Systematic Review of Case Reports of Poor Neonatal Outcomes With Water Immersion During Labor and Birth
Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing
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Water immersion is a valuable comfort measure in labor, that can be used during the first or second stage of labor. Case reports of adverse outcomes create suspicion about water birth safety, which restricts the availability of water birth in the United States. The objective of this study was to synthesize the information from case reports of ad- verse water birth events to identify practices associated with these outcomes, and to identify patterns of negative outcomes. The research team conducted a systematic search for cases reports of poor neonatal outcomes with water immersion. Eligible manuscripts reported any adverse neonatal outcome with immersion during labor or birth; or excluded if no adverse outcome was reported or the birth reported was unattended. A qualitative narrative synthesis was conducted to identify patterns in the reports. There were 47 cases of adverse outcomes from 35 articles included in the analysis. There was a pattern of cases of Pseudomonas and Legionella, but other infections were uncommon. There were cases of unexplained neonatal hyponatremia following water birth that need further inves- tigation to determine the mechanism that contributes to this complication. The synthesis was limited by reporting information of interest to pediatricians with little informa- tion about water birth immersion practices. These data did not support concerns of water aspiration or cord rupture, but did identify other potential risks. Water immersion guidelines need to address infection risk, optimal management of compromised water-born infants, and the potential association between immersion practice and hyponatremia.
Adverse neonatal outcome; Obstetrical; Water birth
Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing
Systematic Review of Case Reports of Poor Neonatal Outcomes With Water Immersion During Labor and Birth.
Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 34(4),