Immersion in water for pain relief and the risk of intrapartum transfer among low risk nulliparous women: secondary analysis of the Birthplace national prospective cohort study
Jennifer Hollowell (NPEU (Former member))
Mirjam Lukasse (NPEU (Former member))
Labour and delivery
Immersion in water during labour is an important non-pharmacological method of managing labour pain, particularly in midwifery-led settings where pharmacological methods are limited.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between immersion for pain relief and risk of transfer before birth and other maternal outcomes in low risk women having a first baby
Immersion in water is associated with a significantly lower risk of transfer before birth
For births planned in freestanding midwifery units (FMU) immersion in water is associated with a lower risk of intrapartum caesarean section and a higher chance of a straightforward vaginal birth.
Overall, immersion in water is associated with fewer interventions during labour but the effect varies across birth settings, with the least effect seen in planned home births and a larger effect in planned FMU births.
Lukasse M, Rowe R, Townend J, Knight M, Hollowell J.Immersion in water for pain relief and the risk of intrapartum transfer among low risk nulliparous women: secondary analysis of the Birthplace national prospective cohort study. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth.
2014;14(1):60 Link to article