''An important element in using immersion in water for labour and possibly for the birth of the baby is that it provides an effective way of helping the woman cope with the pain of labour, and gives back control of birth to the woman herself. Yet there is more to it even than that. It seems to create an entirely different environment and atmosphere for a woman giving birth, as it does also for the midwife caring for her. Birth takes place in a quiet room, with personal care from a midwife who is concerned to support the normal physiological process of birth.
Knee-jerk reactions to waterbirth make the existence of double standards quite patent. Waterbirth is seen as unnatural and hazardous, and urgent investigation is demanded into the dangers that women create for their babies when they do not submit to obstetric guidance and agree to be delivered in the conventional way. Yet many of the interventions that have been introduced by obstetricians have not been subjected to randomised controlled trials, and remain inadequately researched. Epidural anaesthesia, despite reported hazards, and possible long term morbidity for the mother continues unchallenged. This is understandable, because epidurals fit neatly into the existing medical paradigm. It is difficult to ignore the possibility that the attempt to suppress the use of water for labour and birth is also an attempt to dominate the birth environment, and to prevent a woman and her midwife being in control of the birth process. The use of water in childbirth requires systematic evaluation, but so does the use of epidural anaesthesia and other procedures in routine use, such as the interventions necessary for the active management of labour.''
The UKCC has decided that assistance at waterbirth is part of the duties of a midwife and is not special treatment (Position Statement on Waterbirths, 1994). So each midwife needs to be confident that she has the skills to help women give birth in water.
We often hear of midwives who are uncertain about waterbirth because they feel they are not up-to-date with the latest research and of hospitals where, when a certain midwife is not on duty, women are dissuaded from waterbirth.
The International Waterbirth Movement is now offering workshops, addressing theory and practical skills, by one of England's most experienced waterbirth midwives, Ethel Burns. She has assisted at more than 500 waterbirths and has done research into waterbirth and aromatherapy. She explores issues of safety, pain relief, mothers' satisfaction and good midwifery practice.
For more information on these workshops, please send your address and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
|Birth Pool Organizations
Click on the logo & visit their web
Products include well thought out ethically manufactured inflatable birth pools to purchase.
|Eighteen years experience hiring out birth pools in the UK. Heated pool system. Built from sustainable timber. Flexible hire periods.|
|The Active Birth Centre hire
out (and sell) a variety of differently designed birth pools to individuals and hospitals
in London and nationwide.
They also sell videos & books about water birth and run water birth workshops.
supply portable water birth pools to hire for home birth or hospital birth, throughout the
Find answers to your water birth questions and discover benefits that water could bring to your labour.
They are based in the New Forest so if you live in Hampshire, Dorset or Wiltshire, they are your local water birth pool supplier.
|Inflatable pools with accessories.|
|Hire out birth pools and run water birth workshops.|
|Bubba Tubs hire out birth pools nationwide at a weekly rate (and they sell baptismal pools)|
pools out for a full 5 weeks. Midwifery guidelines state that the five weeks from 3 weeks
before to 2 weeks after your due date are the safest periods for a home birth.
Tel: 0121 449 9803 Email: email@example.com
Based in Birmingham - they also hire out pools nationwide.
|Gentle Water Birthing Pools hire out birth pools.
This web site has clear answers to many water birth questions.
|The Good Birth Company specialises in affordable birth pool hire and breast pump sales. Their pools are among the lowest priced birth pools in England.|
|Splashdown Water Birth Services hire out birth pools & run water birth workshops|
|Robyn M. Maude and Maralyn J. Foureur. (2007). Its beyond water: Stories of womens experience of using water for labour and birth. Women and Birth, 20, 1724|
|Maude, R. and Caplice, S. (2006). Using water for
labour and birth. In: Pairman, S., Pincombe, J., Thorogood, C. and Tracy, S.
Midwifery Preparation for Practice. Sydney: Elsevier.
2nd ed. due 2010
search hundreds of journals to provide a list of references on any midwifery subject
L20 - Labour & Delivery: The use of water
A Comparative Study
A Prospective Study on More than 2,000 Waterbirths
Verena Geissbühler, Jakob Eberhard
|Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy||Vol 15:5:2000
|Waterbirth an attitude to care
|Books for Midwives||2nd Edition 2000|
|Perinatal mortality in water||British Medical Journal||August 1999|
|Waterbirth||British Journal of Midwives, supplement||Vol 6, 4
|Waterbirth Updating the evidence
Dianne Garland & Keith Jones
|British Journal of Midwifery||Vol 5, 6
Proceedings of the
First International Water Birth Conference (1995)
(ed) Beverley Lawrence Beech
|Books for Midwives Press||1996|
|Labour and birth in water in England & Wales:
Survey report by Fiona Alderdice,Mary Renfrew, Sally Marchant et. al.
|British Journal of Midwifery||Vol 3, 7
Comparison & Perspective
Journal of the Royal College of Midwives
|Vol 108, 1,284
Ethel Burns & Kay Greenish
|Nursing Times||Vol 89
24 Feb 1994
|A pilot study for a randomised controlled trial of waterbirth
versus land birth
Woodward J, Kelly S
|British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology||111:537-545
water in pregnancy, labour and birth
|The Cochrane Collaboration John Wiley & Sons.||The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 1.|
Water: what are we
|The Practising Midwife||
controlled trial of labouring in water compared with standard of augmentation for
management of dystocia in first stage of labour
|British Medical Journal||BMJ 2004; 328:314 (7 February), doi:10.1136/bmj.37963.606412.EE (published 26 January 2004)|
Warm tub during
labor: maternal and neonatal effects
|Acta Obstetrica et Gynecolica Scandanavica||
|The use of water in labour and birth||Royal College of Midwives||
1a RCM, London
retrospective comparison of water births and conventional vaginal deliveries
|European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology||
mortality and morbidity among babies delivered in water: surveillance study and postal
|British Medical Journal||
319, 21st August:
control: womens experiences of labour in water
14 (1): 30-36
|A Guide to
cost is £25 including post packing & VAT.
in Water at John Flynn Hospital
A portrayal of five individual water births, filmed at the John Flynn Hospital, Queensland, Birth in Water takes you on an extraordinary journey documenting the use of water immersion during labour and childbirth, enabling a safe, gentle, joyous and empowering experience. Commentary by parents, midwives and Dr Davidson.
|by Dr Andrew Davidson|