Water births and conventional births compared

US study finds similar outcomes, and water births may lead to fewer lacerations

Water births do not appear to put women or babies at increased risk and may even reduce the odds of perineal lacerations, a US study suggests.

Baby in water

A retrospective review of data on 397 water births and 2025 conventional births, taking place at large midwifery practices at two US hospitals, showed no difference in Apgar scores or admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit, the researchers said.

Apgar scores of less than seven at one minute after birth were seen in 8.3% of those having conventional births and 10.3% of babies