ACOG’s Opinion on Water Births
Immersion in water during labor or delivery has been popularized over the past several decades. the prevalence of this practice in the united states is uncertain because it has not been studied in births outside of the home and birth centers, and the data are not recorded on birth certificates. Among randomized controlled trials included a 2007 Cochrane systematic review that addressed immersion in the first stage of labor, results were inconsistent with regard to maternal benefits.
Neither the Cochrane systematic review nor any individual trials included in that review reported any benefit to the newborn from maternal immersion during labor or delivery.Immersion in water during the first stage of labor may be associated with shorter labor and decreased use of spinal and epidural analgesia and may be offered to healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies between 37 0/7 weeks and 41 6/7 weeks of gestation.