The Best Beginning Choices Family Design your delivery A Special Experience
Nurturing yourself and your newborn Dr. Ronald L. Cole Order Online Special Interest Links ContactHome


"As my work, my research, and my practice in obstetrics progressed, I began looking for more ways to make the birth experience as gentle and loving as possible. I never imagined I would become involved in and support the appropriate use of underwater birthing in the hospital."

Each pregnancy and delivery should be individualized to suit the couple's desires. Not all women should deliver under water, but when appropriate protocol is followed, delivery in a warm-water-filled tub is a safe method of birth and should be available to those who seek it. This type of experience is most common in birthing centers. But with the cooperation of your obstetrician, birth team, and the hospital administration, a water birth can be safely enjoyed in the hospital.

For certain couples, warm-water birth can be a safe and special birth experience. The desire for a water birth should originate with the couple and should be undertaken only if the couple is properly motivated and willing to do their homework and share the responsibility.

For those willing to make the extra effort, warm-water immersion during labor and delivery has several benefits:
  • Decreased blood pressure and greater muscle relaxation, thus lessening anxiety and lowering pain perception.
  • Upright position of water birth promotes uterine blood flow and distribution, aiding the baby.
  • Buoyancy of water protects mother and baby through insulation, cushioning, and endorphin secretion (creating warmth for mother and child).
  • Decreases the number of dramatic stimuli the newborn experiences all at once.
  • Provides the baby a more gradual transition from the confined and liquid prenatal environment to its new air environment.
Such factors allow the mother to work in harmony with Mother Nature to achieve a more controlled, less painful, and gentler birth.