What are the pros and cons of opting for water birth?

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I am sharing my friend who have delivered her baby at NUH with water birth last year, in October. Also, she engaged a doula for water birth to support her. She compared her first delivery via lying down position and water birth for 2nd delivery and commented that the water birth experience was much better than the 1st delivery. It was because she felt less pain in the water due to the water buoyancy. Her husband hold from her back to prevent her from floating away in the water tub. She commented that she feels very close to husband during delivery due to the water birth experience, and her husband also commented that he was so happy to get to witness baby came out so closely. She only get minor tear during water birth compared to her 1st labor which ended up with 3rd degree tear. I checked with her on the risk of baby inhaling in water after birth, she commented that her gynae acted very fast to lift up the baby (within seconds) after baby came out. Overall, she had a great water birth experience.

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Off the top of my head, pros would include: 1) Since births can be made easier when working with gravity, getting into a comfortable upright position may be less strenuous if you’re using a birth pool. 2) It may be easier to push your baby out in the water than in normal circumstances. You'll be supported by the water and can use the sides of the pool for extra support. 3) Proponents of water birth believe that the transition to the outside world is less traumatic for babies who are born in water. Cons would include: 1) There could be a risk of infection in a birth pool. As you push, you may open your bowels in the water and baby can accidentally ingest. 2) If there is an emergency, like baby's heartbeat getting irregular etc, you might need to leave the birthing pool and this could take some time.

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