Dec 132012

“So, you want to ‘oopsie’ a waterbirth?”  - L&D nurse to mother at a hospital where water births are not technically permitted.

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  21 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday! “So You Want To ‘Oopsie’ A Waterbirth?””

  1. I am interested to see the pink link on this. In my state (PA), water births are actually forbidden by state law. In my childbirth classes at the freestanding birth center where I planned to give birth (ended up transferring to a hospital), we went over the benefits of the in-suite jacuzzis they had and that birth was not permitted in them. I asked what would happen if a woman did not get out in time. I guess it has not happened yet (the tubs were relatively new when I was pregnant) but the center was really concerned about the legal ramifications if it happened and news leaked out. So women got out as soon as it looked like they had reached transition.

    (That said, if water birth was legalized – and they have petitioned the legislature about it, they would definitely permit women to birth in them.)

    So I’m curious about the OP’s situation.

    • Oops, didn’t realize this was a Thoughtful Thursday! I guess if it’s just hospital policy (which is silly), that’s one thing – but if it’s a matter of law I would be antsy on trying to push them to do something that’s actually illegal. What would the ramifications for the employees be?

      • From the way it’s worded, it sounds like it’s just hospital policy. And I’m guessing if the nurse can play it right, she could just say she didn’t know the mom was that close.

        • The hospital where I gave birth had tubs, but you were only allowed to stay in for 15 minutes at a time, there was an alarm that would go off until you got out of the tub. If you wanted to use the tub, you had to get out and lay on the bed for an VE every 15 minutes and you couldn’t get back in if you were 6 or more. I tried it once, but didn’t want to have to keep getting out for the exam. The nurse told me she didn’t know why everyone asked about tubs during registration when they are so impractical to use during labor…

          • That is one of the most ridiculous policies I’ve heard of! They’re soooooo afraid of an accidental water birth, they make it miserable for the mom to be in the tub at all.

          • So much for relaxing hydrotherapy for pain management. I wonder if they had a 15 minute limit on the showers too. I never used a tub for either of my births, but I know a lot of women find it very helpful, and an alarm going off very few minutes would get old fast.

          • They did not have an enforced time limit on the shower, but my nurse wasn’t comfortable with me standing in there for more than a few minutes at a time.

            My point was that even if this hospital has a policy against water birth, they gave this nurse enough autonomy that the policy could be broken without too much repercussion which is a very good thing. Almost a Thoughtful Thursday for the hospital as well.

            Great nurse, good hospital. :)

    • I would love for them to actually show you the law on this…. most likely it is a regulation, but not a law. I live in PA as well and know quite a few women who have had water births.

      • I was thinking this as well. I live in PA too and not only have I never heard of this, there are hospitals in PA that offer water births (supposedly anyway). I highly doubt it’s against the state law.

        • I did receive clarification on this during my second pregnancy (for future readers who stumble across this post :))- the issue is how many sides the tub can be accessed from. The center only had traditional tubs that are open on one side, which is apparently against PA regulations for water birth.

  2. My sister had an “oopsie” waterbirth. Just didn’t mention that she was pushing.

  3. This is why I’m glad I didn’t birth at a Nazi hospital. I had a water birth in the safety of my own home. I’d love to hear the bogus reasons behind hospitals forbidding it.

    • I had a waterbirth in a hospital, on purpose, with the staff’s full support. They don’t all forbid it.

    • Please don’t use the word “Nazi” in that context.

    • Agreed. Home water birth. Why women keep returning to hospitals for normal births is completely beyond me, but definitely keeps this site running.

      • My only reason: I have no other choice. :(

        I can either do a UC at home or go to the hospital. There are no birth centers or midwives at all in my area… Really wish there were other options around here! I would LOVE to have a home water birth.

      • Between my aunt and my mom, they’ve had four kids and 3 c-sections. My aunt’s first birth was normal as far as I know (it happened when she was really young and she doesn’t talk about it much) but her second was a serious emergency because my cousin was being strangled by his cord. He was born blue.

        Four years later, *I* was an emergency c-section for the same reason.

        A year after that, my younger cousin was born. I think he was somewhere around 4 pounds? His lungs hadn’t fully developed and he still has messed up stuff from that. He almost died and my aunt almost died from his birth being so hard on her.

        I have anxiety issues. If/when I ever got pregnant, I want to be close enough that if something goes wrong, it can be fixed if necessary. If I didn’t have *that*, I think my own brain would mess with me too badly.

        Oh, also the nearest hospital is a 70 mile drive. So.

  4. the hospital where I gave birth to my first had tubs but you wern’t allowed to use them at all … some “safety issue” I think it may have actually been mentioned that they were not installed properly or something too (it was a new hospital freshly built… and of all things they did not even have the buttons to open doors for those in wheelchairs … it was special)

    • The hospital that I gave birth in in 2004 advertised nice beautiful jacuzzi tubs. They only had two, one for each wing. The one in my wing was “out of order”. From what I’ve heard, its still “out of order” eight years later.

      • Wouldn’t it be nice to find out the person responsible for the false advertising experienced years of frustration trying to book hotels that actually had the amenities advertised. “Yeah, the brochure says we have king size beds, but there’s only one of those and it’s out for cleaning.” “Oh, yes, we have five roller coasters, but all five are shut down for repairs until 2015.” etc.

  5. My nurse I had at my daughter’s birth was trying her best to make me comfortable when I was In transition and had me try the bathtub. She asked that I not push if I felt the urge. NOT because she felt water births were dangerous or even against hospital policy (she wasn’t one for sticking to hospital policy anyway lol) she just felt there wasn’t enough room in the tub in case of an emergency. If they would have had round tubs she would have loved it. I doubt the OB on call would have been okay with it, but she was already pissed about having to follow my birth plan, so it wouldn’t have stopped me.

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