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What Is a Water Birth?

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As the name suggests, a water birth entails giving birth in water. Usually, this takes place in a bathtub at a private residence or hospital. "Proponents suggest that the benefits are better pain relief in labor without medication and a less traumatic birth," says Linda Rice, a board-certified nurse midwife at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Massachusetts. "There are specialty tubs moms can rent if your birth venue allows and does not have its own." Rice suggests that you speak to your OB/GYN, midwife or doula about water birth specifics and options.

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