Monday, November 29, 2021

Landmark Study on Safety of Waterbirth

A landmark study by Uplift Lab of Oregon State University, a Research and Reproductive Equity Laboratory, offers important data supporting the safety of waterbirth. The press release first explains the significance of the study and its data set: 

[The authors] compared 35,060 pregnancies from all 50 states: 17,530 water births and 17,530 non-water births. A unique aspect of the OSU study was that they were able to match pregnancies within the two groups on more than 80 covariables, such as age, education level and pregnancy characteristics. This propensity score method ensured a direct comparison between the two groups.

The authors offer a summary of the key findings here. They also offer a link to request the full study from the researchers. The press release summaries these findings: 

In the propensity-matched analysis, the only maternal outcome where water births resulted in a slightly elevated risk was postpartum uterine infection. Water births were associated with an additional six postpartum uterine infections per 10,000 water births compared with non-water births. However, there was no increase in risk of being hospitalized for infection.

 

Furthermore, water births were associated with lower risks for several other maternal outcomes, including 64 fewer hemorrhages per 10,000 births, and 28 fewer hospitalizations in the first six weeks.

 

Water births were associated with 20 additional umbilical cord avulsions per 10,000 births. Avulsions occur when the umbilical cord snaps before it can be tied off and can cause hemorrhages. However, there were no infant deaths from cord avulsions and no difference in overall death rates between the two groups. There were 26 fewer infant hospitalizations per 10,000 water births, suggesting that the midwives attending these births successfully managed cases of avulsion.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/gender_law/2021/11/landmark-study-on-safety-of-waterbirth.html

Healthcare, Reproductive Rights, Science | Permalink

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