Research on aquatic births shows that they do not have a higher risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit than other types of births.


If you are hesitant about giving birth in water, the results of this study may give you peace of mind. In the United States, research has looked into these deliveries in order to assess the risks. According to the scientists, hospital births involving water immersion did not pose a higher risk of admission to the intensive care unit than other traditional births. These findings were published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. This new study was conducted by analyzing data from 583 births over 4 years (2014-2018) in eight hospitals.

In previous research, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the professional organization that sets standards for obstetric practice in the United States, concluded that immersion in water during the first phase of labor was safe for women who had carried a pregnancy to term without complications.

 Little practiced in France, childbirth in water brings some benefits: soothing properties for the mother, a more serene atmosphere, accelerated labor, etc. Not all women can give birth in water, it is essential to discuss this birth plan with your doctor and to get information from the maternity hospitals that practice it.

Leave the choice to women

However, American experts point out that there are few studies to determine the real risks and benefits of childbirth. "This study demonstrates that the system we have put in place enables water delivery within the context of a strong clinical program that ensures safety," said Dr. Lisa Saul, Perinatologist, Chair of the Mother Baby Service Line Allina Health and study co-author. She added: "As a healthcare system, we want to give women as many choices as possible to help them manage pain during labor. Our main focus is always the safety of mothers and newborns, we we therefore need to make sure that we base our practices on the best available evidence. "

This new study stands out for the size of its sample and the methods used to compare the two groups of women. "Women and families deserve safe, evidence-based care, regardless of their birthing preferences," said Kathrine Simon, study co-author, certified nurse midwife and head of midwifery . It provides training to water immersion service providers. "This study demonstrates that water birth is a safe option for women during labor in addition to supporting training and support for providers and nurses."

In detail, this study ensures that the proportion of deliveries with admission to intensive care was significantly lower in women in immersion (2.9%) than in the control group (8.3%). In addition, there was no significant difference between the water immersion groups and the others regarding the problems encountered at birth (anemia, respiratory distress, death, etc.). "This study confirms that water deliveries, conducted according to a rigorous clinical protocol, are at least as safe as traditional delivery methods," concludes Katherine Simon.