Water births are a popular option at Sutter Davis. Warm water helps a laboring woman's muscles relax, which often speeds labor. Babies born in water enter the world gently and rarely cry at birth. Sutter Davis is the only hospital in the greater Sacramento area to offer the option of water births. Be sure to discuss this option with your healthcare provider prior to your delivery if you are interested in water labor and/or delivery.
Laboring in water can relieve pain by making the uterus buoyant (floating) which eases some of the pressure of labor. Also, the warmth and motion of the water along your nerve fibers is thought to block some of the transmission of pain. Additionally, warm water helps the skin around the birth canal to stretch better during delivery. The tub has also been used to help speed up labor progress when it has slowed down.
Laboring in water is very calming and relaxing. The warmth promotes your blood flow throughout your body, maximizing the effectiveness of your natural labor hormones. Women are often surprised at how quickly their labor progresses in the water.
If there should be a need to continuously monitor your contractions and your baby's heart rate while in the water, this can easily be accomplished in the tub through our telemetry monitoring system. The telemetry monitor is a portable box that connects to the monitor leads around your body. The portable box transmits the heart rate and contraction readings to the fetal monitor in your labor room. You can walk, shower, and get in the tub while being monitored. Otherwise, a small portable device will be used to check your baby’s heart rate.