Waterbirth is back!!

This past Sunday I was having a discussion with my HypnoBirthing class about options in birth. We talked about waterbirth and how Pantai Hospital KL just started to offer it again a few months ago. The mothers were interested to know more. They agreed that it was important to have options in their birth. Being foreigners, I could feel how they may feel frsutrated about the lack of options here in Malaysia.
There is compelling evidence to back up the safety and positive outcomes of waterbirth. This analysis of peer-reviewed literature, for example, shows that waterbirth is associated with lower rates of episiotomies, perineal tearing, hemorrhaging, infection and higher rates of satisfaction for mothers and APGAR scores for babies.
In Malaysia, waterbirth was halted some time 2018 because KKM (Malaysian Ministry of Health) was not happy with the safety guidelines in place. This, regardless of the fact that waterbirth had been conducted successfully in Pantai KL predominantly since 2012 with HUNDREDS of motherbabies and ZERO untoward cases. At one point waterbirth was so popular that the two waterbirth rooms in the Pantai KL Labour ward were fully occupied with a waiting list! So when KKM directed that Pantai KL stop waterbirth, it was a big blow to the gentle birth community and mothers in general. The other hospitals that were providing waterbirth at that time – Pantai Cheras and Island Hospital Penang were also warned by KKM not to conduct waterbirth.
I recounted to my class the time when waterbirth started. Ten years ago I was part of a group of mothers. This one mother, in particular, Ruth, conducted a survey with over a hundred mothers in KL asking them if they would consider waterbirth if it was provided as an option. And the results were a resounding yes. Ruth presented the results of the survey and other research papers to her doctor and hospital management, and that’s how waterbirth started in Pantai Hospital KL in 2012!!! It started with ONE MOTHER asking for what she wanted for her and her baby!! And the fruits of her efforts is that waterbirth was successfully conducted for over 6 years on hundreds of motherbabies. Not only that, The Gentle Birthing Group was formed – with now close to thirty thousand members on facebook, and supporting thousands of mothers through a sense of community and shared experiences. I am myself so grateful and proud to have been a part of the Gentle Birthing Group and the waterbirth movement when it first started. I still remember writing letters to Pantai KL Management ten years ago while I was pregnant with my second baby, asking them to start providing waterbirth so I could birth my baby in water. Although waterbirth wasn’t provided in time for my baby, just a few months after I birthed my baby Pantai started to offer waterbirth ­čÖé
So my message to the mothers in my class last Sunday, and to anyone reading this now, is DON’T DISCOUNT YOUR POWER to make things happen for you and your baby! You are a SUPERWOMAN, ESPECIALLY so when you are pregnant and birthing <3 There is NO greater job than bringing a new life into this world, nurturing and educating that life. You have NO IDEA how much power you hold, and how much influence you have in bringing up the next generation in compassion and kindness. Your positive intentions and actions will never be lost on your children and you will hand down important values to them. Values that the world needs so badly. Please believe this.
So anyway I am soooo THRILLED that waterbirth is BACK UP AGAIN!! I sincerely hope that the mothers do research on waterbirth and consider it as a viable option to welcome their babies earthside in gentleness and love.

Hi, I'm Nadine

A self-confessed birth junkie, I love all things birth and breastfeeding… I’m so lucky to be able to work with expectant families and share this very special time in their lives with them :) I am also a Life Coach helping mothers overcome burnout and overwhelm.

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