The Birthplace At Sonoma Valley Hospital has installed a spa tub in one of its private rooms for expectant women interested in having a water birth.

The new tub has been funded by a grant from the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation.

“When women who have recently delivered at Sonoma Valley Hospital were asked what could improve their experience here, adding a spa tub for water births was their most frequent request,” said Pauline Headly, director of The Birthplace. “We greatly appreciate the foundation’s support in allowing us to offer this service.”

The new tub, manufactured by AquaDoula, is specifically designed for labor and water birth. It has a booster seat cushion and soft padded floor and sidewalls for comfort, and solid-state thermostat that maintains a constant warm temperature.

Water birth offers delivering moms many benefits, according to the American Pregnancy Association, including promoting more efficient contractions, less pain, and more oxygen for the baby. The tub’s warm water has been shown to increase the woman’s energy; is soothing and relaxing; and can reduce stress-related hormones.

The Birthplace At Sonoma Valley Hospital offers three private suites for labor, delivery and recovery, and five postpartum rooms, staffed by an experienced team of skilled obstetric nurses who provide personalized attention. A pediatrician and anesthesiologist are available 24 hours a day. Care is planned so that infants stay in their mother’s room unless there is a medical need for nursery care.

The Birthplace, has a very low Cesarean-section rate, compared with the national average, and encourages breastfeeding, providing access to a lactation specialist onsite and later, in the community for follow up consultation.

Those who would like to learn more about The Birthplace and/or to schedule a tour can call 935-5301 or visit the website,