Hydrotherapy is just a fancy way to say I used water to survive pregnancy.
Let me preface this by saying doctors do not recommend pregnant women sit in too hot of water (hot tubs are a no-go). I wasn’t high risk so please check with your OBGYN if you are. The goal is to not let your internal body temperature to rise too high. I always kept a glass of cold water with me to hydrate, the bathroom door stayed open, and my bathtub is really shallow so that the water barely made it over my thighs let alone my bump.
All precautions aside, I spent a lot of time in my bathroom. In the first trimester I was trying to control my anxiety. The sound of running water was better than a white noise machine. It also helped to ground me. Anxiety is about living in the future, a future you can’t predict but drive yourself crazy trying to do so anyway. It is helpful to center yourself in the here and now. And the warmth of the water relaxed my muscles, of course, helping to ease the physical symptoms of panic.
From the second trimester on, I was in a metric ton of pain that only increased with time. Sure, my lower back sometimes ached with the new way I was carrying myself, but mostly my bones hurt. My pubic bone, butt bones, and tail bone were a constant issue. By the end, I asked for pain killers because it felt like my pelvis was being slowly torn apart.
The only relief I found was the shower. I stopped taking baths and would sit in the tub with my back to the shower spray. Often, the pressure of the water itself would feel like a massage. I hated getting my hair damp all the time but eventually stopped caring. Sometimes I felt bad about running up our gas bill but eventually stopped caring about that too. The shower was my only luxury so I indulged.
Hydrotherapy is also helpful in early labor and postpartum.