BUFFALO, N.Y.-- The use of birthing pools during the early stages of labor may be helpful for some women, but doctors at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say in-water deliveries may not be safe.
Researchers found no proof that water deliveries are good for mom or baby and could actually increase the risk of serious health problems.
Now although these are rare, some babies have developed infections, inhaled tub water, and had difficulties regulating body temperature.
Other risks included increased chance of umbilical cord damage and potential for asphyxia and seizures.
Experts say women laboring in water should be monitored closely. is
Researchers believe it adding a second antibiotic at birth, especially during a c-section, could help decrease the risk of infection after surgery. 1,000 women undergoing a c-section were given an IV of azithromycin or a placebo along with a standard antibiotic.
12% of the placebo group developed an infection within six weeks compared to only 6% of the dual antibiotic group. Experts say more studies are needed before these changes become standard.
There has also been concern that intense exercise may limit the supply of blood and nutrients to a fetus, but researchers from the International Olympic Committee found exercise in late pregnancy does not raise the risk of abnormal fetal heart rate, premature birth, or induced labor.
However, elite athletes may want to limit high impact training during their first trimester.
There was also some evidence showing that the first stage of labor is shorter in women who exercise regularly and may reduce the need for a c-section.