If you are considering having a water birth, then you'll want to pay special attention to new joint guidelines that were just released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Doctors are warning expectant moms that giving birth in water could be dangerous for your baby.
The report states that as long as moms-to-be are having a normal pregnancy, it's perfectly safe for them to spend the beginning phase of labor in the tub to help with pain and stress management.
However, delivering babies in the water is not beneficial to the health of moms or infants -- and can even be fatal.
If a baby swallows amniotic fluid or fecal matter from the water, serious infections can develop as a result. And there is also the chance that the baby could aspirate and drown.
But if you really do have your heart set on a water birth, don't let these guidelines scare you -- they are simply something else to think about before making a final decision. However, they should be taken seriously, as they are the first professional guidelines put out there on water birth to date.
Again -- keep in mind that the report isn't suggesting you need to eliminate water altogether from your plan. Plenty of moms swear by the tub and how relaxing in the water helps calm them and soothe their muscles. You can still have a natural birth by laboring in the tub and then moving to a bed, couch, or whatever other comfortable place you choose when it's time for your baby to make his or her entrance.
Are you planning on having a water birth? Do these guidelines change your mind about it?
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