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the fuss about waterbirth?

Discussion in 'General Midwifery Discussions' started by Popty Ping, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. AimForTheStars

    AimForTheStars Well-Known Member

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    On my last placement, water births were very common!

    Women have stated how much the water helps with the pain and every midwife I worked with really promoted it and said to try it...if they didn't like it they would just get out x
     
    #61
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  2. Popty Ping

    Popty Ping Active Member

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    My research has brought up some uncomfortable reading. Critics of water birth say there is rare chances of serious risks to the baby, which only occur in water births, including cord snapping, drowning and respiratory complications. They ask why if there is any risk do mothers choose to give birth in water. They say that all the benefits are for the mother and for the baby, the risks are potentially fatal. http://pediatrics.aappublications.o...f979cf97ac3dddf60a9b71c9&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha
     
    #62
  3. Noo

    Noo Spoilt Princess

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    Our water births have delayed cord clamping and a physiological third stage. Though they're asked to vacate the pool to deliver the placenta but of course sometimes that's literally stand up and catch it in a bowl ;)
     
    #63
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  4. Popty Ping

    Popty Ping Active Member

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    a really good idea :)
     
    #64
  5. Wozza

    Wozza 2nd year :D Student Midwife

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    I think our training is nuts. You can support a woman through a labour, but if you don't physically 'catch' the baby it doesn't count.

    You can come in at the end of a labour, catch a baby as it's on the way out, without even speaking to the woman. And that counts?! Bonkers.
     
    #65
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  6. Butterfly

    Butterfly Guest

    I looked at that research paper for my dissertation but didn't include it in the end as its a poor study/review and clearly biased towards a medical perspective.

    Waterbirth does come with risks, but if the Midwife is skilled in the practice of waterbirth than the potential for respiratory complications (which are almost solely related to those babies who are compromised and who take a reflexive gasp as they are born, pulling fluid in to their lungs) is minimal- as changed with The fetal heart can be identified early and the plan of care (merely the recommendation to leave the pool) can change accordingly.

    Cord snapping is also rare, and it can be avoided most of the time by avoiding undue traction on the cord- ensuring the baby is 'caught' and doesn't dangle on the end, ensuring the mother is gentle when she picks her baby up and identifying a short cord earlier on so you can watch it closely. A snapped cord can also be identified quite quickly and clamped before serious blood loss occurs to baby. Snapped cords happen in dry land births too- and rarely result in long term morbidity for babies.

    You can scare yourself silly with all sorts of stories in all sorts of scenarios, and the reality is birth will never be risk free (which is why waterbirth is generally reserved for those who have no other apparent risk factors which may compromise the safety of themselves or their babies) but the overwhelming consensus when good, reliable research studies are examined is that it is a safe mode of birth with the added bonus of reducing the need for intervention and increasing maternal satisfaction- all of which impact positively upon the baby too.

    The critics of such options will always lash out to suggest that women are putting their own needs above their babies, but that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard- I don't think I've ever met a single woman who has made a decision to labour and birth in water who wasn't thinking about the associated effects the experience may have on the most precious thing in her existence.

    It's an outdated, paternalistic and technocratic view which regards the mother as merely a (faulty) vessel for her unborn baby, a view which is inherently damaging to women and their long term physical and emotional wellbeing, and one of the main culprits for how birth is today.

    X
     
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  7. SomeoneMissing

    SomeoneMissing Well-Known Member

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    Cords snap on land births.
    There is a small element of risk in any birth but instead of ranting on I'll just say I agree with all that Butterfly said (as usual!) :)
     
    #67
  8. Popty Ping

    Popty Ping Active Member

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    I agree with you, that the review is biased, infact a response letter by a uk midwife, says that the reviewer confuses data. It makes for very uncomfortable reading. The whole journal of related articles is really. One quote says something like , 'its an idiotic birth choice' also they mention a picture of a water birth which is of a baby opening his or her mouth under the water, which a few of the artlicle mention, they say is a sure sign that baby is trying to breathe the water in. I will be including the mentioned article in my project because I'm critically examining benefits and risks but will question its context. There is a more recent pilot study which is randomised controlled trial looking at water v land births which is interesting and factual, its based on 60 births though so is a relatively small study http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2004.00132.x/full its not retrospective which many of the studies seem to be.

    Are there the same water birth guidelines followed by all or do different trusts have there own unique ones?
     
    #68
  9. Iris

    Iris RM

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    Different trusts have their own. Where I trained women were supposed to get out if the pool for 3rd stage though I had a mentor who would empty the pool and do cct leaning over the side. I have to say I don't think it was safe for me to do, though I did do it, I would be right up on tippy toes and not able yo guard the uterus really, bad for my back, danger of me falling in without my mentor there to hold onto me and not desperately safe for the woman either imo, a physiological would have been safer.

    My new trust have just installed a birth pool and I get to go on a study day by Dianne Garland courtesy of my trust. Lucky me!
     
    #69
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  10. Beluga

    Beluga Well-Known Member

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    where I train we have two pools on the MLC birth centre and two on the delivery suite.. funding has just been granted for two more as well!
    They prove to be very popular, 2 out of my five catches have been waterbirths x
     
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