Can I Have a Water Birth if Induced?

Water births are a great option for women looking to manage pain during labour. They are known to reduce stress hormones, which is especially helpful in the induction process.

Unfortunately, many are led to believe they cannot have a water birth if induced. However, we believe it's important to consider all options. In some cases, induced births can be finalized as water births.

In this article, we'll take a look at whether the induction process will force you to forgo a water birth. We'll also provide some tips on what to do if induction is necessary, and how best to manage pain during labour with alternative techniques.

So whenever you're ready to tackle this important topic, keep reading.

Will An Induction Prevent You From Water Birth?

A common question that many pregnant women ask themselves is if induction will force them to forgo a water birth. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, water birth is where the mother-to-be gives birth in a tub of warm water.

The answer to the question is not always the case! It all depends on how you and your doctor decide to plan your delivery, and whether you'll be giving birth before 39 weeks gestation.

If you're lucky enough to give life at 37 weeks (which happens more often than most people think), then there shouldn't be any issues with having both procedures done simultaneously, since they don't interfere much with each other as far as time goes.

Three Things to Consider

If things aren't looking up for you before 39 weeks gestation, then it's likely that your doctor will want to induce labour at some point. When this happens, the water birth option may be off the table.

There are exceptions to every rule, depending on how things go during delivery. Doctors might allow their patients who had an induction to give birth in a tub of warm water if they're okay with it, as well as ready to take responsibility should something happen during or after giving birth under those circumstances.

In short: yes! In many cases (depending on when the baby comes), women can have both procedures done simultaneously, even though one is induced and not natural.

Contractions usually start from 37 weeks gestation. It may not be possible to use water even for labour (if less than term, i.e., 37-42 weeks).

There may be some concerns about safely giving birth in water if induced. Ensure all tests (as already mentioned) are completed before the induction commences so all information is available.

Firstly, you need to understand why you are being offered induction. Secondly, how many weeks in will induction occur (if less than term, i.e., 37-42 weeks), it is not advised to use water except for labour. The third issue is what method of induction is being used, and thus the implications of safely monitoring the baby in the water.

To assist with induction, the doctor may have already performed an ultrasonic scan to check on amniotic fluid levels, a heart rate monitoring (CTG), and depending on the reason for induction, a range of blood tests.

Let members of your support team, birth companion, and doula understand that you will have medical /midwifery staff in attendance to also provide their expertise during water labour/birth.

As with any use of water, if there are any changes to mother's or baby's health or labour status, you will be asked to leave the pool. 

How to Ensure Safe Water Birth With Induction

There are some concerns about the safety of a water birthing if you're induced. To help make sure your experience runs smoothly, your care provider will ensure monitoring has occurred (including amniotic fluid volume). During labour and birth, they will listen to the baby's heart rate.

Let members of your support team know about your feelings on touch, massage, and talking during labour. It's also helpful to have someone with sound medical knowledge on hand in case something does go wrong.

If there is any concern whatsoever between checks — for example, if contractions change dramatically or if the baby's heart rate alters — it's time to get out of the tub. If a baby's heart rate drops, it can be dangerous for both mama and babe if they're still in the water.

In any case, it's best to have a specialist and/or licensed professional with you to ensure the safest water birth possible.

If you're induced, it's important to be aware of changes in your body and whether water is no longer a safe option.

If anything is amiss during contractions or the cervix check—for example, if there are signs of infection — it's likely time to get out of the pool (and into bed) until after delivery. This way, both mama and babe will remain safe throughout labour.

Benefits of Water Births

One of the more common reasons why expectant mothers opt for water births is because they find them soothing and relaxing. Since it's not uncommon for women who are about to give birth to feel anxious or nervous, using this method can help ease their fears.

This is done by allowing them something familiar in a foreign environment (the hospital). It also provides some psychological benefits.

Some other perks that come with giving life under these circumstances include:

  • feeling warmer due to being surrounded by warm water
  • reduced blood loss during delivery due to physiological and hormonal effects
  • faster labour times when compared to traditional deliveries

These are just three examples of the many benefits associated with choosing this route. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or midwife and see what they say.

It is always worth asking if it is possible to have the flexibility of having both procedures done simultaneously. This should occur during your time in the hospital, whether you've been induced or not! Water births are becoming more popular, as well as accepted by hospitals.

This means that this is something women can now experience at their local facilities, regardless of where they live.

This said, go with whatever makes you feel comfortable. Giving birth isn't always easy for everyone. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something that goes against how you wish things were handled.

Having options when choosing between delivery styles should never be seen as less favorable. We're all unique and individual, so it's important to remember that sometimes the best choice may not always be clear!

Safety and Concern

You should always remember that your birth is about you and no one else. You know what's best for yourself and your baby, so don't let anyone force you to do the opposite. It could make things more difficult than they need to be (this includes members of your support team, too).

If you have any concerns, talk with the doctor or midwife on duty. If there are issues, you may be asked to leave the water. Do this before entering into a water birth, since not all facilities allow them without proper training in these situations.

Your Birth, Your Choice

If there's anything we've learned over time, it's that everyone responds differently to experiences. This means something might work great for one person, but end up being less successful for another!

It may take some trial and error, but when push comes to shove, it's best to go with what you feel is right. Don't do anything that makes you question your decision. This can cause more stress than help (which we already know isn't good for anyone).

If you're interested in water birth in the privacy of your own home, get in touch with us and we will accommodate your needs.