Freediving royalty William Trubridge and Sachiko Fukumoto were determined to bring their baby into their world - but giving birth in the ocean turned out to be a step too far.

A Loading Docs short documentary, Water Baby, released on the NZ Herald website today, follows Trubridge - an 18-time world record holder and current world freediving champion - and his wife, actress and free-diver Fukumoto - in the lead-up to the birth of their first child, Mila.

The globe-trotting young family were photographed in this breathtaking image beneath the water with their Mila at Roatan Beach off the coast of Honduras last month. Trubridge was there to compete in the CMAS 4th Freediving Outdoor World Championship.

William Trubridge and wife Sachiko Fukumoto with their baby Mila. Photo / Alex St Jean
William Trubridge and wife Sachiko Fukumoto with their baby Mila. Photo / Alex St Jean

Unable to give birth in their favourite place, the ocean, for safety reasons, Trubridge and Fukumoto sought the second best thing - a home water-birth. However, water births are rare in Japan and Fukumoto faced obstacles organising a home-birth in her hometown Okinawa. So the couple chose to travel to Trubridge's family home in Hawke's Bay to prepare for the birth.

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"I was in despair when I realised that I wasn't able to give birth in the way I wanted in Japan, until it was suggested (to) me to go to New Zealand...' Fukumoto said.

She learned New Zealand women have the right to decide how they want to deliver their babies, giving them the power of choice.

William Trubridge and wife Sachiko Fukumoto were determined to bring their baby into their world of water. Photo / Alex St Jean
William Trubridge and wife Sachiko Fukumoto were determined to bring their baby into their world of water. Photo / Alex St Jean

"There must be a lot of women in the world struggling with the same kind of situation I had, or who don't even know they should have the right to choose how they want to give birth."

In the short documentary, the couple share stories of their connection to the water, concerns for their child's future relationship with the sea and incredible footage of William's dramatic underwater swim of Cook Strait.

• Go to nzherald.co.nz/loadingdocs to view the Loading Docs short documentary Water Baby on the NZ Herald website. To view more Loading Docs short documentaries, visit https://loadingdocs.net/shorts/