Water can be very calming for many people, so it’s no surprise that women are using it to help them cope with the stress and pain of labor. According to the American College of Nurse-midwives (ACNM), warm water immersion hydrotherapy can provide comfort and encourage relaxation in a safe and effective way. At Beaumont, we have hydrotherapy tubs in some of our rooms, including all the suites in the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth. All of our rooms have showers with massaging shower heads. If you’re interested in learning more about hydrotherapy tubs, contact your health care provider or the birthing unit to find out whether they are available.
Hydrotherapy may take place in a shower or tub. Beaumont’s fetal heart rate monitors are water resistant and safe to use during hydrotherapy.
Benefits of hydrotherapy
There are both mental and physical benefits of hydrotherapy. For example:
- Being in the water can make it easier for you to move around and get comfortable.
- Warm water can help soothe you and make it easier for you to relax between contractions.
- Hydrotherapy has been shown to reduce pain and help laboring women manage their pain.
- It can help you feel warm, comfortable and at home.
- Hydrotherapy has also been shown to help the cervix dilate more quickly, which can move labor along.
- Your support person can join you in the tub during hydrotherapy.
When can hydrotherapy start?
Once you’re at the hospital, your eligibility for hydrotherapy will be assessed by your health care provider. It’s best if you discuss this option with your health care provider before you’re in labor so the two of you can come up with a plan together.
Are there dangers of hydrotherapy?
The water itself isn’t a danger, but there are some times when hydrotherapy isn’t recommended. Your health care provider will discuss any potential risks with you as you are being evaluated.
Can I deliver my baby in the water?
We do not allow for delivery into water at the hospital.