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Waterbirth conference underway in Florence

Published: Nov. 18, 2016 at 11:27 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2016 at 10:10 AM CST
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - Waterbirths are an alternative way to have a child that some mothers may not even think about.

An international expert is in the Shoals to educate people about the use of water during labor by leading a certification conference in Florence. This is a two-day conference giving women new options and perspectives on unmedicated child births.

Barbara Harper, the founder of Waterbirth International, said babies won't drown during water births.

"It is impossible, physiologically impossible, for the baby to take a breath in the womb, and while it comes out in the water, it's an expanded womb. It's like a womb with a view," Harper said.

She will also teach other safety measures and when water births would not be an option.

She's spoken in over 60 countries and says there are about 323 hospitals in the U.S. offering waterbirths.

Harper wants to ensure families that waterbirths are easier for the mother as well as better for the baby.

"Woman who get into the water will report an 80 percent, 90 percent or even sometimes a 100 percent d rop in their interpretation of how painful it is to give birth," Harper said.

The waterbirth workshop will be all day Saturday at Redeemer Church of the Shoals. Registration at the door is $20. About 80 are signed up to attend.

Physicians in Lauderdale and Colbert counties may attend the conference for free.

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