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Who should not try water birth?

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Some factors may keep you out of the running for a water birth. You shouldn’t try it if:

  • You’re younger than 17 or older than 35.
  • You have complications like preeclampsia or diabetes.
  • You’re having twins or multiples.
  • The baby is in the breech position.
  • The baby is premature.
  • You’re having a really big baby.
  • You need to be constantly monitored and it can’t be done in the tub.
  • You have an infection.

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on September 11, 2020

Medically Reviewed on 9/11/2020

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, March 2014.

American Association of Birth Centers.

American College of Nurse-Midwives.

American College of Nurse-Midwives: “Position Statement: Hydrotherapy During Labor and Birth.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Immersion in Water During Labor and Delivery.”

News release, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Aaron Caughey, MD, spokesperson, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; professor and chairman, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University; associate dean for women’s health research and policy, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine.

Jeffrey Ecker, MD, chairman, Committee on Obstetric Practice, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, Harvard Medical School; director of obstetrical clinical research and quality assurance, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Nutter, E. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, May 2014.

Oregon Health & Science University Center for Women’s Health.

Royal College of Midwives.

Jenna Shaw-Battista, PhD, certified nurse-midwife; associate education director, University of California, San Francisco.

University of Maryland Medical Center: “The Three Stages of Labor.”

Waterbirth International: “Waterbirth FAQ.”

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on September 11, 2020

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, March 2014.

American Association of Birth Centers.

American College of Nurse-Midwives.

American College of Nurse-Midwives: “Position Statement: Hydrotherapy During Labor and Birth.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Immersion in Water During Labor and Delivery.”

News release, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Aaron Caughey, MD, spokesperson, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; professor and chairman, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University; associate dean for women’s health research and policy, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine.

Jeffrey Ecker, MD, chairman, Committee on Obstetric Practice, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, Harvard Medical School; director of obstetrical clinical research and quality assurance, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Nutter, E. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, May 2014.

Oregon Health & Science University Center for Women’s Health.

Royal College of Midwives.

Jenna Shaw-Battista, PhD, certified nurse-midwife; associate education director, University of California, San Francisco.

University of Maryland Medical Center: “The Three Stages of Labor.”

Waterbirth International: “Waterbirth FAQ.”

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on September 11, 2020

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What precautions should you take for a water birth?

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