift. I didn't want to call the midwives until I was sure it was true labor. I spent the first few hours laboring on the birth ball and enjoying the time I had with my husband before we brought our little girl into this world. At one point, I wanted to go into the birth tub and made my transition there. I knew this meant that things were progressing. 

The water felt amazing and I was able to relax between rushes. Contractions sped up and lasted longer... I pulled out all the stops to get through them. I remembered reading how doing "horse lips" helps keep your body loose as things intensify and that kissing releases oxytocin and endorphins. So between doing horse lips and kissing my husband during contractions, I was able to get through them. I told my husband to text the midwives, my mother, and sister. I was sure transition phase was right around the corner. 

The midwives arrived first. By the time they came my contractions had intensified. I wasn't able to talk through them and I had my eyes closed the majority of the time. I barely noticed their presence. I was in, what I realize now, was my primal state. My sister arrived shortly after that. I didn't care who was there or what was going on around me. I continued laboring in the tub, kissing my husband, and doing what I could to get through it. The midwives would intermittently check baby's heart rate and gave me encouragement as things progressed. 

Then I reached the apex of my labor. I believed I had already been in transition for the last hour plus and had reached that moment every mother has... The moment you doubt wether you can continue on. I was still in the tub and asked the midwives if they could check me to see how I've progressed. I feared that after all this laboring, I might not have progressed, like what had happened the night before. They explained that in order to check me, I'd have to get out of the tub and lay flat on my back (a position no laboring mother really cares for). I agreed and waited for the next contraction to pass. I knew once it passed, I'd have about 2 minutes before the start of the next on. 

I stood up out of the tub and suddenly felt like I weighed 100lbs more. The gravity tugged on every muscle in my body. I could barely walk and yet somehow managed to make it to the bed and lay down. I hated being on my back, but I NEEDED to know what progress I had made. They checked me and said I was 8cm dilated and baby was in a good position. Immediately I thought, "Only 8cm?!" This was great progress but I was just starting the transition phase, the quickest but hardest part of labor. I had never made it this far in my first pregnancy with no pain relief. So in my naivety, I thought that the intensity I was feeling was going to last until the baby arrived. So my body went into flight mode. 

I begged my husband to go to the hospital. He kept reminding me that this wasn't going to last and that I was strong and could do this. I continued to beg to go to the hospital. My sister also encouraged me by saying, "If anyone could do this, you could". I was not hearing their words. The midwives explained that if I truly wanted to leave, I could, but I would be risking a car birth and that this was the quickest part of labor. The thought of making a trip in the car, never mind possibly giving birth in it, was daunting. They suggested I get in the shower. I agreed and the hot water felt wonderful on my lower back. I was feeling all the pressure in my lower back and pelvis (not surprising, seeing as how there was a baby in there). I could barely stand or walk, so I got out of the shower and went into the tub where I could be in the weightless water.

The tub was amazing! I felt so much lighter while in there. The contractions continued to intensify lasting for over 3 minutes every couple of seconds. I got on all fours in the tub and asked Woody to come in the water with me and apply pressure to my back and hips. He would apply a strong hip squeeze while I was having contractions. Then suddenly, the most amazing thing happened.

It was as if someone flipped a switch. Suddenly the contractions slowed down. I was able to open my eyes and observe everything going on around me for the first time in hours. I thought it was too good to be true and braced myself for the contractions to pick up again, but they didn't. Now was the time for pushing. I slowly felt the urge to push. The pressure was increasing, but I felt calm. My body submit and I found a zen space. I continued to push on all fours in the water. The midwives asked if I wanted to stay in the water, to which I replied "YES". It suddenly dawned on me that I was going to have a water birth. 

The midwives prepped Woody on how to catch the baby. Within minutes of pushing, I could feel her head appear. Only a few minutes later, her shoulders came out and she entered the world! I turned my body around and saw my husband catch our baby girl and all the emotions flooded me. I reached out for her and laid her on my chest and began to cry. I was made to be a mother for the second time with her arrival. THIS was what I waited for! This was the experience I wanted. 

My little girl arrived 8lbs even, all 21.5" of her, on January 6, 2016 (at 41 weeks and 3 days). We named her Siti-Khalisah Yasmin. Siti is a title in Malaysia meaning Lady and Khalisah means pure or sincere. Yasmin is the Arabic word for the Jasmine flower. Her name suited her so perfectly. The first few minutes were spent holding her in the warm water, allowing for the cord from the placenta to finish pulsating. She nursed in the first 15 minutes and just like that, I was in love all over again.

We don't carry pools with heaters.

Maryn Taylor

I get at least one call every day from someone asking me if I have pools with heaters.  I don't, and I won't.

The main reason: cleaning.  Heaters work by circulating the water across a heating element and there's no good way to clean inside.  

We've looked into this again and again, and Steve and I just couldn't wrap our heads around any way that we could get a circulating heater clean enough for reuse.  The portable ones that resemble your home water heater can't be sanitized inside, and they are mostly powered by propane and propane accessories.  (Hank Hill probably wouldn't make a good member of your birth team.)

AquaDoula is one tub that has a heater and doesn't recirculate the water.  The heater on that pool is only meant to maintain the temperature of warm water used to fill the pool.  (Source: AquaDoula's setup guide, page three.)  I also don't like the narrow edges - the inflatable pools I carry have a 10" wide side to lean against.

Here's the good news: with the inflatable pools, you don't need a heater.  The air in the floor and sides acts as a good insulator and they lose heat slowly - about a degree an hour.   Also, a couple of pots of boiling water will heat it back up nicely if it's cooler than you'd like.

 

 

 



What To Wear in the Birth Tub

Maryn Taylor

I hear this question a lot : "what do people wear in the birth pool?"  Here are some ideas that might be helpful and that you may already have in your maternity wardrobe.

Target.com  - $20.99 on sale

Target.com - $20.99 on sale

1.  Tankini top.  Bathing suits are made for getting wet, so this is likely to be a comfortable option and one that you may already have, especially if you've been pregnant in the summer.  Target has some cute and affordable options.

2.  Camisole top.  These are such a great layering piece and are relatively easy to find. Some great places for these are Target, Motherhood Maternity, and Old Navy.  Go for black or a dark color so that it's still fairly opaque when it gets wet.

3.  Sports-style bra.  I had one that zipped in the front that I wore when I was in labor with my middle son, so it was easy to take off when I got out of the pool and put on dry clothes.  I got another one (exactly like the one pictured below) at Motherhood Maternity, and I have seen similar ones at Target.  Wal-Mart always has the really inexpensive, soft stretchy ones that pull on over your head; those will work well for gentle support after baby's born, too.  

4.  Nothing.  You don't have to wear anything at all.  Do what feels best for you!

When I was preparing for my births, one of the things that I did was set out camisoles and sports bras along with my birth supplies.  My husband and doula were able to find what I'd planned to wear in the pool without having to look around for them, and later when I decided to get out of the pool for a while I had several sets of dry clothes ready to wear.

Five Reasons to Choose Us for Your Pool Rental

Maryn Taylor

1.  No time limits on your rental.  You get your pool as early as week 37 or week 38, then return it after your baby is born.  We understand that birth is unpredictable and we want to make sure you have the pool when you need it without worrying about extended rental fees.  

2.  We meet or exceed the requirements in the 2015 Waterbirth Guidelines set forth by the Association of Texas Midwives.  This means that you can feel confident that the pool and equipment you receive is sanitary and safe for use during your labor and birth.  

3.  Our cost is the lowest for an all-inclusive rental.  You can find a pool rental for less, but you'll need to find all of the associated parts and pieces to set up and use the pool.  The value of our rental kit exceeds $1000 because we include everything you need.

4.  Solid experience.  Since we opened in November of 2012, we've done more than 400 rentals and have extensive knowledge and understanding of the processes and details.  

5.  Guaranteed availability.  We have a large inventory of tub rental kits to ensure that there is always one available when you need it.  

Creating Your {Water}Birth Plan

Maryn Taylor

So many people call with questions about using a birth tub.  They may think that they're asking about technical details: where to put it, how much water it holds, which pool is best.  What they're actually asking is "how do I make a birth pool part of my birth plan?"

Whatever birth location you choose, you have great options:

Hospital: Some hospitals have large garden tubs for use in labor.  Some have their own birth pool for their patients to use and others allow you to bring a birth pool in to set up in your hospital room.  A local doula asked me recently about the idea of a client using a pool at home before they headed to the hospital - what a great idea!

Even if a birth tub isn't an option in your local hospital, hospital rooms usually have a shower with a handheld attachment.  Many have the large walk-in showers where you could sit on a birth ball while your partner or doula sprays you with the handheld shower.  

Birth center: so many have gorgeous tub options right in their birthing rooms!  Others offer the use of an inflatable tub in their birthing rooms.  Birth centers go above and beyond to serve women who want waterbirths and are delighted to show off their birth suites and unique tubs.

Home: birth pools come in a variety of sizes, and there is one that will fit in your home.  Even if you have a large garden tub, the padded floor and sides of an inflatable birth pool give extra padding to lean or kneel on.  And let's talk about buoyancy: a large garden tub holds about 70 gallons of water; a small inflatable birth tub holds about 115.  More water = more of that lovely feeling of lightness that the water provides.  

Using water in labor can provide amazing relief, and a birth pool can serve as a great tool.  A birth tub is usually (if not always) an option in out of hospital birth, and can often be made part of your plan if you're planning a hospital birth.  If you need help incorporating water into your birth plan, give us a call and we'll be happy to talk through options with you.

 

Two Questions

Maryn Taylor

When people ask which pool to choose for their birth, I ask two questions:

1.  Who's your midwife or doctor?

2.  Where do you want to put it?

If you call to rent, one of the first questions you'll be asked is "Who is your midwife or doctor?"  Some of the midwives have a specific preference and so we always send their clients that specific pool.  If you have a physician and are planning a hospital birth, the smaller pool (La Bassine or Passages) fits in hospital rooms better. 

Next question is where do you want to put the pool?   Some people have an idea about where they want to put it already, so we talk about how big that area is to figure out which pool will fit best.  With our older son, we put a Birth Pool in a Box (the larger size that we carry) in our living room, but with our youngest I knew I wanted a pool that would fit in our master bedroom so I chose the smaller La Bassine.  

All the pools we carry have inflatable floors and sides, and they all are great options - it's just about choosing the one that will be perfect for your birth!

 

 

 

Buoy-what?

Maryn Taylor

So, what's with our name?

When my husband Steve and I were brainstorming names for this business, we tossed around lots of ideas and kept coming back to the idea of something nautical and related to the ocean.  Steve is a former merchant mariner and retired Navy officer, and we both love to scuba dive, and we wanted something that felt like a match with our personal interests.

We finally lit upon the word buoyant because it means two things:

  • likely to float on air or water
  • happy and joyful

The play on words, the connection with sailing and diving, the sense of lightness that immersion in water brings to birth, that it signified the joy we hoped people would experience on their birth day - it was perfect!  And so, we became Buoyant Birth.

 

Texas' Waterbirth Guidelines

Maryn Taylor

Recently, the Texas Midwifery Board formed a working group to create guidelines for waterbirth in Texas.  Last night, I spoke at the monthly meeting of the Tarrant County Birth Network about the new guidelines.  

A few highlights from the guidelines:

  • Suggested pools are the inflatable, reusable pools like La Bassine and Birth Pool in a Box; disposable single use pools like the Passages; or a pipeless recirculating system like SaniJet.  
  • It's not suggested to use a Jacuzzi-type tub with recirculating water, as the piping can't be adequately cleaned for birth.
  • Fill the pool under the direction of a midwife.  (So glad they put this in the guidelines - it's something my team always tells our clients, but sometimes isn't followed.  I recently went to a house where the pool was inflated before the mother was in labor and their cat was napping in the bottom of it.  Leave everything sealed and wait until your midwife tells you to inflate it!)
  • Run water from the tap for three minutes before beginning to fill.
  • If the pool is filled for longer than six hours, you should drain and refill with a clean liner.

Complete text of the guidelines is posted here: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/midwife/waterbirth/