What does supermodel Gisele Bundchen and yours truly have in common? We are both gorgeous chose to give birth to our babies in water. Studies and personal experiences have clearly shown that water births ease labor pain for mothers and offer a gentle transition to newborns.
Celebrities, such as Gisele Bundchen and her husband Tom Brady, are helping normalize natural, water births by making their choices and births public.
You may not have ever heard of this Brazilian supermodel, but you probably know of her husband NFL quarterback Tom Brady. Although the Patriots are not looked upon too kindly in my household, we are pleased to hear about the natural, water birth of Bundchen and Brady’s baby boy Benjamin. ABC News explains:
Breaking from a culture where hospital births are the norm and Caesarian rates are the highest in the world, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen chose to deliver her son Benjamin in her own bathtub…
Today in the United States, as in Brazil,natural childbirth is a medical anomaly. But here, a small, but growing number of women are choosing water births over medication and pain-blocking epidurals.
Water births occur in warm water (body temperature). For the newborn who is used to swimming around in the warm amniotic fluid of the womb, the transition out of the birth canal to a similar substance is gradual compared to a typical land birth. ABC continues:
At least eight studies of nearly 3,000 women comparing water to regular births have shown that women need less pain relief in a water birth, according to obstetrician Gaudet.
Overall, most comparisons between water and land births had the same outcomes for mothers and their babies, she said.
One Italian study published in 2005 by the National Institutes of Health showed a lower episiotomy rate, shorter first stage of labor and no increased rate of infection.
In another comparison of water births to land births by British researchers in 2009, showed a reduction in the use of epidural and spinal pain relief.
When I tell people my children were born in a birthing tub, they usually express concern about the child taking its first breath under water. Children who are born in water are quickly caught by a midwife or father and placed in the mother’s loving arms. The transition from umbilical cord to lung breathing is more gradual than many suspect, thus delayed cord clamping is also beneficial, plus infants don’t take their first breath until exposed to air.
I am not a medical doctor, and like any of the advice or information we provide on Eco Child’s Play, it is never intended to replace your doctor’s wisdom. Our intent is to promote discussions and empowered choices by families to live more natural, green lives. Water births offer a safe, gentle birth for celebrities and regular folks alike.