Aims: This study compares neonatal and maternal morbidity
and mortality between waterbirths and landbirths
(spontaneous singleton births in cephalic presentation,
vacuum extractions are excluded).
Methods: In this observational study covering nine
years, standardized questionnaires were used to document
9,518 spontaneous singleton cephalic presentation
births, of which 3,617 were waterbirths and 5,901
Results: Landbirths show higher rates of episiotomies as
well as third and fourth degree perineal lacerations.
Waterbirths show a higher rate of births “without injuries”,
first and second-degree perineal lacerations, vaginal
and labial tears. After a waterbirth, there is an average
loss of 5.26 g/l blood; this is significantly less than landbirths
where there is an 8.08 g/l blood loss on average.
In 69.7% waterbirths required no analgesic, compared to
58.0% for landbirths. Water and landbirths do not differ
with respect to maternal and neonatal infections. After
landbirths, there was a higher rate of newborn complications
with subsequent transfer to an external NICU.
During the study, there were neither maternal nor neonatal
deaths related to spontaneous labor.
Conclusions: Waterbirths are associated with low risks
for both mother and child when obstetrical guidelines are
The Journal of Perinatal Medicine is a truly international forum covering the entire field of perinatal medicine. It is an essential news source for all those obstetricians, neonatologists, perinatologists and allied health professionals who wish to keep abreast of progress in perinatal and related research.
01 Jan 1973
Eduardo Bancalari, Joseph Chappelle, Frank A. Chervenak, Vincenzo D'Addario, Mehmet R. Genc, Anne Greenough, Amos Grunebaum, Justin C. Konje, Asim Kurjak M.D., Roberto Romero and Ivica Zalud, MD PhD