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Childbirth: Laboring in Water and Water Delivery

Overview

Laboring in water

Some hospitals and birthing centers offer tubs or whirlpools for labor. If yours does, talk to your doctor or midwife about laboring in water. The warm water supports your body and can help you to relax. Laboring in water also may reduce the chance that you'll use an epidural for pain management.footnote 1

Sometime before you are ready to push your baby out, you will have help getting out of the tub.

Delivering in water

A water birth is the delivery of a baby while in a tub or pool of warm water. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not recommend giving birth in water. That's because this type of birth has not been studied enough to see if it is safe.footnote 2,

If you are thinking of a water birth, discuss it with your doctor or midwife.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Cluett ER, et al. (2018). Immersion in water during labour and birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (5). DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000111.pub4. Accessed September 07, 2022.
  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2016). Immersion in water during labor and delivery. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 679. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 128(5): 1198–1199. DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001765. Accessed March 27, 2017.

Credits

Current as of: July 11, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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