Hot Water and Labor

In old movies, whenever a woman would be having a baby, they would always run and grab buckets and buckets of water. I never understood why. I thought it was to sterilize the sheets or to help cut the cord.

So, I figured that I would research it a little.

Mainly midwives use this, since episiotimies more than 1/4 inch are rarely ever done.

It is used for perenium warming:
– Warm skin stretches better
– All through last bit of labor before pushing, midwives would hold hot cloths against the perinium to relax it and make it more stretchy
– Plus heat feels good on pain, if there is any.

And when I started thinking about it, it made perfect sense. When you feel sore, you take a hot bath. When you have sore muscles, you use a heat pack. Your skin is more relaxed and the pain and soreness melts away.

So, I ask myself, why has this practice stopped?
– Routine episisiotomies
– Not being able to get into effective birthing positions (namely strapping a woman down on her back to push)
– Anesthetics
– Rising cesarean rate
– No one is constantly with a laboring woman besides her partner, unless you birth at home or a birthing center
– Olive oil perinium massage has started to come back, and if it is warm it can be just as good , even though it isn’t for a prolonged time period.

And I think this practice would be so easy to bring back. All you have to do is hold a warm washcloth on the ‘taint’ and it loosens. If you could cut back on episiotomy rates, why wouldn’t people do this?

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2 Responses

  1. It’s really funny that you posted this, because I was just thinking about this the other day.Makes perfect sense!

  2. This totally makes sense. I don’t know why it isn’t used anymore! It’s been added to my “must have” list for baby #2!

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