U-M School of Nursing researchers find water births to be as safe as land births

Mom with baby

A new study found that water births are no more risky than land births, and that women in the water group sustain fewer first and second-degree tears.

University of Michigan researchers analyzed 397 waterbirths and 2025 land births from two midwifery practices. There were no differences in outcomes between waterbirth and land birth for neonatal intensive care admissions, and postpartum hemorrhage rates were similar for both groups.

“The long and short of it is that if you use proper techniques. . . the outcomes are very good,” said Lisa Kane Low, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM, FAAN, professor of nursing and senior author on the paper. “They mirror what we see in international studies of water birth.”

Ruth Zielinski, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM, clinical associate professor of nursing and study co-author,  said more facilities should offer water birth and have guidelines for implementing it.

Read more about the study from Michigan News.