Cerebral Palsy Blog

Cerebral Palsy Blog

Risk of Brain Damage, Birth Injuries Spur Doctor Statement against Water Births

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In countries like United Kingdom, obstetricians as well as midwives endorse aquatic labor, claiming that complications are fairly rare in such births. In the United States however, doctors and obstetricians are not as convinced that water births are safe for the baby or the mother. Recently, a group of obstetricians released a statement warning against water births as being unsafe for the mother and the baby. However, the statement does confirm that water labor can be comfortable for the mother, and can relieve the discomfort of the birthing process.

The statement is likely to be analyzed extensively because of the popularity of water births and the fact that many midwifery groups strongly recommend aquatic labor as part of the birthing process. According to the doctors, there have been individual cases in which the baby born into a water-based environment, choked or drowned during the birth. However, midwifery groups say that those cases are far and few between, and provide very little evidence against water births.

However, the midwives also suggest that water births always be conducted by a trained professional, and be planned stringently. All established guidelines must be followed, including bringing the baby to the surface as soon as the baby is born.

Broadly, only women who have had a complication-free pregnancy should consider water births. Additionally, women who choose a water birth must also be aware that there are risks involving brain injury or brain damage, when there is lack of oxygen in water, and the risk of infections from swallowing contaminated water. There is a serious risk of birth injury-related conditions like cerebral palsy, if the baby suffers oxygen deprivation in the water.