I’ve seen quite a lot of posts on Facebook lately of moms asking about the availability of water birth or birth tub options in Memphis and Shelby County. Fortunately, there are options, but unfortunately, there are not very many. If you want to have a water birth in Memphis, here’s what you’ve got to know.
- Our local hospitals do not offer water birth. While some of them have bathtubs in the L&D rooms, they do not “allow” (I’d rather say support, because I hate when providers tell birthing families they aren’t *allowed* to do something–that’s not how informed consent/refusal works…) their patients to give birth directly into the water. That doesn’t mean that it never happens–but it’s not a type of birth that they are prepared for/supportive of. Unfortunately, not a lot of hospitals offer water birth in this country. Not even in LA. Hopefully this will change.
- You can have a water birth at home with the support of a midwife. Your midwife may have a birth tub you can use or rent, or you can rent one from a local Memphis doula named Kimathi Coleman, or you can buy one (though a lot of folks who DIY actually buy kiddy pools instead of actual birth tubs–hey, those work too!). Depending on the size of your bathtub, you may decide to give birth in there (but make sure it’s properly cleaned beforehand).
- This year the CHOICES Birthing Center will finally be opening!! So exciting. They will have several birth suites with birth tubs. This will probably be one of the nicest options for water birth in Memphis. This birth center will be staffed by several, high quality local Memphis midwives. They will also be located close by Regional One, in case a transfer were to need to take place. I’m so happy Memphis will have this option for out of hospital birth, and I look forward to being a doula for some of their clients.
So that’s about it for the moment. Hopefully our local hospitals will begin to allow patients to bring in birth tubs, and then eventually maybe we will get water birth suites. A doula can dream!!
If you need more information on your birthing options, feel free to send me a message. If you had a water birth in Memphis, drop me a comment below to share about your experience!