Parent education at Bradford

This section is all about water birth and home birth. Have a look at the links below for some useful information

We offer virtual antenatal classes that cover all the topics below and more.

Caroline Lamb, Midwife
Gina Melia, Midwife

Labour and birth in water

Water birth is the process of giving birth in water using a birthing pool.

You can labour in water and leave to give birth if you wish. Being in water during labour is shown to help with pain as well as being more relaxing and soothing than being out of water. The water can help to support your weight, making it easier to move around and feel more in control during labour.

What are the advantages of water birth?

  • The warm water can help to relax, soothe and comfort you.
  • The support of the water means you can try different positions and move more freely.
  • When upright in the water, gravity will help move the baby down towards the birth canal.
  • Being in water can lower your blood pressure and reduce feelings of anxiety, making your body more able to release endorphins, which can help ease pain.
  • The water can help to improve back pain and the feeling of pressure, especially when you are fully dilated.
  • Being in the pool during labour and birth can be a “cosy” experience, making you feel safe.

Can I have a water birth?

Having a water birth is an option for you if you have had a low risk pregnancy and your midwife or obstetric doctor believes it is safe for you and your baby. You can talk to them about it at any of your appointments.

Home birth

If you have a straightforward pregnancy, and both you and the baby are well, you might choose to give birth at home.

Giving birth is generally safe wherever you choose to have your baby.

If you give birth at home, you’ll be supported by a midwife who will be with you while you’re in labour. If you need any help or your labour is not progressing as well as it should, your midwife will make arrangements for you to go to hospital.

Advantages of home birth

The advantages of giving birth at home include:

  • being in familiar surroundings, where you may feel more relaxed and better able to cope
  • not having to interrupt your labour to go into hospital
  • not needing to leave your other children, if you have any
  • not having to be separated from your partner after the birth
  • increased likelihood of being looked after by a midwife you have got to know during your pregnancy
  • lower likelihood of having an intervention, such as forceps or ventouse, than giving birth in hospital