Culture & Entertainment

Should you have a waterbirth?

By: Jennifer Gruden
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Should you have a waterbirth?

By: Jennifer Gruden
Last week the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a joint report calling the safety of water birth into question. Waterbirth, or just labour in the tub? While the report states that being in a tub during the first stage of labour may have benefits, actually giving birth in the water "has no proven benefit to women or babies and may even pose a risk of serious health problems for the newborn," according to the press release. There was heated debate over the weekend, with midwives, and many moms, disagreeing with the report. Check out this NPR blog for a sample. I can't pretend to be an unbiased party about any reports that come out about birth and safety; once my own child fell into a 1:1,000 case scenario, I became really risk-adverse. My emotional reaction is that I can't see a convincing reason to risk a newborn's health in order to give birth underwater, especially if it's still fine to labour in the tub up until the second stage. But because I know that is speaking out of my own emotions, I also support women in making their own decisions -- as long as really high-quality research and advice is available to them as well as professional guidance in decision-making during labour. If there is one single thing I'd like pregnant women to know about plans for labour and delivery, it's that it's really important to make decisions based on what is happening, rather than a plan or a hope. What do you think about waterbirth? (Photo: iStockphoto.com)
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Should you have a waterbirth?

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