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Having A Baby

Using Water For Labour & Birth

Many people find having a bath or shower during pregnancy helps with feeling comfortable and relaxed.

This can continue in labour through the use of a pool to support your labour and birth. Please keep reading to find out the benefits and risks of using water in labour.

Waterbirths

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Can I Use The Pool?

You should be able to use the pool if you have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, are between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant and haven’t suffered from any significant medical conditions or complications during this or any previous pregnancy.

There are some medical or pregnancy conditions which mean it is less safe to give birth in water, or there is currently not enough evidence to show that it is safe. Your midwife or doctor will discuss this with you if you would like to use the pool.

High Risk Waterbirths

What happens if I am told I have risk factors that would mean I am advised against a waterbirth, but I still want to go ahead with one?

If you are told that you have any risk factors where using water in labour would be advised against, but you think that it is the right choice for you, discuss all of your options with your midwife. Your midwife will discuss the risks and benefits with you and may refer you to your Consultant Obstetrician for further discussion.

It may not be possible to support your request for the use of water in labour, but your midwife will be able to discuss your options for labour and birth, including alternative methods of pain relief such as using the shower for pain relief and relaxing during your labour.


Who can Help?

If you feel worried and would like more advice you can speak to your midwife throughout your pregnancy and up to 28 days after the birth of your baby.

If you live in Norfolk

  • You can contact the Healthy Child Programme team for advice and guidance by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
  • If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the team.

If you live in Suffolk

  • You can contact the health visiting team by calling 0345 607 8866, texting 07312 277020 or emailing childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk. Our opening hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays). 
  • If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07507 333356 for confidential advice from one of the team.

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