Using water for labour and birth

Megan Cooper, Shea Caplice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of the use of water immersion for labour and birth. It tracks the history and development of the use of water immersion for labour and birth over the past three decades, reviews some of the most recent literature that informs practice, and explores the physiology, potential problems and issues related to practice. Women's perspectives on their experiences of using water for labour and birth and recommendations for the safe use of water immersion are included.

The key principles of a midwifery model of care that underpin this
chapter are that:
• pregnancy and childbirth are normal life events for most women
• midwifery care is woman centred
• continuity of care should be provided throughout the entire childbearing experience
• the woman-midwife relationship is a partnership based on:
• trust, reciprocity and respect for the expertise of both the woman and the midwife
• the woman's personal knowledge of her health history being considered as important as that of the midwife's
• both partners having equal status and shared meaning through mutual understanding
• the sharing of knowledge and power between the partners.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMidwifery Preparation for Practice
EditorsSally Pairman, Sally Tracy, Hannah Dahlen, Lesley Dixon
Place of PublicationChatswood, New South Wales
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780729597852
ISBN (Print)9780729543811
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2022


  • anxiety
  • continuity of care
  • fear
  • pain perception
  • pain relief
  • partnership
  • physiological birth
  • relaxing effect
  • water birth
  • water immersion


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