HISTORY: The Pollock family, who welcomed their newest addition Connor, on November 28, were Gladstone Hospital’s first waterbirth. Pictured are Jason, John, Terri and six-week-old Connor.
HISTORY: The Pollock family, who welcomed their newest addition Connor, on November 28, were Gladstone Hospital’s first waterbirth. Pictured are Jason, John, Terri and six-week-old Connor. Ebony Battersby

First waterbirth at hospital despite policy against

TERRI Pollock always wanted a waterbirth with her second child.

But she was advised by staff at the Gladstone Hospital that was against protocol - despite there being a birthing pool on site.

>> Lack of birthing choice angers Gladstone mums

On November 28, 2014, Mrs Pollock and her newborn son Connor made history with Gladstone Hospital's first ever waterbirth.

She laboured at home for three hours, until she was 8cm dilated.

She then moved into the birthing pool at the hospital where the delivery happened much faster than anyone anticipated.

Before they knew it, Mr and Mrs Pollock were in the pool holding their newborn son.

"It was perfect. It was everything I had hoped for," she said.

"I knew what I wanted from day one and I believe women should receive support in birthing however they want to."

She hopes hospital policy won't stand in the way of other determined mothers.

Dr Nicki Murdock said that birth was categorised as unplanned, and waterbirths would continue to not be considered an option for expectant mothers.

"Gladstone Hospital is committed to the continued provision of water immersion as a pain-relief tool during labour, but (like many hospitals around Australia) water birthing is not provided at Gladstone or any other Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service facility," she said.

Dr Murdock said midwives at the hospital had "additional competency (post-training) in the use of water immersion for pain relief during labour", but that did not include waterbirths.

However, four of the midwives on staff confirmed they were adequately trained and confident in full waterbirthing.

Advantages of water birth:

  • A natural pain relief for the mother while in labour.
  • Human skin expands in water meaning less tearing and faster recovery.
  • The anti-gravity atmosphere assists in relaxation for the mother.
  • The baby, who breathes through the umbilical cord until surfacing from the water, enters an environment closely resembling the womb, resulting in less stress.


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