Largest Ever Waterbirth Study
Examining 17,500+ waterbirths
Matched control of 17,500+ land births
Waterbirth finds it is neither as harmful as some current guidelines suggest, nor as benign as some proponents claim.
Outcomes per 5000 women and birthing people who birth in water:
3 will develop a uterine infection.
In the same 5000 women and birthing people who birth in water, expect:
- 30 fewer postpartum hemorrhages
- 4 fewer severe perineal lacerations
- 14 fewer hospital admissions in the first 6 weeks
Outcomes per 5000 infants born underwater:
10 will have an umbilical cord avulsion.
In the same 5000 neonates born in water, expect:
- 6 fewer cases of respiratory distress syndrome
- 10 fewer hospital admissions in the first 6 wk
Importantly, there was no difference in the number of neonatal deaths between babies born underwater and those born on land.
(now available open source - view only)
Bovbjerg, M.L., Cheyney, M. and Caughey, A.B. (2021), Maternal and neonatal outcomes following waterbirth: a cohort study of 17,530 waterbirths and 17,530 propensity score-matched land births. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.17009
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