What is this article about?
Water births, or water immersion in labour, first became popular back in the 1970s when it was noticed that women relaxing in water gave birth more easily. Initial fears about the baby drowning were unfounded and water birth has been growing in popularity ever since. McIntosh (2011) suggests that the demand for water birth is now so great that it should be regarded as a core midwifery competence. When evaluating the research, it’s important to make a clear distinction between water immersion and water birth. Water immersion is when the labouring woman remains in a pool of warm water during the first stage of labour but gets out before the baby is born. Water birth is when the mother remains in the water until the birth is complete and the baby is safely brought to the surface.