The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Here are a couple of waterbirth studies from pubmed. All of them
say "infection is not increased"
Fetal Diagn Ther 2000 Sep-Oct;15(5):291-300
Click here to read
Waterbirths: a comparative study. A prospective study on more than 2,000 waterbirths.
Geissbuhler V, Eberhard J.
Clinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Thurgauisches Kantonsspital, Frauenfeld, Switzerland. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Waterbirths were introduced in 1991 as part of a new birth
concept which consisted of careful monitoring and birth management, restrictive
use of invasive methods and free choice of different birth methods. METHODS:
After the introduction of this new birth concept a prospective observational
study was initiated. All parturients of the region give birth in our clinic
without preselection, ours being the only birth clinic of the region. 2%
of the parturients will be referred to a larger birth clinic (university
clinic) mainly because of preterm births before the end of the 33rd week
of pregnancy. Every one of the 7,508 births between November 1991, and
May 21, 1997, was analyzed. In this article the birth parameters of mother
and child in the most often chosen spontaneous birth methods will be compared
to assess the safety of alternative birth methods in general and of waterbirths
in particular. 2,014 of these 5,953 spontaneous births were waterbirths,
1,108 were Maia-birthing stool births and 2,362 bedbirths (vacuum extractions
not included). RESULTS: The parity and age of the mother as well as the
newborn's birth weight are comparable in all 3 groups: waterbirth, Maia-birthing
stool, and bedbirths. An episiotomy was performed in only 12.8% of the
births in water, in 27. 7% of the births on the Maia-birthing stool and
in 35.4% of the bedbirths. These differences are statistically significant.
In spite of the highest episiotomy rates, the bedbirths also show the highest
3rd- and 4th-degree laceration rates (4.1%), thus the difference between
the rates for bedbirths and alternative births methods for severe lacerations
is significant. The mothers' blood loss is the lowest in waterbirths. Fewer
painkillers are used in waterbirths and the experience of birth itself
is more satisfying after a birth in water. The average arterial blood pH
of the umbilical cord as well as the Apgar scoring at 5 and 10 min are
significantly higher after waterbirths. Infections of the neonate do not
occur more often after waterbirths. No case of water aspiration or any
other perinatal complication of the mother or child which might be water-related
was reported. CONCLUSION: Waterbirths and other alternative forms of birthing
such as Maia-birthing stool do not demonstrate higher birth risks for the
mother or the child than bedbirths if the same medical criteria are used
in the monitoring as well as in the management of birth. Copyright 2000
S. Karger AG, Basel.
Harefuah 1998 Feb 1;134(3):161-4, 248 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut
[Experience with under-water birth]
[Article in Hebrew]
Lachman E, Finelt Z.
Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yoseftal Hospital, Eilat.
Underwater birth is now deemed an acceptable type of delivery. Safety
is a recurring consideration, the main concern being that of drowning.
But in reports of 19,000 underwater births no untoward events were noted.
Also, need for pain relief and of intervention during labor were both reduced.
The short term indicators of neonatal outcome were good. A recent review
explains 5 different physiological factors which inhibit initiation of
fetal breathing under warm water. Many studies have shown no increase in
risk of infection of either mother or baby. We report our experience with
26 women, 23 of whom actually delivered in the pool with excellent results.
We believe that birth under water is safe and beneficial if done properly
for low-risk patients.
: Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2000 Jul;91(1):15-20 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut
Click here to read
A retrospective comparison of water births and conventional vaginal deliveries.
Otigbah CM, Dhanjal MK, Harmsworth G, Chard T.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Homerton Hospital, London, UK.
The aim of this study was to document the practice of water births and
compare their outcome and safety with normal vaginal deliveries. A retrospective
case-control study was conducted over a five year period from 1989 to 1994
at the Maternity Unit, Rochford Hospital, Southend, UK. Three hundred and
one women electing for water births were compared with the same number
of age and parity matched low risk women having conventional vaginal deliveries.
Length of labour; analgesia requirements; apgar scores; maternal complications
including perineal trauma, postpartum haemorrhages, infections; fetal and
neonatal complications including shoulder dystocias; admissions to the
Special Care Baby Unit, and infections were noted. Primigravidae having
water births had shorter first and second stages of labour compared with
controls (P<0.05 and P<0.005 respectively), reducing the total time
spent in labour by 90 min (95% confidence interval 31 to 148). All women
having water births had reduced analgesia requirements. No analgesia was
required by 38% (95% confidence interval 23.5 to 36.3, P<0.0001) and
1.3% requested opiates compared to 56% of the controls (95% confidence
interval 46. 3 to 58.1, P<0.0001). Primigravidae having water births
had less perineal trauma (P<0.05). Overall the episiotomy rate was 5
times greater in the control group (95% confidence interval 15 to 26.2,
P<0.0001), but more women having water births had perineal tears (95%
confidence interval 6.6 to 22.6, P<0.001). There were twice as many
third degree tears, post partum haemorrhages and admissions to the Special
Care Baby Unit in the controls, although these differences were not significant.
Apgar scores were comparable in both groups. There were no neonatal infections
or neonatal deaths in the study. This study suffers from many of the methodological
problems inherent in investigation of uncommon modes of delivery. However,
we conclude that water births in low risk women delivered by experienced
professionals are as safe as normal vaginal deliveries. Labouring and delivering
in water is associated with a reduction in length of labour and perineal
trauma for primigravidae, and a reduction in analgesia requirements for
this next one is cute, translated from itallian.. .their experience with 500 waterbirths
: Minerva Ginecol 2001 Feb;53(1):29-34
[Birth in water. A comparative study after 555 births in water]
[Article in Italian]
Thoni A, Murari S.
Divisione di Ostetricia e Ginecologia, Ospedale di Vipiteno, Bolzano, Italy. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: The object of our study is to research into the quality
of the different delivery positions, offered in our hospital with special
focus on the advantages for birth in water. METHODS: From February 1997
to 1 October 2000 we do research retrospectively on data of 555 deliveries
in water, 320 on the traditional bed and 125 on the delivery stool give
us the possibility to investigate about duration of birth, rate of episiotomies
and perineum lacerations, consumption of painkillers, arterial umbilical
cord pH and haemoglobin postpartum. RESULTS: In our comparing analysis
of the duration of birth we could show a relevant reduction especially
for primiparae which had delivered in water. The reduction is only significant
for the first part of labor (360 minutes in the pool, 445 minutes on the
traditional bed and 420 minutes on the stool) whereas there is no difference
for the second part of labor. The significant reduction on episiotomies
(1%) in comparison to the one on the traditional bed (20%) or on the stool
(10%) for primiparae in water doesn t mean an increase at perineum lacerations.
(each 25%). In water we saw no lacerations/injuries of the perineum for
58% of primiparae, on the traditional bed 36% and on the stool 43%. No
woman in labour needed a painkiller in the pool. There was no difference
found between the three groups referring to the arterial umbilical cord
pH or the haemoglobin postpartum. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows relevant
medical advantages for a delivery in water: and a significant reduction
of the duration of the first part of labour, significant less episiotomies
and perineum lacerations and no need for painkillers. The security of the
neonate is guaranteed under attention to the known contraindications.
J Nurse Midwifery 1989 Jul-Aug;34(4):165-70 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut
Water birth: one birthing center's observations.
This paper discusses the water birth experiences of women who delivered
at The Family Birthing Center of Upland, California, from February, 1985
to June 1, 1989. Of the 831 who used warm water immersion during their
labor, 483 gave birth in the water with good Apgar scores; and there was
only one minor maternal infection. These results clearly suggest that water
birth--with certain precautions--is not only a desirable alternative for
many women, but also a safe and positive intrapartum intervention.
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