When we asked, women responded: women's views, experiences, perceptions and access to water immersion for labour and birth

Megan Cooper, Jane Warland

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Water immersion is an increasingly attractive option for labouring and birthing women. However, to date there has been very little research to investigate women's views, experiences and perceptions of water immersion at a local or global level which begs the quesiton, why haven’t we asked?
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore women's experiences, views, perceptions and access to water immersion for labour and/or birth as understood by women themselves.
Methods: This mixed methods study is currently underway. Almost 900 women who had used water immersion completed an online survey. The survey captured the experiences, interventions and outcomes of using water immersion, as recalled by women themselves.
Results: Survey findings support the current limited literature base in that women shared overwhelmingly positive experiences of using water immersion during labour/birth. In recalling these experiences, participants identified that intervention rates and adverse events were minimal. Water, in women's view, reduced the need for pharmacological analgesia, facilitated a sense of control, safety, privacy and protection and allowed for comfort and a sense of weightlessness. Being told to get out of the water was noted as the most significant concern whilst women indicated that they would change their chosen place of birth to access water immersion. Almost 90% of women suggested that they would recommend water immersion to other women. Full findings of the survey phase will be presented during this presentation.
Conclusion and implications: This study sought to close an evident paucity in the research by giving women the opportunity to share information about their views, experiences and perceptions of water immersion. The findings will inform future recommendations, research and more particularly policies and guidelines relating to the option.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberS32
Number of pages1
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Water Immersion
  • Labour
  • Birth

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