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Overview

The Center for Women and Families at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center offers warm pools for use during labor and delivery. If you are interested in water birthing, please review the following considerations with your medical care provider.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Birthing

You are likely eligible to labor and give birth in the water if you are pregnant with only one baby, you are full term when you go into labor (greater than 37 weeks for water birth and 35 week for labor only) and the baby is positioned head down and has a normal heart rate. Other factors include a body mass index lower than 35 before you became pregnant, you have not gained more than 50 pounds during your pregnancy and there is no bleeding greater than "bloody show", which is the passage of a small amount of blood or blood-tinged mucus through the vagina near the end of pregnancy.
Babies do not take their first breath until they are lifted out of the water and come into contact with the air.
Studies show neither mother nor baby has a higher risk of infection.
Water birthing is just as safe as a birth in a bed when supervised by an experienced health care team. In emergencies the mother may be asked to exit the tub or to change positions.
You may not be able to labor in the water if your vital signs are unstable or you have symptoms that indicate infection. Also, if the care team is unable to monitor the baby's condition as needed, based on identified risk factors. You may also not be able to labor in the water if you have active genital herpes, HIV, or a positive Hepatitis C or Hepatitis B infection. If we need to use internal monitoring for the baby, if your baby's heart rate is abnormal or if you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy or heart disease) you may not be able to have a water birth. If your condition requires the use of an IV pump, you are experiencing excessive vaginal bleeding, you have used narcotics within one hour of entry into the tub, your amniotic sac has been broken for 18 hours or more without active labor, or your baby has not grown sufficiently while in the uterus.
If you have high blood pressure, you must check with your medical care provider to see if water birthing is an option for you. If meconium is present in your amniotic fluid, you may labor in the tub as long as the baby's status is normal, but amniotic fluid must be clear to allow delivery in the tub. You must also be able to exit the tub quickly when instructed to do so.
You may not be able to deliver in the water if you are pregnant with more than one baby, you have had uterine surgery or you have diabetes of any type that requires medication. Additionally, if you are unable to exit the tub quickly if asked, the estimated weight of your baby is greater than or equal to approximately 10 pounds, or your provider has reason to believe you may be unable to pass the shoulders of your baby without help.

Want More Information?

For more information about the water birthing facilities at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, call 541-768-5125.