Water births

Alberto Perra and Angela Giusti [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Alberto Perra and Angela Giusti , via Wikimedia Commons

Water birth and the use of hydrotherapy in labor has been a practice used by women for years. While the women is laboring the warm water helps relaxes and relieves muscle spasms and pain as well as reduce the pull and strain on the pelvis. Having a bath in labor has been shown in numerous medical study to help reduce the pain requiring less medications.

Some women will go on to have there birthing experience in the bath and deliver their baby there. This method has been shown to be safe and there have not been any increased risk to the infant when compared to other infants not birth in the water. Unfortunately there are only few official places to have a water birth, one of which is the North Shore Birth Center.

Sometimes there is controversy or concerns over water birth being safe. The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) has as detailed information sheet on hydrotherapy use in labor, for information click here



da Silva, F. M. B., de Oliveira, S. M. J. V., & Nobre, M. R. C. (2009). A randomised controlled trial evaluating the effect of immersion bath on labour pain. Midwifery25(3), 286-294.

Gilbert, R. E., & Tookey, P. A. (1999). Perinatal mortality and morbidity among babies delivered in water: surveillance study and postal survey. Bmj319(7208), 483-487. (article available here)


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