Birthspirit’s Waterbirth Workshop: An Open Access Resource

BirthspiritWaterbirthCroppedBirthspirit’s Waterbirth Workshop provides the opportunity to establish and/or enhance evidence-informed practice around the safe and effective use of water during labour and/or birth). It is designed for health professionals but it is anticipated that women exploring the waterbirth option will also find it informative.

It is suggested that the two Lectures (narrated by Dr Maggie Banks) are viewed first as the context of the other components of the Worskhop are referred to in these. Please note, the ‘Leave a Reply’ at the bottom of this page replaces the Discussion Forums referred to in the Lectures.

You will get most out of this workshop if you take time to reflect on each of the resources and share your confusions and insights with others, for example:

  • Do I offer waterbirth in my practice? If not, why not?
  • What resources do I need to make this an option for women?
  • Do I promote physiological birth to well women in my practice?
  • What skills do I need to develop to be able to support a woman during waterbirth?

Print handouts are available here – Lectures and Bibliography.


Lecture references

Banks M. (2009) Waterbirth in New Zealand: herstory and politics. Birthspirit Midwifery Journal, 1: 13-19.

Bovbjerg M. Cheyney M. Everson C. (2016). Maternal and newborn outcomes following waterbirth: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009 Cohort. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 61(1): 11-20.

Burns EE, Boulton MG, Cluett E, Cornelius VR, Smith, L. A. (2012). Characteristics, interventions, and outcomes of women who used a birthing pool: a prospective observational study. Birth, 39: 192–202. doi:10.1111/j.1523-536X.2012.00548.x

Church LK. (1989). Water birth: one birthing center’s observations. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 34: 165–170. doi: 10.1016/0091-2182(89)90076-1.

Cluett ER, Burns E. Immersion in water in labour and birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD000111. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000111.pub3.

Dahlen HG, Dowling H, Tracy M, et al. (2013). Maternal and perinatal outcomes amongst low risk women giving birth in water compared to six birth positions on land. A descriptive cross sectional study in a birth centre over 12 years. Midwifery, 29(7):759-764.

Davies R, Davis D, Pearce M, et al. (2015). The effect of waterbirth on neonatal mortality and morbidity. Women and Birth, 28(1): S11-S12 [Abstract]. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2015.07.047.

Franzin L, Carlo Scolfaro C, Daniela Cabodi D, et al. (2001). Legionella – Legionella pneumophila pneumonia in a newborn after water birth: a new mode of transmission. BRIEF REPORTS CID 2001:33 (1 November) E103-e104.

Garland, D. (2006). Is waterbirth a ‘safe and realistic’ option for women following a previous caesarean section? Completion of a three year data study. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 16(2): 217-220.

Geissbuehler V, Stein S, Eberhard J. (2004). Waterbirths compared with landbirths: an observational study of nine years. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 32(4): 308-314.

Harper B. (2014). Why pediatricians fear waterbirth – Barbara Harper reviews the research on waterbirth safety.

Harper B. (2006). Guideline for a safe water birth Accessed on 16 February 2017 from https://wi.memberclicks.net/assets/documents/Guidelines%20for%20safe%20Water%20use.pdf.

Johnson J, Odent M. (1995). We are all water babies. Celestial Arts: Berkeley, California

Mercer JS, Skovgaard RL,Peareara-Eaves J, et al. (2005). Nuchal cord management and nurse-midwifery practice. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 50(5): 373-379.

Nutter E, Meyer S, Shaw-Battista, et al. (2014). Waterbirth: an intergrative analysis of peer-reviewed literature. Journal of Midwifery &Women’s Health, 59(3): 286-319.

Nutter E, Shaw-Battista J, Marowitz A. (2014) Waterbirth fundamentals for clinicians. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 59: 350–354. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12193.

Odent M. (1983). Birth under water. The Lancet, 322(8365-8366):1476-1477.

Russell K, Walsh D, Scott I, et al. (2014). Effecting change in midwives’ waterbirth practice behaviours on labour ward: An action research study. Midwifery, 30(3): e96-e110.

Sidenbladh E. (1982). Waterbabies. Igor Tjarkovsky and his work. Akademi Literature: Sweden.

Stark MA, Rudell B, Haus G. (2008).Observing position and movements in hydrotherapy: a pilot study. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 37(1): 116-122.

Taylor H, Kleine I, Bewley S, Loucaides E, Sutcliffe A. Neonatal outcomes of waterbirth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Disease in Childhood – Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2016;101:F357-F365.

Zanetti-Dällenbach R, Lapaire O, Frei R, et al. (2006). Water birth: is the water an additional reservoir for group B streptococcus? Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 273: 236-238.

Suggested readings, audioclips and movies

Readings

Banks M. (2009) Waterbirth in New Zealand: herstory and politics. Birthspirit Midwifery Journal, 1: 13-19 gives the historical and political context of waterbirth in New Zealand.

Nutter E, Meyer S, Shaw-Battista, et al. (2014). Waterbirth: an intergrative analysis of peer-reviewed literature. Journal of Midwifery &Women’s Health, 59(3): 286-319 provides a critical analysis of the evidence on maternal and neonatal outcomes of water birth.

Dahlen HG, Dowling H, Tracy M, et al. (2013). Maternal and perinatal outcomes amongst low risk women giving birth in water compared to six birth positions on land. A descriptive cross sectional study in a birth centre over 12 years. Midwifery, 29(7):759-764. This descriptive cross-sectional study looked at perineal trauma, PPH rates and 5-minute Apgar scores amongst well women in a birth centre who waterbirthed compared to six birth positions on land.

Johnson P. (1996a). Birth under water – to breathe or not to breathe. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 103(3): 202-208. Paul Johnston was a Consultant Clinical Physiologist when he wrote this classic article on why healthy newborn babies do not breathe underwater.Last accessed 8 February 2017.

Harper B. (2014). Why pediatricians fear waterbirth – Barbara Harper reviews the research on waterbirth safety. Last accessed 8 February 2017. Barbara Harper’s research review on waterbirth safety. She also examines position statements from various midwifery, obstetric and paediatric organisations.

Tirumalai Kamala. Is giving birth in water bad for the development of the child’s immune system? Last accessed 17 February 2017. Tirumalai is an immunologist with a PhD in mycobacteriology.

Audio clip

This is an interview with Barbara Harper, waterbirth pioneer, midwife and owner of the Waterbirth International website. From 30 seconds to approximately 9 minutes, she discusses her personal history and beginnings with waterbirth. From 14 minutes on (after discussing her book), she talks about the growth of waterbirth, particularly in the USA.


Movies

Eloive’s movie shows waterbirth as a family experience.


Cora’s movie is a good example of uninstructed, physiological pushing.


This movie clip shows infants less than 6 months of age exhibiting the diving reflex when under water.


The birth of Ibis movie shows physiological birth, including the placenta, in a family context.


This is an oral birthstory shows waterbirth as part of the whole birthing experience.from a waterbirthing woman. Told at the Midwifery & Birth Conference in Captown in 2014.


Barbara Harper discusses waterbirth and natural birth in US hospitals. Reflect on how you can ‘normalise’ midwifery care within medically dominated hospital birthing environments.

The recorded Live Classroom movies are currently being edited and will be added to this post when available.


Don’t forget, become a Friend of Birthspirit if you can.

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