Water immersion labors are becoming increasing popular due to the success rates and benefits to both the child and the mother. Studies show that laboring in water can help reduce pain and the need for anesthesia. Nevertheless, doctors are saying the mother should not actually give birth in the water due to potential risks for the infant.
Labor in water, but not during birth
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that water immersion during the first stage of labor has benefits for mothers. It has been found to reduce labor pains and the duration of the labor.
When it comes time to push, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly discourages women from remaining in water. They concluded that there is insufficient data on the safety and benefits of giving birth in the water.
While most water births are success stories and the risk rate is very low, complications can still occur.
What your doctor should tell you
Before you make a final decision, your doctor should address the concerns and risks. These risks can include:
- Infant drowning
- Oxygen deprivation for your infant
- Umbilical cord snapping
In certain situations, water birth is usually not recommended at all. These can include:
- Having twins
- A baby is a breached position
- Premature babies
In 2011, a water birth went horribly wrong when a mother and her baby were not properly monitored. The baby was deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes. As a result, he suffers from birth-induced cerebral palsy. The family sued for medical malpractice and won their case because of improper monitoring and no warning beforehand about the risks.
While the risk of harm to a baby is generally low in water births, it is still important to note that your doctor should always address the risks and concerns. Proper monitoring is crucial to ensuring your baby is not harmed during delivery.
Whenever an adverse result occurs, it is wise to discuss what happened with a lawyer. An experienced attorney who focuses on medical malpractice cases can identify possible mistakes and ensure you have the resources to care for a child who may have special needs.