Hydrotherapy is a broad term that encompasses many different treatments around the physical properties of water like temperature and pressure. In this article, we explore the use of water during labor. Proponents of water birth claim that it is beneficial in managing discomfort from contractions, that it promotes relaxation and eases stress for your baby during birth. Critics of the practice raise concerns about the safety of water births and risks associated with respiratory issues for the baby, and the risk of infection for both you and your baby. This article examines the evidence and safety of waterbirth, as well as alternative ways to utilize water during labor at home or in a birth center or hospital.

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