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what are the benefits to my baby?

During your pregnancy your baby has been floating in it's own watery environment in your womb. Therefore, it is less distressing and a more gentle transition to be born into a birthing pool. The water feels familiar and will help the baby feel more secure.

Babies born into water have been known to recover better from birth, which may be due to the fact that labour was less traumatic.  There is more blood flow to the baby due to better circulation of the mother and the baby isn't stimulated to induce breathing, which results in less crying after birth and a calmer, more alert state.
 
Bacteria is dissipated in the water, reducing the risk of infection to the baby and often cord cutting after birth is delayed until it stops pulsating, allowing a continuous oxygen flow to the baby. 

A birthing pool can be a lovely place to initiate and establish breastfeeding.  Babies tend to be calmer when they have been born into the water and mothers, often being naked, bring their babies to their bosom instinctively. This skin-to-skin contact releases oxcytocin (the love hormone), which helps with bonding and also helps the third stage to begin (the delivery of the placenta). Babies are born with instincts and reflexes such as rooting, head bobbing etc and may try to find the breast during these early moments, some babies may be a bit too sleepy. Keeping baby warm by making sure the water stays warm (around 37deg) and by continually splashing water on her body will also keep her calm and holding her neck and spine firmly against you can help her to latch on. Breastfeeding will contract the uterus and thus help the placenta to be delivered. Your midwife may ask you to leave the pool to do this.  

Some mothers are not able to deliver in the water or have had to go into hospital for a caesarean, we have lots of customers who tell us that the pool has then been invaluable for use afterwards for breastfeeding or just skin to skin contact in the early days. Hiring the pool with the heater and filter enables you to just dip in with your new baby for as long as you have it hired for.  

For more information on Skin-to-skin contact go to http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/items/research_detail.asp?item=91  

For more information on babies instinctive reflexes go to http://www.biologicalnurturing.com   or http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/bla.html