The influence of water birth on newborns' condition in early adaptation period
More details
Hide details
Studenckie Koło Naukowe Kliniki Neonatologii, Wydział Lekarski w Katowicach, Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach
Department of Neonatology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Silesian Medical University in Katowice
Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, School of Medicine in Katowice, Silesian Medical University in Katowice
Martyna Katarzyna Szymkowiak   

Studenckie Koło Naukowe, Klinika Neonatologii, Wydział Lekarski w Katowicach, Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach, ul. Radockiego 100/16, 40-645 Katowice
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2017;71:383–392
A constant growth of interest in alternative labour techniques has been observed among pregnant women in recent years. Water immersion is a method that gives women the comfort of assuming any position, decreases the frequency of episiotomy and reduces the use of analgesics and antispasmodics. This technique is asso-ciated with better pain tolerance in birthing women and leads to shortening of the birthing stages. Despite this, there are a number of studies questioning the beneficial effect of water birth on the well-being of newborns.

Material and methods:
A retrospective analysis included 210 newborns born in water immersion and 412 newborns born via the traditional method at the Neonatology Clinic in Katowice between January 2012 and December 2013.

The first and second periods of labour in women giving birth in water immersion was significantly shorter compared to the birth time via the traditional method. In the children from water birth there was a significantly smaller incidence of facial haematocyanosis compared to newborns from the control group. There were no differences shown in the incidence of adaptation period anomalies between the analysed groups of infants. The incidence of intraventricular bleeding, adrenal bleeding, perinatal asphyxia, and the necessity of conducting resuscitation after birth did not differ between the children from the two groups.

Water birth is associated with a significant shortening of birth periods and it does not increase the likelihood of adaptation period anomalies in neonates.

Embry M. Observation sur an accouchement terminé dans le bain. Ann. Soc. Med. Pract. Montpelier 1805; 5: 13.
Odent M: Birth under water. The Lancet 1983; 24(31): 1476–1477.
Guzikowski W. Immersja wodna w czasie porodu i poród w wodzie. Family Medicine and Primary Care Review 2009; 11(2): 163–167.
Edlish R., Towler M.A., Goitz R.J., Wilder R.P., Buschbacher L.P., Morgan R.F., Thacker J.G. Bioengineering principles of hydrotherapy. J. Burn Care Rehabil. 1987; 8(6): 580–584.
Brown L. Therapeutic effects of bathing during labor. J. Nurse Midwifery 1982; 27(1): 13–16.
De Punzio C., Neri E., Metelli P., Bianchi M.S., Venticinque M., Ferdeghini M., Fioretti P. The relationship between maternal relaxation and plasma beta-endorphin levels during parturition. J. Psychosom. Obstet. Gynaecol. 1994; 15(4): 205–210.
Harper B. Waterbirth basics. From newborn breathing to hospital protocols. Midwifery Today Int. Midwife 2000; (54): 9–15, 68.
Torkamani S.A., Kangani F., Janani F. The effects of delivery in water on duration of delivery and pain compared with normal delivery. Pak. J. Med. Sci. 2010; 26(3): 551–555.
ACOG Committee Opinion no. 594: Immersion in water during labor and delivery. Obstet. Gynecol. 2014; 123(4): 912–915.
Pinette M.G., Wax J., Wilson E. The risks of underwater birth. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2004; 190(5): 1211–1215.
Byard R.W., Zuccollo J.M. Forensic issues in cases of water birth fatalities. Am. J. Forensic. Med. Pathol. 2010; 31(3): 258–260.
Kassim Z., Sellars M., Greenough A. Underwater birth and neonatal respiratory distress. BMJ. 2005; 330(7499): 1071–1072.
Franzin L., Cabodi D., Scolfaro C., Gioannini P. Microbiological investigations on a nosocomial case of Legionella pneumophila pneumonia associated with water birth and review of neonatal cases. Infez Med. 2004; 12(1): 69–75.
Papile L., Burstein J., Burstein R., Koffler H. Incidence and evolution of the subependymal intraventricular hemorrhage: a study of infants with weights less than 1500 grams. J. Pediatr. 1978; 92(4): 529–534.
Geissbuehler V., Stein S., Eberhard J. Waterbirths compared with landbirths: an observational study of nine years. J. Perinat. Med. 2004; 32(4): 308–314.
Zanetti-Daellenbach R.A., Tschudin S., Zhong X.Y., Holzgreve W., Lapaire O., Hösli I. Maternal and neonatal infections and obstetrical outcome in water birth. Eur. J. Obstet. Gynecol. Reprod. Biol. 2007; 134(1): 37–43.
Otigbah C.M., Dhanjal M.K., Harmsworth G., Chard T. A retrospective comparison of water births and conventional vaginal deliveries. Eur. J. Obstet. Gynecol. Reprod. Biol. 2000; 91(1): 15–20.
Mollamahmutoglu L., Moraloglu O., Ozyer S., Su F.A., Karayalçın R., Hançerlioğlu N., Uzunlar O., Dilmen U. The effects of immersion in water on labor, birth and newborn and comparison with epidural analgesia and conventional vaginal delivery. J. Turk. Ger. Gynecol. Assoc. 2012; 13(1): 45–49.
Menakaya U., Albayati S., Vella E., Fenwick J., Angstetra D. A retrospective comparison of water birth and conventional vaginal birth among women deemed to be low risk in a secondary level hospital in Australia. Women Birth. 2013; 26(2): 114–118.
Thoeni A., Zech N., Moroder L., Ploner F. Review of 1600 water births. Does water birth increase the risk of neonatal infection? J. Matern. Fetal. Neonatal. Med. 2005; 17(5): 357–361.
Burns E.E., Boulton M.G., Cluett E., Cornelius V.R., Smith L.A. Characteristics, interventions, and outcomes of women who used a birthing pool: a prospective observational study. Birth. 2012; 39(3): 192–202.
Baumert M., Brożek G., Paprotny M., Walencka Z., Sodowska H., Cnota W., Sodowski K. Epidemiology of peri/intravenrticular haemorrhage in newborns at term. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2008; 59, Suppl. 4: 67–75.