Labour in water and water birth

What is water birth?

Water birth happens when a woman labours and/or delivers a baby in a tub of warm water.

What are the risks of water birth?

There are very few studies investigating the safety of water birth. There is not enough information to make conclusions about the safety of delivering the baby under water. If you decide to have a water birth, it is important that the tub, hoses, and water all be very clean.

What are the benefits of water birth?

Being immersed in warm water has several benefits for the mother. She may feel more comfortable and relaxed which may reduce anxiety and stress. The buoyancy of the water allows the mother to move and reposition more easily. Immersion in water may decrease the length of labour and reduces the use of epidurals. Labouring in water in the first stage of labour is known to be safe for women with uncomplicated pregnancies between 37 and 42 weeks of gestation. Many hospitals and birth centres are equipped with baths to enable women to labour in warm water.