Waterbirth Is Safe
In the largest waterbirth study ever conducted, Oregon State University found that being born underwater posed no additional risk of mortality or negative outcome to newborns!
The study, which was published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, looked at the outcomes of more than 18,000 births, including 6,534 infants born underwater.
This is good news for midwifery and natural childbirth!
WATERBIRTH IS SAFE!
I believe that countless more studies will be published to confirm the safety of being born in a pool. The Midwives of New Jersey have long known of the safety of waterbirth – we have caught over 1000 waterbabies since the year 2000.
Waterbirth Study, A Tremendous Support For Midwifery
In the spring of 2014, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommended that women only labor in the water and not give birth because there was no research to say that underwater birth is safe. This”OPINION” caused many hospitals to close their waterbirth programs. The Midwives of New Jersey Response is here. The hope is that the resulting studies of safety will allow many more facilities to offer waterbirth as well as to open the door to more midwife practice within hospitals and birth centers.
Because water immersion and waterbirth are often the tools needed to achieve homebirth and natural childbirth, this study is a tremendous support for Midwifery in the United States. Midwives continue to only attend about 1/10 of the vaginal births in this country despite overwhelming evidence that midwifery care leads to better outcomes for pregnant women and their families.
The Lancet, an esteemed British medical journal wrote a four-part series about Midwifery in 2014. The findings outlined in these articles stated that high quality Midwifery care is essential for improving maternity outcomes. A commentary of the articles written by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) says the following:
While much of the Series focuses on developing midwifery in low and middle income countries, the key issues are applicable to all countries, including high-resource countries like the United States where over-medicalization of care in healthy pregnancies has led to rising calls for focused efforts for improvements in maternity care. Despite the availability in the United States of the most technologically sophisticated and comprehensive medical resources, outcomes for both women and children rank close to the bottom of almost all developed countries.
This study is fabulous news for the Midwives of New Jersey and I hope more studies are on the way, proving that waterbirth is safe in many circumstances, even in breech deliveries!!