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Ripples of Joy: GV Health introduces water births for enhanced maternity experience

Madi Whyte and Marrick Tucker were thrilled to celebrate the arrival of their daughter, Elodie Tucker, on January 26, 2024 at Goulburn Valley Health, embracing the calming environment of the hospital’s new water birth facilities.

The couple praised their experience at GV Health, utilising the new equipment and upgraded maternity facilities.

“It was so exciting for us,” said first- time mum, Madi.

“Throughout my pregnancy, I wanted a water birth, but it wasn’t open, and then two days before I went into labour, we got the call to say it was ready, so my wishes came true.”

Warm water immersion during labour and birth is a natural alternative to medicalised pain relief and has many documented benefits.

These benefits include reduced need for use of epidural, increased satisfaction and emotional well-being and reduction in vaginal tearing and episiotomy rates.

“I heard it was an excellent natural pain relief and kept you calm, and it is true.

“I laboured in my back the whole time, and it was painful, but as soon as I got into the bath, it made a big difference.

“Once I emerged in the water, all the pressure and everything came off my belly, so it made me much calmer and it was the only reason why I had zero pain the whole time,” she said.

The introduction of water births at GV Health complements a range of upgrades to its maternity services,including new facilities, accommodation for partners to stay during the postnatal period and its continued work towards continuity of care.

GV Health’s maternity team undertook a period of community consultations, including a community forum, online survey and meetings with community groups to better understand the needs of local families.

“We are very excited to introduce water births at GV Health,” GV Health Associate Director of Midwifery Carmel Brophy said.

“Our staff have undertaken great training and education.

“They are very excited to continue to welcome more babies through this experience,” she said.

For Marrick, the water bath, and single- room facilities at GV Health, elevated his experience as a new dad.

“It was amazing that I could be in the water and share in that experience with Madi, and I was able to catch Elodie when she arrived, which was great.

“I was also able to stay overnight in the new parent room, so we were always connected as a family,” he said.

Water births at GV Health are available to healthy women with an uncomplicated, low-risk single pregnancy at term (37-42 weeks’ gestation).

For more information, visit the Maternity Services page and speak with one of our healthcare professionals within the antenatal clinic.

To book an antenatal appointment at GV Health, please visit your GP to arrange a referral.

For more information about water immersion for labour and birth, please speak to your care provider.