Water Birth – Know the Pros and Cons

Perhaps you have been contemplating having a water birth but also wonder whether it’s better than delivering in-hospital. Does it hurt more than a natural birth? What can I wear? Is it even worth it? Many expectant mothers are torn between these two options, but worry not, as we will help you answer all your water birth-related questions.

Throughout the whole pregnancy journey, you are bound to think about the big day. Gone are the days when water birth was considered by a few expectant mothers; now, it’s one option that has attracted more women every year.

Whereas most people have turned water birth into a trend, there are several factors you should consider before deciding if you should do it or not. There are always pros and cons, so without wasting much of your time, let’s find out the pros and cons of having a water birth.

Water Birth - Know the Pros and Cons
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There are some amazing and beautiful advantages to having a natural water birth. Here are the pros laid out.

Pain Relief

This way, most women who have given birth attest to the fact that being in warm water relieves you of contraction pains. If you opt for strong pain relief like an epidural, you might have to leave the pool. However, you can use air and gas to get rid of any mild pains in water.


When mothers are in the warmth of the pool, all they have to focus on is labor. Some women prefer to have their room dark, calm, and as quiet as possible. 

They can switch off lights or listen to their favorite music, which is not the case with giving birth in a hospital.

It Helps You Relax

The temperature and motion of the warm water help expectant mothers to relax when they are in labor. When women become tense, contractions tend to lose their rhythm, thus becoming more painful. 

But, by keeping calm and composed, contractions become less painful and manageable for both you and the baby. Being relaxed also helps you to breathe calmly and slowly, thus helping you manage the pain.


Women generally feel safer, comfortable, and more secure when in water because it makes them feel lighter. This way, you can move and switch positions until you find one that best suits you. 

Moreover, you can have your pool assembled or even delivered to your home before the due date. This allows you to check whether it’s in proper working condition, allowing you enough time to prepare.

Cons of Having a Water Birth

The main risk of having a water birth is the risk of getting infections. Having a water birth puts you at a high risk of getting infections more so when you open your bowels. 

Although midwives tend to remove any debris from the water quickly and effectively, this introduces the possibility. There are several other cons to keep in mind, however, and they are as follows.

Cost and Availability

If you have made up your mind about getting a water birth, the chances are high that it might not be available when you need it. 

The pool might be in use by another woman. It might be out of order, faulty, or even not have enough water. Let’s also not forget that this method is one of the most expensive labor methods, costing you up to $160 to buy a pool.

Water Birth - Know the Pros and Cons
Image source: Parents.com



You might be asked to stay out of the pool if you get any complications during labor. Moreover, if a mother is considered high-risk, she might not be allowed in the pool at all. 

If worst comes to worst, you might have to be rushed to the hospital. This is different if you have a normal birth in the hospital where emergency cases can be attended to immediately.

Bottom Line

If you have made up your mind about having a water birth, the first thing should do is talk to your midwife. And if you have any questions about whether the hospital has a birth pool or not, they should be able to clarify everything for you. 

Some hospitals support the idea of pool births; be sure to confirm first. If you have any medical issues such as epilepsy, you are overweight, or you are even categorized as a “high-risk pregnancy”, you are better off not having a water birth.