Waterbirth is often considered to be one of the gentlest ways to give birth, and many mothers find the virtues of water highly beneficial in dealing with the discomfort of labour.
In Belgium, waterbirth is possible:
The criteria for having a waterbirth (whether in hospital or at home) is similar to that for a regular homebirth i.e. only expecting one baby, low-risk pregnancy and healthy mum and baby, and your baby is in the ‘head down’ position.
Which hospitals offer waterbirth?
While most hospitals have baths that can be used during labour, it is in theory not possible to give birth in these baths.
- In Brussels, the only hospital currently offering waterbirth is Clinique Ste-Elisabeth in Uccle.
- In Walloon Brabant, Braine l’Alleud Waterloo hospital offers waterbirth.
- In Flemish Brabant, Sint Maarten hospital in Mechelen offers waterbirth.
Access to hospital birthing pools may be subject to availability.
Can I have a waterbirth at home?
Provided you meet the usual criteria for having a homebirth (i.e. living within 30 minutes drive of a hospital, only expecting one baby, normal pregnancy and healthy mum and baby, labour begins 37 – 42 weeks, baby is in the ‘head down’ position), then a waterbirth should be possible.
You can either buy or rent a pool.
The midwife team Bolle Buik sells birthing pools via their website, and, if you have a homebirth with one of their midwives, you can also rent a pool.
It is also possible to buy birthing pools via the internet. Ask your independent midwife for advice on what to look for when buying one.
Read more about waterbirth