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Water Birth Statistics

Since the water birth was first introduced in 1991, the water birth statistics from around the world showcase a strong success rate for this alternative method of labor and delivery. A study showed that water birth statistics are generally favorable to this method of delivery, and it is becoming more and more popular throughout the developed world.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the water birth statistics are favorable for a variety of reasons and provide benefits for both the laboring mother as well as the baby once he or she is delivered. In a study comparing 2,000 water births, the water birth statistics show that in only 12.8 percent of water births, an episiotomy had to be performed. That is incredibly low compared to the number of episotomies that had to be performed in 35.4 percent of bed births.

Water Birth Statistics:

These water birth statistics also shows a huge difference between bed births and water births in terms of mother's blood loss, which is significantly lower in a water birth compared to a stool or bed birth. Fewer painkillers are also used during a water birth since the water provides a calming experience for the mother with less weight from her muscles pressing during each contraction of labor. More mothers were also more likely to report a more satisfactory experience with a water birth than the mothers who had a bed birth or birthed on a stool. 

There are also many water birth benefits for the baby, according to this study  with water birth statistics. In fact, the baby is likely to score higher at his or her five and 10 minute Apgar testing after a water birth delivery than in comparison to other deliveries, according to these water birth statistics. Unlike some misconceptions about water births, the baby is actually less likely to ingest any of the water, blood or merconium in the water following the birth. Because babies don't typically take their first breath immediately after delivery, there isn't really a danger of the aspiration. In fact, in this recent water birth study, no cases of aspiration on part of the baby were reported in the 2,000 water births. Overall, there were also no cases of perinatal complications as a result of the mother or child birthing in the water. 

Water Birth Benefits:

Water births are likely becoming more and more popular in developed nations including the U.S. More and more hospitals are establishing birth centers that allow women to do the majority of their laboring in the tub. However, some hospitals still will not allow mothers to actually deliver the baby in the water despite much evidence that illustrates little risk to the delivery in the water. However, according other water birth statistics, there is a slight risk that the umbilical cord can become kinked or twisted that might encourage the baby to aspirate in the water. However, the likelihood is very slim. There is also a chance that the umbilical cord could snap as the baby is brought to the mother's chest in instances where the baby's cord is very short. However, knowing this possible complication, doctors and midwifes are typically cautious when it comes to bringing the baby out of the water and do so slowly and fluidly instead of just jerking the baby upwards. 

There are many benefits for a water birth including the fact that water is soothing and presents a more mild and comfortable atmosphere for a laboring mother that is opting for a natural child birth. The stages of labor experienced in the water actually seem to increase the woman's energy, which can provide for a more successful birthing experience. The buoyancy from the water can help promote more efficient uterine contractions and better blood circulation, which is why these water birth statistics show less mothers who bleed or hemorrhage during labor and birthing the baby. Water also seems to alleviate the stress hormones that make birthing more stressful and can instead release the endorphins, which help with the pain. The benefits for the baby from a water birth include providing the baby with a similar environment as the amniotic sac. This also eases the stress of the birth and provides reassurance and security for the baby and the mother. 


Related Article: Pain Management During Labor and Delivery >>