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Childbirth: Laboring in Water and Water Delivery

Topic Overview

Laboring in water

Some hospitals and birthing centers offer tubs or whirlpools for laboring. If yours does, talk to your health professional about laboring in water. The warm water supports your body and helps you to relax. For many women, laboring in water has been proved to:1

  • Reduce labor pain.
  • Reduce the use of or need for pain medicine.
  • Lower the mother's blood pressure.

Some time 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. More research is needed to find out the benefits and risks to delivering in water.

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

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Cunningham FG, et al. (2010). Abnormal labor. In Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ed., pp. 464–489. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised November 13, 2013

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