In water birthing method, the labour is spent in a tub of water also known as a birthing pool, and the baby is born in the birthing pool. Some women may choose to get out of the pool for the delivery. There are benefits for both mother and baby in this method. The mother experiences less pain and the baby has a gentler entry into the world in a water birth.
Immersing in water during the early stages of labour has shown a reduction in labour pain. The water seems to reduce the release of stress hormones so the mother’s body can produce pain-inhibiting endorphins. Being in water can also help the mother assume a more comfortable position during labour. The use of epidurals during the first stage of labour is reduced when immersed in water. The length of the first stage of labour is noted to be shorter in a water birth. Water provides support to the perineum or the floor of the vagina and which becomes more elastic and the need of episiotomies are reduced.
The baby benefits from entering into the world in an environment similar to that in which he has been for the last nine months. Thus, the trauma of birth on the baby is less in a water birth.
Water birth does have some risks in it. There is also not enough research to show if the benefits outweigh risks. The risks include the mother, baby or both can contract infections. The baby may inhale water and the umbilical cord may snap in the water.
Due to the risks in water birthing, it is essential to have people trained in this method in attendance during the birth and plans should be made in advance for any emergency that can be anticipated.
The theory behind hypno birthing is that child birth is supposed to be easy and relatively pain-free, but it is the fear of childbirth in the mind of women that is the reason for the pain during contractions. The physiological explanation is fear during labour causes the release of a stress hormone called catecholamine which slows down digestion, speeds up the heart, increases blood flow to the arms and legs, and ultimately depletes blood flow to the uterus. This causes uterine pain and hindering the labour process.
Hypno birthing works on the premise that by replacing fear and relaxing the mind, a different set of chemicals are released. Oxytocin, labour hormones called prostaglandins and endorphins all combine to relax the muscles and create a sense of comfort.
The parents are taught techniques to calm themselves during and even before labour. They are taught to replace words like contractions and pain with surge and sensations and similar other variation to train the mind to relax. This causes the body to relax as well leading to a shorter labour and easier birth.