|Water babies welcome at St Peter’s|
|Written by Communications Team|
Giving birth to your first baby is always a special experience, but for Sacha Harden, 21, from Egham it was particularly memorable as her daughter arrived in the birthing pool at St Peter’s Hospital.
Baby Imogen arrived on 26th June, weighing 8lb 9oz, after a straightforward labour. Sacha said: “I first got the idea of having a water birth by watching ‘One Born Every Minute’ on the television. It just looked like such a lovely experience, but I didn’t want to get too carried away with the idea as you never know what to expect. With all the horror stories you hear, especially as a first time Mum, I was half expecting a 72 hour labour ending up with a caesarean! But I spoke to my midwife about wanting a water birth and she was very encouraging, so I hoped it would be possible.
Sacha Harden and baby Imogen
I started having contractions in the morning at home and went in the bath – the water helped immediately so when I arrived at St Peter’s I headed straight for the birthing pool. My midwife, Debbie Bingham, was just amazing. She stayed with me throughout, made me feel comfortable and reassured about having Imogen in the water.”
Louise Emmett, Labour Ward Manager, said: “We want to encourage more women to use the birthing pool and have started providing extra training for our midwives to help this. We have a large pool room at St Peter’s Hospital and when our midwifery-led unit is built next year there will be several more rooms with birthing pools.
There are so many advantages to labouring and giving birth in the pool and it can be a really magical experience for the mother and baby. Immersion in water can reduce tension and stress, which slows labour down and women can find more comfortable positions to cope with their contractions. I’ve seen plenty of women relax the moment they get into the pool – their breathing calms down and they start to feel in control of what’s happening.”
Sacha adds: “I would thoroughly recommend the pool to other women. Imogen’s birth was exactly what I wanted and it felt so natural when she came up through the water and straight to me. Obviously everyone’s experience is different but mine couldn’t have been better and I would do it again without hesitation.”