Benefits of hydrotherapy during childbirth: these are its advantages

There is an increasing demand among pregnant women to give birth in the water. We tell you what it consists of, how it is done and who opts for this practice

Not all women are the same. Neither are all pregnancies . In the same way, births vary even in the same woman. Therefore, having different options when giving birth can be an advantage for the expectant mother. Little by little, in our country the possibility of giving birth in water is gaining strength . If you think about it, the baby really spends nine months inside a liquid ‘ecosystem’, and with hydrotherapy she would also become part of the ‘real world’ through water.

Thus, there is a growing demand among pregnant women to give birth in the water. Why? Scientific studies published to date maintain that one of its main advantages would be that it decreases the need for analgesia in women during childbirth, since the perception of pain is less in water.

As explained by Dr. Isabel María Blanco Herráez, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at Hospital Quirónsalud Marbella, epidural analgesia today is the anesthetic technique most requested by women during childbirth, although it can entail a series of risks and effects on the procedure, such as, for example, reducing the sensation of pushing in mothers or hindering their mobility .

Another of the advantages of hydrotherapy, according to this expert, is that this technique decreases the necessary dilation time , when compared to a traditional vaginal delivery out of water and without analgesia.Obstetric bathtubs facilitate the dilation of the woman in the water. The benefits of immersion in the aquatic environment during labor are numerous. The main one is pain relief, since it reduces stress , helps the perineal muscles relax and stimulates the production of endorphins , which is our natural pain reliever. The feeling of weightlessness when floating in the water comforts them in this phase prior to birth”, details Bernardo Ruiz, head of Midwives.

There are no maternal-fetal complications

On the other hand, the gynecologist Isabel María Blanco Herráez maintains that in the case of babies , no adverse effects have been observed after being born in the water, nor have complications in future mothers . In the event of complications, which is unusual, she maintains that women should get out of the water.

In addition, the specialist points out that it has been proven that when women are submerged in water (up to the abdomen) the labor time is reduced, they are more relaxed, the levels of anxiety that could be generated during the process decrease and the mothers they are able to better cope with contractions , among other possible benefits of hydrotherapy.

Thanks to this technique of immersion in water during childbirth, continues Dr. Isabel María Blanco Herráez, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Service at the Quirónsalud Marbella Hospital, a lower number of caesarean sections and episiotomies in childbirth have been verified, as well as an improvement in uterine perfusion, while a feeling of greater control and satisfaction has been perceived among mothers at the end of labor.

Who can opt for hydrotherapy

They are usually carried out in bathtubs that are at a temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius and, at most, for two consecutive hours . However, not all future mothers can opt for hydrotherapy, but they must meet a series of requirements.“This is an option that women who have presented a low risk during pregnancy , are at term, have no signs of infection , their vital signs can be controlled and keep a cardiotocographic record , continues this midwife. normal”.

The specialist at the Quirónsalud Marbella Hospital highlights that a large number of mothers manage to relax and alleviate pain, among other points also because this technique allows parturients to adopt positions that facilitate fetal descent and, consequently, everything flows more quickly and are necessary fewer medicalized interventions in the process.

A revolution in labor

Thus, Dr. Isabel María Blanco Herráez, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Service celebrates that, thanks to the implementation of techniques like this, “labor has led a revolution in recent years, leaving behind that planning in which the woman waited in a room and then was transferred to an operating room to have her baby.

Now, he says, this internal journey is avoided and in the respected or low-intervention delivery rooms, where hydrotherapy bathtubs are usually found, the woman will live the “unique experience of the final stretch of pregnancy”, without leaving the room, but always accompanied by the person she decides.

In this sense, the midwife numbers the main elements of the room: “An en-suite toilet with a continuous floor shower for easy access available to pregnant women who want to relax under the curtain of rain, the Pilates ball (to promote dilation and lower pressure in the pelvic area), an air lighting and humidification device based on chromotherapy and aromatherapy with the option of keeping a color fixed or programming an environmental cycle at the desire of the woman or music therapy; in this section, we midwives ask about the woman’s preference or use a list of songs with relaxing properties that we have prepared”.