I am so excited to be able to offer water birth and hydrotherapy for labor to women of Abilene and the surrounding areas. Water immersion during labor has been found to be a great pain reliever and in clinical trials has been found to have “a significant reduction in the epidural/anesthesia rate” for pain relief. Most women admit that they are able to relax, feel more in control and are able to be more involved in their birth and the decision-making process. Hydrotherapy is proven to reduce anxiety and increase mobility. A major benefit is that with the use of water during birth, women have a higher rate of keeping an intact perineum and a decreased chance of receiving an episiotomy. Water births have not been associated with lower 5 & 10-minute APGAR scores, neonatal infection or admissions to NICU. While we don’t advise hydrotherapy until active labor is achieved, there is evidence that proves that the first stage of labor is shortened by at least 30 minutes or more. Some women in clinical trials even said that they were “more satisfied” with their birth experience than previous births without the use of hydrotherapy.
The Cochrane Collaboration; “Immersion in water in labour and birth (Review)”; Cluett ER, Burns E; 2009; http://www.thecochranelibrary.com
The Royal College of Midwives; “Evidence Based Guidelines for Midwifery-Led Care in Labour: Immersion in Water for Labour and Birth”; 2012; Shaw-Batista; 2017; Nutter et. al.; 2014; Gayiti; 2015