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Birth Choices

birth-coichesAs you look forward to welcoming your new bundle of joy into your life, it is important to understand your birth options and learn about how you can make your birth experience a memorable and beautiful one. At Raffles we are fully aware of the importance of every labour and strive to help you make the best choice for your delivery. Please discuss your options carefully with your doctor during your checkups.
In a vaginal birth, the baby will be delivered through the birth canal naturally without any assistance.
In Assisted Forceps Delivery, forceps designed to hold on to the foetal head are used to help deliver the baby from the birth canal by traction and guidance without causing injury to the mother or foetus.
The Kiwi Cup is a suction cup that is designed to adhere to the baby’s skull while the baby is in the birth canal. The cup allows for delivery by traction and guidance without causing injury to the mother or foetus.
LSCS refers to a surgical procedure whereby a 12-15cm cut is made along the bikini line. An elective CS indicates that a pre-planned decision was made during pregnancy and not when in labour.
Should a situation that compromise either maternal or foetal well-being while in labour arise, the safest route for delivery is by emergency LSCS.
Immersion in an appropriate temperature in a pool during the first stages of labor can help with pain relief. 

Birthing Pools

Raffles Hospital provides the option of water pools for
  • pain relief in labour (water immersion)
  • water birth

Benefits of Using Water for Pain Relief

  • Many women feel more relaxed in warm water and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness.
  • Being in water allows women to move more freely and assume a more comfortable position.
  • Some women who use water for pain relief find this very helpful and they feel that there is no need for other forms of pain relief.
  • It is thought that as babies are already in a fluid environment in the womb, water birth is a more transient introduction for the baby to the environment.

Criteria For Using The Water Birth Tub

  • Low risk singleton pregnancy.
  • >= 37 weeks gestation.
  • Cephalic presentation.
  • Absence of pregnancy complications (e.g. pre-eclampsia, uncontrolled GDM, hypertension, etc).
  • Absence of excessive vaginal bleeding.
  • Clear amniotic fluid.
  • Normal fetal heart tones.
  • Spontaneous onset of labour or non-augmented labour after more than 4 hours of induction with prostin.
  • In active phase of first stage of labour.
  • Attended to by obstetrician and midwive(s) accredited by the hospital to attend water births.
  • Presence of an accompanied doula who is registered with the hospital.

Labour In Water Is NOT Recommended

  • If you are less than 37 weeks pregnant.
  • If there are any concerns regarding your baby’s health or wellbeing.
  • If you have had any significant bleeding in pregnancy or labour.
  • If you have diabetes and requires an insulin infusion during labour.
  • If you have epilepsy or high blood pressure.
  • If your baby is not lying in the normal head-down position.
  • If you are unwell with a high temperature and diarrhea.
  • If your baby’s heart beat needs to be monitored continuously, and there are no facilities to do this in the water.
  • If your baby is unusually large or small.
  • If you are HIV positive or a Hep B carrier.

*There may be other situations where labour and/or birth in water is not recommended. Please discuss your individual situations with your doctor personally.

If You Choose to Use Water During Your Labour

  • Please discuss your options carefully with your doctor at the outpatient setting first.
  • Make sure your medical support team are aware of your plans by having a birth plan prepared.
  • Keep yourself well-hydrated by sucking ice and having water.
  • You can get out of the pool at any time.
  • You have a choice of remaining in the water-birth pool for the whole birthing process or return to the bed for birth of the baby.
  • For the safety of both mother and baby, please be prepared to leave the pool once the midwife or doctor requests you to do so.

More Information

It is important that you are well informed about your choices in labour, talk to your midwife or doctor and check out the resources below to help guide your decisions.

www.waterbirth.org 
www.babycenter.com.sg - Pros and cons of waterbirth