A young mother has given birth to an apparently healthy baby in one of the most unconventional water births ever heard of. She delivered her child in the waters of the Red Sea in the Middle East.
The woman, who is reported to be a Russian tourist, entered the waves before going into labour, followed by her partner and a doctor. A short while later, a quartet returned, the father and doctor carrying a tiny pink newborn, followed by the mother who emerged in a bikini looking like she had just gone for a casual swim. Another child waited on the shore for the family.
Photos of the amazing scene were posted by Facebook user Haida Hosny El Said. The images were captured from the balcony of Haida’s uncle’s apartment in Dahab, a small town on the southeast coast of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
The ocean birth was planned
Details are scarce, but the presence of a doctor plus the convenient timing suggests the ocean birth was planned.
After the baby was born, the placenta was placed in a plastic bowl and the infant was carried to shore, with the umbilical cord and placenta still attached.
According to Haida, the doctor is a Russian water birth specialist. “The older man is a Russian who specialises in the situation and does exercises to birth babies at sea,” Haida wrote. “The mother came out of the sea after giving birth like it was nothing. Hallelujah.”
Since her original Facebook post, Haida’s photos have gone viral. They’ve been shared over 3000 times and have attracted comments from all over the world.
Are water births safe?
Although water births are a relatively new concept in the west, women have been giving birth in water around the world for centuries according to Janet Balaskas, natural birth pioneer and writer of The Waterbirth Book. Balaskas says there are legends of South Pacific islanders giving birth in shallow sea water, and of Egyptian pharaohs being birthed in the water.
According to a study by independent research body Cochrane Australia, water births have all kinds of benefits. They significantly reduce the mom’s need for pain relief in labour and shorten the length of the first stage of labour. For sceptics, safe water births seem to do no harm. They make no difference in the rate of instrumental births, induced births or tearing, and there are no differences to babies’ Apgar (measure of physical condition of infant) scores. (Source: Daily Mail)