Objective: To determine the effect of water immersion on labour and delivery and on the health of the mother and the newborn.
Methods: An observational study was conducted in primiparous women who had used water immersion during labour at San Juan de la Cruz Hospital, Spain. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi-square or Fisher’s test, Student’s t-test or Mann Whitney U test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) or Kruskal Wallis test. The behaviour of quantitative variables over time was studied with the Student’s t-test for paired samples or the Wilcoxon test.
Results: The study included 71 women, with a mean pain score (maximum of 10) of 8.35 ± 1.32 immediately before water immersion versus 5.79 ± 1.8 after 30 minutes of water immersion (p < 0.001). Deliveries were eutocic in 84.5%. An Apgar index score of ≥ 7 at one minute of life was obtained in 98.6% of the newborns.
Conclusion: Water immersion during labour appeared to be useful in reducing pain and maintaining good health indicators.