The effect of waterbirth on neonatal mortality and morbidity: a systematic review and meta‐analysis

  title={The effect of waterbirth on neonatal mortality and morbidity: a systematic review and meta‐analysis},
  author={Rowena Davies and Deborah Davis and Melissa Pearce and Nola Wong},
  journal={JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports},
Background Women have been giving birth in water in many centers across the globe; however, the practice remains controversial. Qualitative studies highlight the benefits that waterbirth confers on the laboring woman, though due to the nature of the intervention, it is not surprising that there are few randomized controlled trials available to inform practice. Much of the criticism directed at waterbirth focuses on the potential impact on the neonate. Objectives The objective of this review was… 
Waterbirth: a national retrospective cohort study of factors associated with its use among women in England
In this large observational cohort study, there was no association between waterbirth and specific adverse outcomes for either the mother or the baby and there was evidence that white women from higher socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to be recorded as giving birth in water.
A prospective cohort study comparing neonatal outcomes of waterbirth and land birth in an Australian tertiary maternity unit.
Maternal and neonatal outcomes were similar between groups, with no increased risk evident in the waterbirth and WWI groups.
Water Birth and Perinatal Outcomes in British Columbia: A Retrospective Cohort Study.
  • Z. Hodgson, L. Comfort, A. Albert
  • Medicine
    Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC = Journal d'obstetrique et gynecologie du Canada : JOGC
  • 2019
Systematic review and meta-analysis to examine intrapartum interventions, and maternal and neonatal outcomes following immersion in water during labour and waterbirth
The evidence that compared the effect of water immersion during labour or waterbirth on intrapartum interventions and outcomes to standard care with no water immersion was synthesised to synthesise data relating to clinical care practices and birth settings that women experience who immerse in water and women who do not.
Waterbirth in low-risk pregnancy: an exploration of women's experiences.
The findings illustrate unfulfilled needs for preparatory information about waterbirth, further strengthening that midwives should discuss the possibility of waterbirth when meeting expectant parents in the antenatal setting.
Beliefs and Perspectives of Women and Obstetrical Providers in Northern Ontario on Water Births: Research-Health Human Resources Survey Study.
  • E. Orrantia, C. Petrick
  • Medicine, Political Science
    Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC = Journal d'obstetrique et gynecologie du Canada : JOGC
  • 2020
Systematic Review of Case Reports of Poor Neonatal Outcomes With Water Immersion During Labor and Birth
Water immersion guidelines need to address infection risk, optimal management of compromised water-born infants, and the potential association between immersion practice and hyponatremia.


The effect of waterbirth on neonatal mortality and morbidity: a systematic review protocol
The objective of this research is to systematically review the evidence regarding the effect of waterbirth, in comparison to land birth, on the mortality and morbidity of neonates born to low risk women.
Waterbirth: an integrative analysis of peer-reviewed literature.
Aggregate results suggest that waterbirth is associated with high levels of maternal satisfaction with pain relief and the experience of childbirth, and may increase the likelihood of an intact perineum.
Effects of water birth on maternal and neonatal outcomes.
A trend towards a reduction of the length of the first stage of labour was only observed in primiparous women bearing in water, but this reduction did not reach statistically significance and no statistically significant differences were detected for neonatal parameters.
Water birth, more than a trendy alternative: a prospective, observational study
Water births are justifiable when certain criteria are met and risk factors are excluded, and the maternal and fetal outcomes were similar to traditional land births.
A retrospective comparison of water births and conventional vaginal deliveries.
Effects of waterbirths and traditional bedbirths on outcomes for neonates
It appeared if group A had higher Apgar scores, neonatal temperatures and umbilical cord blood haemoglobin levels and lower sodium umbilicals cord blood levels than group B, and group B needed more resuscitation of the neonate directly after birth than group A.
Waterbirth: An Integrative Analysis of Peer-Reviewed Literature.
Maternal outcomes were use of analgesia, perineal state or laceration or need for episiotomy, postpartum haemorrhage, and perception of relaxation and pain relief, among others; neonatal outcomes were Apgar score, admission to neonatal intensive care, and death, as well as a range of complications.
Water births and the research required to assess the benefits versus the harms
  • M. Davies
  • Medicine
    Journal of paediatrics and child health
  • 2012
It remains unknown whether any benefits from water birth outweigh any harms given the small number of underpowered studies available and an appropriately sized randomised controlled trial of good quality remains the only reliable way to assess both the efficacy and the safety of water births.
Waterbirths compared with landbirths: an observational study of nine years
Waterbirths are associated with low risks for both mother and child when obstetrical guidelines are followed, and do not differ with respect to maternal and neonatal infections.