Immersion in water for labour and birth, Part 1: Evidence into Practice

The use of water (hydrotherapy) for labour and birth is a key element of midwifery practice yet despite its growing popularity nationally and internationally, use of the pool remains inconsistent. In 2000 the Royal College of Midwives found that nearly 50% of units had waterbirth facilities (RCM 2012). Nearly 17 years later, this has increased to 60% of units (Active Birth Pools). (NICE 2014) recommends the use of water for labour and states that birth in water is choice for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and labour. As the use of water is a fundamental tool of midwifery care, it is essential that midwives understand the research underpinning hydrotherapy in labour and birth and the practical skills which are required to practice waterbirth safely and effectively.

Instructed by: All4Maternity . in: ,

Course Description

Overview

The use of water (hydrotherapy) for labour and birth is a key element of midwifery practice yet despite its growing popularity nationally and internationally, use of the pool remains inconsistent. In 2000 the Royal College of Midwives found that nearly 50% of units had waterbirth facilities (RCM 2012). Nearly 17 years later, this has increased to 60% of units (Active Birth Pools). (NICE 2014) recommends the use of water for labour and states that birth in water is choice for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and labour. As the use of water is a fundamental tool of midwifery care, it is essential that midwives understand the research underpinning hydrotherapy in labour and birth and the practical skills which are required to practice waterbirth safely and effectively.


Learning aims and objectives

The aim of the following module is to encourage midwives and birth workers to support women’s informed choice regarding immersion in water throughout labour and birth to ensure effective, safe and meaningful care provision.

By the end of the module you will:

  1. understand the evidence for the use of water for labour and birth
  2. have considered the women’s experiences of using water for labour and birth
  3. have knowledge of how to create a birthing space for women
  4. have considered the practical midwifery skills to support waterbirth throughout all phases of labour and birth

Keywords and linking topics

Waterbirth, pain management, supporting choice in labour, first stage of labour, second stage of labour, third stage of labour, birth environment, hydrotherapy

Curriculum

  • Module
    • Course Objectives
      • Video
      • References and further reading
      • Activities
      • Question 1
      • Question 2
      • Question 3
      • Question 4
      • Question 5
      • Question 6
      • Question 7
      • Question 8
      • Question 9
      • Question 10
      • Question 11

About Instructor

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