Few things are more relaxing than taking a nice warm bath at the end of the day to soothe sore and tense muscles. It isn’t any wonder then why many women around the world over seek relief from the pressure of labor and childbirth in the same manner! Water birthing is an option that an increasing number of mothers are taking, and one of the many modalities that the Pinay Doulas Collective supports.
Thus, the inauguration of Makati Medical Center’s Water Immersion Facility for Labor and Delivery at the CP Manahan Pavilion on February 28 was an event we just could not miss. It was a fitting way to close to the Month of Love and a great opportunity to bring together OB-Gyns, other medical professionals, birth doulas, birth photographers, and lay people with a heart for gentle birth. Dr. Johnny Sinon, Medical Director, Dr. Sonia Bongala, the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dr. Martin Manahan, one of the most well-known consultants in the country, led the launch.
So what’s the lowdown on Makati Med’s new waterbirthing room?
Well, it’s one of two birthing suites: the first one keeping the original design and inclusions, and the second one accommodating a gorgeous, ergonomically-designed birthing tub as well as a birthing stool that may be used separately.
The equipment for monitoring water temperature is readily present. The room has the same comforts as the first birthing suite, such as the couch for companions, private shower and toilet, and digital television with cable.
What caught our attention though, was the speaker that allows the birthing mother to plug in her own playlist, which could come in really handy especially if she has Hypnobirthing tracks she’d like to listen to during labor.
We spoke with Dr. Manahan about how this idea came to fruition. “This facility is made to be comfortable and homey, which helps put the laboring mother at ease while still having ready access to medical care. With the support of Makati Medical Center’s CEO and President Rose Montenegro, we are proud to have made it happen,” said Dr. Manahan.
We feel that this could not have come at a better time! The current research encourages the use of non-pharmacologic means of labor management, and the use of water immersion is an effective option. After all, the warmth relaxes and comforts the laboring mother, while just having part of the body submerged relieves a great deal of the pressure she feels as the baby descends and exits through the vaginal canal. Water can even improve the elasticity of the skin and lessen the possibility or degree of tearing.
Suffice it to say, the Water Immersion Facility is an exciting new development that gives birthing mothers more options for a comfortable, safe, and gentle birthing experience. Beyond the equipment and amenities, though, is the spirit and motivation that brought about these additions. Interacting with obstetricians, nurses, and other medical staff during the event reinforced in us the value of working together in order to support the mother-baby dyad. Case in point, when asked if a doula is a requirement for a waterbirth, Dr. Manahan replied that while such is not a prerequisite, it is better to have one so that the mother receives continuous care all throughout the process.
Congratulations to Makati Medical Center for this breakthrough!