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Home Midwife Elder Knowledge Using water to heal during birth

Using water to heal during birth

One only has to barely search to find the unlimited ways water can heal. Water therapy has been utilized for centuries. But I am concerned only with childbirth. You might ask the question, "to heal what?"

What I have seen is that it heals the anxiety and stress of the mother’s fears……of whatever she was taught. Much has been researched on the effectiveness of pain relief when in water. Through the use of water, the natural hormones can be easily released, putting women in an altered state. Synthetic pain killers are not necessary. They inhibit our own natural hormones, our natural endorphins/opiates. To inhibit the release of these hormones is to intervene, compromising the safety of the mothers and babies in the natural birth process.

On healing the baby…….I could go on and on. Again, much research has been done on the physical and psychological trauma of birth. My favorite book is The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (1981) by Thomas Verny. The effects of outside sounds are but one issue the baby is faced with.

Being born into water mutes the sounds of the outside, "just as they are muted inside the womb. The vulnerable ears are protected by the silence of the waters. It also aids the thermal regulation and adaptations because it is the same temperature as the amniotic fluid. Battling with the new elements is not necessary; adaptation to life outside the womb can be slow and easy." That was a comment by Dr. Michel Odent taken from the Water Birth book by Susanna Napierala. Also from the same book, the research done by Igor Charkowsky is tremendous!

Charkowsky likens an "air" birth to someone freefalling and then colliding with the solid ground. He tries to put the adult in the newborn’s place by reminding us of the newborn’s sensitivity.

At such a crucial time, the newborn is abruptly alienated from the mother. Breathing is autonomous and unregulated, with the newborn thrown into this autonomy before the physiological adaptations of the body are ready to occur.

In addition, compared to that of the womb, the environment is harsh, with bright lights, gross temperature, and humidity variables prevailing. These factors, Charkowsky feels, can put the newborn into a state that is close to deep stress.

Within these first moments of life, sensitive brain cells collapse under the conditions of the high content of oxygen and strong irritants. The conditions of gravity ensure that only the toughest and crudest elements of the brain survive, while the most valuable and delicate ones collapse during the first minutes of life.

So I ascertain that being born into water is healing our children to prepare them for life.

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