A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) in Forfar has been told by an expert witness that births in which birthing pools are used are “experimental” and should only be used in clinical trials.
Transport to hospital also a concern
The inquiry was hearing evidence about the death of a baby girl who was a few hours old and had been born in a community midwife unit. The expert witness, Dr. Peter Fowlie, is a paediatric consultant and also the regional director for neonatal transport. He said that if specialist doctors had examined the baby earlier, her life could possibly have been saved.
In Scotland, water births are offered to expectant mothers who are going to give birth at home, in hospital and in midwife units. Dr. Fowlie said that there was an ongoing debate about the safety of delivering babies in water, although there was evidence that during labour, being in water could help the mother.
The inquiry had previously heard evidence that the midwife-run unit was in an emergency response blackspot. Travelling by specialist transport to Dundee, the nearest suitable hospital, could take hours. Dr. Fowlie made the point that a small number of babies who were unexpectedly born in a critical condition, even with a neo-natal unit available in the facility, would still die.
Concerns and evidence on water births
Some of the most common concerns raised by clinicians about water births include water aspiration, possible infection in the baby and mother, and the body temperature control of both mother and baby.
If you’re wondering where can I find a contract research organization, you’ll be pleased to learn a number of contract research organization options exist and carry out research in these kinds of areas. However, one of the more recent papers was from two academic researchers, Kate Young and Sue Kruske of Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies at the University of Queensland.
They carried out a review of the evidence on the safety of giving birth in water. They wanted to find out how valid the concerns about safety were. They found that there wasn’t much of an evidence base for a lot of the concerns.
However, the debate continues, and many paediatricians believe that water births are not the safest way of giving birth.