Today I sat in an office talking to the receptionist while my son was in an appointment. For some reason I told her I was a midwife and I started talking about the beauty I find in midwifery and specifically waterbirth.
It’s not uncommon for people to ask me about waterbirth and if babies breathe under water when they are born. It’s actually one of the more common questions. I explained that babies have sensitive receptor sites on their faces that when hit with air they are triggered to take a breath. I also discussed how the umbilical cord is filled with Wharton’s jelly which is temperature sensitive. When it moves out from the warmth of the maternal body out into the cooler air it congeals and closes off the vessels that supply oxygen to the baby. This encourages the baby to breathe and function independently of the mother.
My favorite part of our conversation was when I said babies have a reflex that we can see – the transition from fetal circulation to newborn circulation. I discussed how they often stick their little tongues out and stretch their arms and even have a little jump. I said I don’t always see this but when I do it’s as if the baby is jumping into it’s body. At that point it was as if I watched some magic happen to the woman I was speaking to. She said on my gosh that it just beautiful and so special. I agree so very much.
As midwives we witness many beautiful things. This in just a small glimpse of the some of the countless little secrets I witness as I walk with families through the miracle of birth.
Watch this —>”Birth As We Know It“