When you think of a bathtub, you may think of relaxation and serenity. That same idea holds true at hospitals that utilize tubs for mothers in labor.
Hospitals like ProMedica Memorial Hospital in Fremont, Ohio, offer the birthing tub to mothers to provide a type of hydrotherapy during labor. Chelsea Ansted recently gave birth to her child and utilized the tub during the laboring process. “I was terrified of getting an epidural. I wanted to utilize all of my options and I loved the idea of the tub,” said Ansted.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, a water tub provides many benefits to patients, including helping with comfort and relaxation, lowering high blood pressure caused by anxiety, and reducing stress-related hormones.
The hospital’s birthing tub is designed to assist in the labor process, but not the actual birthing process, according to Tracy L. Bartson, certified nurse midwife, ProMedica Physicians Obstetrics Gynecology in Fremont. When it comes time to push, the patient will come out of the tub to deliver the baby. “About 6% of U.S. women will use birthing tubs as part of their birthing plan,” said Bartson.
Before delivering her baby, Ansted spent nearly two hours in the tub, which she described as similar to stepping into a Jacuzzi. “There was a bench to sit down on and there was room for me to stretch out. It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold, and was very easy to move around in,” she said.
Cathy D. Dull, manager of labor and delivery at ProMedica Memorial Hospital, said the tub is larger than what is typically found in a person’s bathroom, with openings on three sides that allows staff to care for patients safely. The tub includes grab bars, microban and a thermal air system to keep the water the same temperature and to sanitize it.
“It was ultimately one of the best experiences,” says Ansted, about utilizing the tub during her labor. “I can’t stop ranting and raving about the staff at Memorial Hospital. They are amazing and we love every single one of them,” she adds.
For more information about maternity services, please visit ProMedica’s website.