Cochrane Summaries

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Immersion in water in labour and birth

Cluett ER, Burns E
Published Online: 
15 February 2012

This review includes 12 trials (3243 women). Water immersion during the first stage of labour significantly reduced epidural/spinal analgesia requirements, without adversely affecting labour duration, operative delivery rates, or neonatal wellbeing. One trial showed that immersion in water during the second stage of labour increased women's reported satisfaction with their birth experience. Further research is needed to assess the effect of immersion in water on neonatal and maternal morbidity. No trials could be located that assessed the immersion of women in water during the third stage of labour, or evaluating different types of pool/bath.

This record should be cited as: 
Cluett ER, Burns E. Immersion in water in labour and birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD000111. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000111.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
23 August 2011