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Home Wellness Research Birth Purposely Breaking Water Doesn’t Speed Delivery

Purposely Breaking Water Doesn’t Speed Delivery

Friday, 22 January 2010 11:24

A large review of 14 randomized controlled studies involving more than 5,000 women suggests that a common procedure in labor, intentionally breaking the water, has no effect in reducing the length of labor and no health benefit to the baby. It was concluded that the procedure did not shorten labor, decrease the need for Pitocin, diminish pain, reduce the use of instrumentation in delivery or help prevent serious maternal injury or death. The report found that the procedure might be associated with an increase in C-sections and a reduced risk of a lower reading on the Apgar scale, which rates babies’ conditions at birth. Dr. Rebecca Smyth, the review’s lead author, says, “We advise women whose labors are progressing normally to request their waters be left intact. There is no evidence that leaving the waters intact causes any problems, and there is not sufficient evidence to suggest any benefit to either themselves or their baby.”

cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab006167.html nytimes.com/2007/10/30/health/research/30chil.html

Pathways Issue 24 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #24.

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