Saturday, January 29, 2022 Jan 29, 2022
36° F Dallas, TX

WATER BABIES

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IDEAS Glasnost gynecology? From Russia with love comes a new birthing method whereby the mother reclines in a bathtub or hot tub during labor, and generally chooses to remain there for the birth. The basic idea is that a fluid environment is less painful to the mother and more natural to the newborn fresh from its private sea.

The idea is catching on; already, a third of the babies delivered at Family Centered Maternity Care, a licensed birthing center in Oak Cliff, are delivered underwater. The comfortably old-fashioned house has recently added a portable hot tub to its footed bathtubs to meet the demand. Owner/midwife BARBARA COOK says “almost everyone” gets in water during labor, and about a third stay there for the delivery. The baby is “caught” as i( arrives, sometimes by the husband, and placed at the mother’s breast.

PAMELA BELL. 40, a Dallas psychotherapist, read a book about underwater delivery and was immediately taken by the idea. “I knew this would probably be my only child and I wanted to do it right. I planned to go to Santa Fe, where they do a lot of water births, until I found out about the center in Oak Cliff.” A single parent. Bell said she never had second thoughts during her 25 hours in labor. She nursed the baby while still in the water.

GRACE PAVLOVSKY, 27, a Fort Worth chiropractor, also approver “During contractions I would tell my husband where a twinge was. and I just had to lift up a little bit for him to relieve it. It’s like being in a lounge chair. I tried lying down on a bed when I first got there. I don’t see how you can have a baby like that.”