Benefits of a Water Birth

Expert researchers at Oxford Brookes University have brought together research on childbirth, birth setting and the use of water immersion in labour and shared key points, including that:

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Water immersion for healthy women is associated with a number of beneficial maternal outcomes with no known adverse risks to the neonate.

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COVID-19 is not a waterborne virus, therefore, the water environment dilutes respiratory droplet and faecal contamination potential.

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In the Coronavirus context, water immersion presents a lower risk of contamination risk for midwives compared with bed birth because it promotes the use of social distancing without interrupting normal midwifery care. Burns et al (2020)

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The authors also note that:

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"The birthing pool environment presents a natural barrier between the woman and her midwife.

Supporting women in the water reduces droplet, aerosol and faecal contamination, presenting a low-risk transmission activity for the Coronavirus.

Water immersion for healthy women is associated with a number of beneficial maternal outcomes with no known adverse risks to the neonate.

For primiparous women, birthing in midwifery-led settings (AMU/FMU or home) water immersion reduces transfer rate with the greatest benefit seen at FMU.

Water immersion for labour and/or birth should be supported and encouraged as an effective method of analgesia."



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