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Can a water birth lead to birth injuries?

Expectant parents in the Houston area have many options when it comes to delivering their baby. The traditional hospital birth is still one of the most popular ways to have the baby but options such as water birth have recently been introduced. It is important to learn what the dangers can be during the procedure and whether birth trauma is possible.

A water birth is where a woman delivers her baby in a water-filled tub. This is a popular option for women who choose to deliver in birth centers and at home. But there are dangers that the new baby and mother can face from a water birth. First, there can be an increased risk of infection. A baby who is born into water may swallow the water. The water may be contaminated with feces and other matter which can cause an infection in the baby. Also, personnel may not have sterilized the tub properly which can also lead to a serious infection.

Second, the baby may have their first bowel movement before they are born and then inhale the fluid that is now contaminated. This can cause the baby to have respiratory problems. When a woman delivers outside of water doctors and other medical personnel are trained to notice the fluid. But when a woman delivers under water this can be missed.

Other risks to delivering in a tub include pneumonia that develops in the baby 24 to 48 hours after birth caused because of contaminated water or the fecal contamination problem discussed above. There is also an increased risk of drowning and a tearing of the umbilical cord that can go unnoticed. Houston parents whose baby suffered injury from a water birth may be able to seek compensation from responsible parties.

Source: Parents.com, "What are the dangers of water birth?", Bekka Besich, accessed on Aug. 15, 2015

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