Anna Tegg is no stranger to delivering babies. She has five children of her own and has been studying to become a doula for the past few years. However, the birth of her last child in August 2023 was a unique experience thanks to the new laboring tub recently installed in the Chris Coons Women’s Center low-intervention birthing room.
In addition to the new laboring tub, the low-intervention birthing room provides women with a home-like birth experience, emphasizing high touch and minimal medical intervention. Patients can undergo labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum care all in the same room, receiving one-on-one nursing attention for individualized and cohesive care. "The low-intervention birthing room is ideal for women who prefer to allow their body to progress through labor and delivery with minimal or no medication," says Dr. Viehmann, an obstetrician at Hannibal Regional Medical Group.
Anna had extensively researched the benefits of water laboring and had even used the previous tub provided at the Women’s Center. Her experience with the previous tub was less than ideal. Its small size made it difficult to change positions and impossible to submerge enough of her body to enjoy the full benefits that larger laboring tubs offer. "We had considered having this baby at another birthing facility because I wanted to experience a proper laboring tub. However, the nearest place is in St. Louis, and we love Dr. Viehmann, so we decided that the best choice was to have our baby at Hannibal Regional, whether the tub was available or not," says Anna.
Anna knew that Hannibal Regional was in the process of installing a new laboring tub, but construction was still underway, and she couldn't count on it being ready in time for her delivery. She planned to labor at home for as long as possible, using her own tub. However, five days past her due date, Anna's water ruptured, and she quickly went into active labor, necessitating a trip to the hospital. Fortunately, the new low-intervention laboring room, equipped with a larger laboring tub, had just opened for use three days prior.
Once in the low-intervention laboring room, the nurse encouraged her to try out the new tub. Anna was initially hesitant because her previous labors had taken five to six hours, and she didn't want to use the tub too early in the process. After some encouragement from her nurse, she agreed to give it a try.
"I got into the tub and immediately experienced the best contraction relief I've ever had," Anna explained. The tub was large enough for her to be positioned on her hands and knees with towels under her wrists. "The combination of the position and the water physically and mentally relaxed me to the point where contractions became very manageable." The position of her body allowed gravity to assist the baby's progress deeper into the birthing canal. It worked so well that Anna delivered her baby only an hour and forty-five minutes after getting into the tub, making her full labor just a little over two hours. "One great feature of this tub is that it is designed to completely submerge the laboring woman and allow her to be in multiple positions for a more comfortable labor. We can also easily transition her from the tub to a bed for the birth of her baby," explains Diane Bibb, Director of the Women’s Care Unit.
During her previous deliveries, Anna had received epidurals, but due to the fast progress of her labor, that wasn't an option for this delivery. However, Anna says that the water relaxed her body so much that she didn't feel the need for any other medication to handle the labor experience. "I would highly recommend the tub to anyone. It made this, my fifth child, my best laboring experience yet."