Should I labor or deliver my baby in a tub? Labor & Birth

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pregnant woman in tub
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Many moms enjoy the relaxation and pain management that a water birth can provide. Is the tub birthing method right for you? Let these moms and experts help you make your decision.

Labor but Don't Deliver There

"I don't recommend delivery in a tub because of the risk that the baby could breathe in water that can be contaminated with maternal feces and other bacteria. But some women like to labor in the tub, especially in early labor. Many of my patients prefer laboring intermittently in the shower so they are able to rock in place better instead of sitting in a hard tub. That being said, some women feel that laboring in the water provides a lot of pain relief and allows them to avoid pain...

"I don't recommend delivery in a tub because of the risk that the baby could breathe in water that can be contaminated with maternal feces and other bacteria. But some women like to labor in the tub, especially in early labor. Many of my patients prefer laboring intermittently in the shower so they are able to rock in place better instead of sitting in a hard tub. That being said, some women feel that laboring in the water provides a lot of pain relief and allows them to avoid pain medications, and their babies are completely healthy." -- Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, OB/GYN at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Labor in a Tub Is More Peaceful

"For me, the water was so soothing for the contractions, and it made me feel so peaceful. I was able to allow my body to float and get into positions that gravity would've made difficult. I felt like I was in my own little world, just me and the baby."

Water Can Help You Get Comfy

"Labor still hurts, but I was able to sleep between contractions in the tub. I was able to move around and find a comfy position to push, and I didn't have to worry about falling off a bed or being on a germy, nasty floor on my hands and knees."

The Tub Is Your Own Space

"Water was really great to help with contractions, but I might have best liked it for preserving my personal space. No one was looking at me down there, or touching me, or doing things to me."

Less Pain in the Tub

"I had an epidural, then a cesarean with my first and felt way more pain and had a much harder recovery than I did with my unmedicated second VBAC baby in water."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.