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Giving birth in a pool? Demand for painless procedure on the rise

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Mother of a two-year-old boy, Vidya Shekhar has a tinge of disappointment for not having had painless labour, reported Deccan Herald.

"Had I known there was something called water birth, I would have opted for it," she said, referring to a method where a woman in labour is made to sit in a pool where she delivers the baby.

"Some of my friends have travelled to Chennai and other cities to have water births," Vidya added, pointing out the lack of facilities for water birth in Bengaluru.

The pool where women in labour sit is an inflated water tub, where water is warmed to be just one degree above the mother's body temperature.

Dr Jayashree Thirumal Raj, gynaecologist, who has over 20 years experience and has conducted more than 10,000 water births in Germany, said, "Water birth reduces the labour pain due to the buoyancy of water."

Listing out the advantages, she said there is freedom of mobility for the body. The mother is lifted a little in the pool to help her deliver smoothly. Water also gives a pro-anesthetic affect.

While Cesarean deliveries are not very safe, it is conducted frequently, she said.

Dr Jayashree is yet to open her water birth facility in BTM Layout. Currently, just one facility exists in the city, doctors said.

Dr Jayashree has received interests from many women, who have travelled to Chennai, Hyderabad or Kochi to undergo childbirth in water.

She assured that it is a safe method. The baby is lifted from the water as soon as it is pushed out. "The child is already in the amniotic fluid (protective fluid) within the womb. It only breathes after the delivery (and so there is no danger of suffocation)," she said.

Though Dr Meghana Reddy, consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology at Columbia Asia Hospital, admitted that water births relieve the mother of pain, she warned that it is also fraught with risks.

She said the water sometimes may not be sterile. It can enter the maternal birth canal, block the lungs and create an emergency situation. The baby may start breathing before being lifted out from the water.

Dr Meghana also said warning signs of complications in the pregnancy must be identified before the delivery so that water birth can be avoided.


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