I’ve seen lots of different kinds of births, but still this video blew me away. Maybe just for the simple fact that we rarely see a baby moving and blinking and very baby-like, but underwater, still in the amniotic sac and not breathing.
In this water birth the baby girl’s head emerges under water. We can see that the sac has not yet broken– this is called being born in the “caul” and it’s perfectly safe, just really unusual. (In some cultures it’s considered a blessing.) She starts looking around, blinking, turning and wriggling a little. Still, her body is inside mom. Soon her whole body emerges, she comes to the surface of the water with help from mom and takes her first breath. All of this with absolute calm.
This baby is also born in the occiput-posterior position– or facing the back. This is also perfectly safe, but involves some extra maneuvering on the baby’s part. In this case, the midwife doesn’t grab the baby’s head to pull her out. There’s clearly no need for it, and the baby is just fine.
I bet midwives get used to it, but to me, it’s still awesomely new and weird to see a baby just chilling out in the water. I think you can even see fluid moving in and out of the baby’s mouth. It’s so hard to remember that babies are not “breathing” before they are breathing. I find I get a lot of questions about this in class. Is the baby stuck!? The baby can’t breath in there! Well, the baby is still getting oxygen from the umbilical cord. For a few moments in birth a baby is right in the sweet spot between living in water and living in air. It’s just still astonishing to me the way this all works.
My only advice about watching this video is to turn down the music, it’s an odd choice for a soundtrack.
Planning a Home Birth? How to write a birth plan, find a midwife, and more!