Water Birthing – an Option in the UAE

Water Birthing - an Option in the UAEBirthing in water has come to be a popular choice among new mothers and their partners. However, it is relatively uncommon in the UAE to undergo the procedure at a healthcare clinic because many lack water birth facilities.

For a water birth, you either need to buy an inflatable birth pool or check to see if the medical facility is equipped with one. There is one hospital in Abu Dhabi, the Al Ain Cromwell Hospital, and another one in Dubai, Al Zahra Hospital in Al Barsha, where water birthing is possible. The facilities are equipped with water birthing pools, and delivery is assisted by medical experts.

A Gulf News post reported this month the successful delivery of ‘Baby Arlo,’ who weighed 3,025 gm, son of Aimee Stevenson and Johnathan Kennaugh, who was born in a warm water pool on July 29. According to the report, Aimee said her experience was all she had hoped for, and “she would recommend it to any woman looking for a natural and gentle birthing experience.” Aimee affirmed that “a water birth was my first choice for my first baby and being able to do it in Dubai has been a dream come true.”

A water birth allows the mother to give birth to her baby under warm water in a small tub or pool; the Al-Ain Cromwell Hospital, explains is an apt option that “allows the mother to try a variety of different positions during labor and delivery.”

Research suggests that a water birth is a safe option for both mothers and babies; it is an option for women with a low-risk pregnancy – i.e., when the mother and baby are not affected by conditions or circumstances that can complicate the birth; the laboring and delivery is anticipated to be problem free.

A high-risk pregnancy, instead, is if the mother-to-be or the baby has an increased chance of a health problem. When there is a condition that poses any significant threat to the health of the mother or baby, it is best not to have a water birth, as it may worsen any complications of the pregnancy. Also, when labor has been induced because the baby is overdue, water birthing might also not be safe.

Medical experts tend to agree there are no scientifically proven health benefits to laboring or delivering in water; this is supported by international research. If there are no advantages to the mother or the baby, then why do some women want a water birth, at home, in a hospital, or a birth center? A water birth is thought to be gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother. Some prefer the calming effects of warm water as a gentler alternative to traditional birthing methods. Medical experts say it can

* Help women to relax the mind and body, as well to reduce the stress of the effort
* Help reduce pain during labor
* Help in the delivery to reduce fetal complications

Potential Risks:

* A women that stays immersed in water for too long can over-relax the body and slow labor down, according to scientific studies
* As the baby does not breathe until its lungs hit the air, there is no chance of drowning. Yet, the baby may choke on the water afterwards and even could accidentally drown if the head is not raised above the water to take his or her first breath of air.

Overall, a water birth is a suitable alternative to undergoing a natural birthing experience on land. The UAE is empowering women in their individual choice for birthing options. Consequently, more Emirati pregnant women are planning a water birth at a clinic with a birthing pool and healthcare provider personnel that can assist in the birthing process to ensure it is special, comfortable, and safe for her and the baby. Those that opt delivering a baby in the water ought to clear the method by their physician, first.

Water Birthing - an Option in the UAE

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