New Labor Tub at Sierra Vista Eases Labor's Pain 
Shannon Downing 
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 
 
New Labor Tub at Sierra Vista Helps Ease Labor's Pain 
 
Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center is giving expectant mothers another option when it comes to pain management. The hospital recently installed a new hydrotherapy labor tub. Hydrotherapy utilizes the soothing properties of warm water immersion to relax the patient and to help ease patient discomfort and anxiety. Soaking in a warm tub has been shown to be an effective way to relieve contractions and back pain during labor, as the buoyancy of the water lifts the weight of the baby off the mother’s back.
 
Unlike an inflatable tub used in other facilities, this new permanent tub is ergonomically designed to support a patient’s back, while allowing for complete access to the patient. The depth of the tub provides total immersion of the patient, while hand and foot grips give bracing and support. There’s also three removable doors for easy entry and exit of the tub and seating for patient and partner.  

Hydrotherapy utilizes the soothing properties of warm water immersion to relax the patient and to help ease patient discomfort and anxiety. Immersion in water has many effects that are beneficial to the patient, including:

  • Total immersion produces buoyancy which creates a hydrodynamic lift, reducing gravitational pull.
  • A body in water weighs only a fraction of what it does on land. This decreases muscular tension and allows the patient to maintain positions that might not be possible on land. The decrease in tension can also cause an increase in oxytocin and endorphins, creating a euphoric effect.
  • Hydrostatic pressure equalizes the pressure on the body below the water surface which helps to reduce pain.
  • The buoyancy of the water and width of the pool allow patients to easily change to different positions such as the knee-chest, seated, squatting and four foot stand.
  • Water reduces the strain on perineal muscles and increases elasticity.