Immersion in Water During labor and Birth: The Need for Evaluation

Authors

  • Rona McCandlish RCN, RMN, RM,

    1. Rona McCandlish is Research Midwife, MAIN Trial, and Mary Renfrew is Midwife Researcher with the Midwifery Research Programme, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, United Kingdom.
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  • Mary Renfrew PhD, RGN, SCM, RN (Canada)

    Corresponding author
    1. Rona McCandlish is Research Midwife, MAIN Trial, and Mary Renfrew is Midwife Researcher with the Midwifery Research Programme, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, United Kingdom.
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Address correspondence to Mary Renfrew, PhD, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford OX2 6HE, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Despite widespread and increasing use of immersion in water during labor, birth, or both in many different countries, no reliable information is available about its advantages, hazards, and resource implications. We describe the development of immersion in water during labor and birth, the current use of this form of care in the United Kingdom, the research that has been conducted to date, and possible strategies for future research. Three approaches to research are suggested: a survey of existing practice, a randomized controlled trial, and a confidential register of serious adverse events.

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