ToothFairy wrote:But why is it safe for them to inhale amniotic fluid in utero, but not water once they're born? When does it become not OK to inhale fluid?
Before they're born they're getting their oxygen into their blood from the placenta; obviously after they're born they need to take in oxygen themselves. I'm not sure what the exact point of changeover is though (presumably it's more a process than a single moment) but oxygen deprivation at birth can cause brain damage. There's also the problem of getting bacteria etc in the lungs that shouldn't be there.
It takes several minutes for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating so they are still getting blood and oxygen from the mother for a while after birth (if you have a natural third stage) so I don't think there is any danger of a lack of oxygen.
monkeydo wrote:I laboured and gave birth in the pool, the midwife's main concern was that the water had to be the correct temperature when J emerged, she said it had to be the same as blood temp which I guess may be to prevent him taking a breath in the water? Either way it was lovely, you wouldn't have got me out for all the money in the world!
Mine was the same. She didn't mention any issues with the baby taking a breath underwater, but that babies can't maintain their body tempreture and so mustn't be in a cooler environment.
I'd read the information on babies taking a breath under water and to me, it makes no sense. They have the dive reflex, which prevents them from breathing in water, which is why they can "swim" underwater at such a young age. During the birth process, they are moving from one body of water to another and therefore surely wouldn't breath until bought to the surface. It's the air on the cheeks that then triggers a breath - the same way as if you blow on a new borns face - they instinctively breath in.
Interesting views from all over the world, though.
The article made for interesting reading - strong words indeed. But I choose to ignore and will continue with my plan for a waterbirth at home!!
Proud Mummy to my two miracle baby girls - The Thunder Fairies. Munchie born May 2010 and Ickle Pickle born July 2012.