Water births and the research required to assess the benefits versus the harms

Davies, Mark W. (2012) Water births and the research required to assess the benefits versus the harms. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48 9: 726-729. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01781.x

Author Davies, Mark W.
Title Water births and the research required to assess the benefits versus the harms
Journal name Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1034-4810
Publication date 2012-09
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01781.x
Volume 48
Issue 9
Start page 726
End page 729
Total pages 4
Editor David Isaacs
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The questions that must be asked about any health-care intervention, including the use of immersion in the second stage of labour with birth into the water, are: is it useful?, does it do any harm? and do any benefits outweigh any harms? There is little subjective evidence (and no reliable, objective evidence) of any benefit to the mother or baby from water birth. There are reports of uncommon, yet significant, adverse outcomes for babies including deaths and significant morbidity directly attributed to water birth. There are also sound physiological mechanisms that can readily explain the significant adverse outcomes reported. It remains unknown whether any benefits from water birth outweigh any harms given the small number of underpowered studies available. An appropriately sized randomised controlled trial of good quality remains the only reliable way to assess both the efficacy and the safety of water births. Babies should not be born into water unless enrolled in such trials.
Keyword Evidence-based practice
Water birth
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 27 JUN 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 10:27:20 EST by Melanie Thomas on behalf of Paediatrics & Child Health - RBWH