Are Water Births Safe?

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Water Birth Safety

Are water births safe? We get that question all time! We would like to share with you a great article on water births. This article appeared on Parents.com, below you can find the beginning of it. Click on the “Read more” button to continue reading it.

By Bekka Besich on Parents.com

“There are women who have successful, uncomplicated water births every day in this world. However, even with the perfect set-up, a woman still needs to understand the risks of infection transmitted to the fetus through the birthing water and the possibility for drowning,” says Marra Francis, M.D., a gynecologist practicing in San Antonio. The largest and most recent study, published in 1999 in the British Medical Journal, cites a 95 percent confidence in the safety of water births, but the practice poses an increased risk because the majority of water births take place at home, where there is no immediate medical help. In 2011, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that “although the absolute risk may be low, planned home birth is associated with a twofold to threefold increased risk of neonatal death when compared with planned hospital birth.”

Risks

Water births themselves are not significantly more dangerous than birth out of water, but when they take place at home — and most of them do — there is an increased risk.

The Committee on Obstetric Practice “believes that hospitals and birthing centers are the safest setting for birth, [but] it respects the right of a woman to make a medically informed decision about delivery.” Part of that medically informed decision means understanding the benefits and risks. “Anyone thinking about delivering at home needs to think through the worst-case scenario for the ultimate safety of their baby and themselves,” says Sharon Mikol, M.D.  Most practitioners agree that the risks of water birth are minimal when mothers are screened appropriately during pregnancy and before labor. A woman still has to be the right candidate for a water birth to reduce the risks. An uncomplicated pregnancy (low blood pressure, over 37 weeks of gestation, baby with a head down, etc.) is required for a water birth. Before choosing water birth, consider the risks.
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