In praise of the bathtub

I hope this is what's waiting when I die

When it comes to life’s little disappointments, a tepid bath is up there with soggy chips and films whose trailers steal the best scenes.

A roasting hot, bubbly, candlelit bath, with chilled out tunes playing in the background – now that is my idea of heaven. That moment of leaning back in the only-just-bearable heat, resting my head on the rim and closing my eyes as I exhale every last bubble of air in my lungs – it’s magical! There is no other way to relax as instantly and completely.

Now that I’m 31 weeks pregnant, I’m appreciating this zen-like experience on a whole new level. I felt actual joy the first time I realised that the upside of having the heating on almost constantly was instant baths. Usually I’d have to decide an hour in advance when I wanted to soak so that there’d be enough hot water in the tank. One of my friends bought me The Sanctuary’s Mum-To-Be range for Christmas, which includes bath salts, so I have been generously sprinkling them and indulging in a bath nearly every night. It’s actually getting to the stage where I look forward to seeing my tub more than my husband at the end of a day’s work!

The funny thing is, now that I’ve fully appreciated how much this small experience enhances my life, I’m completely reconsidering my view of a water birth. My sister-in-law has done it twice and swears by it, while I’ve always shied away from the mere thought. All that gunk floating in there with you? But if the key to a good labour is remaining calm and breathing deeply – well, I’ve just argued that very point.

I’d be very interested to know if anyone’s had a water birth and if it is, in fact, just as soothing as a bubblebath?

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4 Comments

Filed under health, pregnancy

4 responses to “In praise of the bathtub

  1. I was always told if you love baths then water births are the way to go .

    I tried for one with my second child and the hospital (Wishaw General) were very supportive and i laboured in the tub abit before deciding i wanted an epidural and got out .

    With my 3rd i decided for a home water birth and it was amazing , the pushing part was painless and great . The gunk part ? Honestly i never noticed , after he was birthed and i cuddled a little i got out to deliver the placenta and stuff and hubby cleaned it up. In hospital that would be someone else’s job.

    I would give it a shot , you can always change your mind during it if it is not for you but i really do recommend it .

    Good luck

  2. Hello! Found you on BMB. We must be due at almost the same time (somewhere between 22nd & 25th March for me, although I’m likely to go a wee bit early!)

    Water births are FABULOUS. If for no other reason than they soften everything ‘down below’ so you’re much less likely to tear and then need horrible stitches. Which for me were much worse than actual labour.

    I had them for no2 and no3 deliveries and I’m currently planning to have this one (no4) in my bath at home (despite reservations from a few interested parties, see my post http://www.cheekywipes.com/blog/2011/01/13/home-birth-dilemma/)

    It’s definitely a bit mucky but labour is, isn’t it? Especially if (as with no2 baby) you end up squeezing them out so quickly that they poo on their way out!

    The good thing about being in the bath is that you can clean yourself off quickly. And if you’re really lucky your placenta will just ‘drop out’ when you stand up to get out of the bath. Nice!

    So yes, it is lovely, and if I were you I’d definitely go for it.

    • Hi Helen – thank you so much for the advice. I certainly like the sound of all those plus points… I’m due on March 18, so yes, right around the same time as you! Just heading over to your blog now!

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