water births and perinatal mortality and morbidity

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • perinatal mortality is not substantially higher among babies delivered in water than among those born to low- risk women delivered conventionally

Evidence suggests that water immersion during the first stage of labour reduces the use of epidural/spinal analgesia. There is limited information for other outcomes related to water use during the first and second stages of labour, due to intervention and outcome variability (2)

  • there is no evidence of increased adverse effects to the fetus/neonate or woman from labouring in water or waterbirth (2)