Water birth growing in popularity

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DENVER — Hope Forgey, a mother of two, says having her baby in the water was the best choice she could have made. “A tub full of water in a room naturally relaxes the entire environment.”

After delivering her first child the traditional way, Hope wanted a less “cold sterile” setting for her second child.

She says the water birth program at the University of Colorado Hospital created an experience that she will never forget.  She describes the setting as extremely peaceful, “They dimmed the lights, my midwife put out little flameless candles … I was thinking ‘I can’t believe this, I’m in a hospital right now.’”

During a water birth, a large rubber pool is placed in the delivery suite and filled with water at a warm temperature that is carefully maintained.  When the mother is ready to begin labor, she enters the pool.

Certified nurse midwife Jessica Anderson was at Hope’s side during the delivery.  She says the warm water is extremely comforting to the mother and can greatly reduce the pain associated with childbirth.

The water is also more comfortable for the child, since it is very similar to the environment where the baby came from in the uterus.

The baby is born underwater then brought to the surface, where he or she takes the first breath of life outside the womb.

Anderson explains, “They don’t necessarily know that they’ve been birthed so they’re more peaceful. It’s an easier transition.”

Hope says a peaceful birth without the traditional slap on the behind or crying was a moving experience.  She explains, “It was so calm, there was no (gasping) none of that … and we just held her.”

Every woman may not have the exact same experience as Hope describes, but women who love the water birth option say it is the most peaceful way to bring a child into the world.

Not all women are candidates for water birth delivery.  Mothers must be at full term and free of any complications.  Anyone interested in water birth can learn more from their personal physician and visit The University of Colorado Health website.