The views and perceptions of water immersion for labor and birth from women who had birthed in Australia but had not used the option

Megan Cooper, Jane Warland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Recent research highlights that women experience great benefits from immersing in warm water during labor and birth. While there has been an increase in research examining women’s experiences of using water, there has been little investigation of the views and perceptions of women who have not. The objective of this study was to examine the views and perceptions of water immersion from women who had birthed in Australia but had not used the option. 

METHODS An e-survey was distributed to women using purposive and snowball sampling methods between November 2016 and October 2017. Email, text, social media, and parenting forums maximized recruitment. A total of 395 women who had not used water immersion for labor or birth participated.

RESULTS Three quarters of all women surveyed suggested that they would have considered using the option of water immersion if it was offered to them. Nearly 20% of all women did not know it was an option and, therefore, were only made aware of it as a result of completing this survey. Women indicated that they most often learned about water immersion from a midwife. When asked to rate the benefits and concerns, the majority held very little concern and generally agreed that water immersion would probably provide the associated benefits that are commonly cited in the literature. 

CONCLUSIONS Water immersion offers women many benefits although may not always be discussed antenatally. In light of these results, water immersion could be included in the discussions about labor and birth options antenatally and better supported during labor and birth

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Midwifery
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Childbirth
  • Choice
  • Experience
  • Water immersion
  • Waterbirth

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