Birthillogics # 4 – water and scar pain

sara_wickham_birthillogicsToday’s illogical policy is about water birth and scar pain.

It isn’t necessarily widespread, but I’ve now heard this one several times, from three different areas of the world.

Midwives and birth folk are reporting that a rather curious policy is being imposed upon women who have previously had a caesarean section and are seeking a vaginal birth with a subsequent baby (VBAC).

These women are ‘allowed’ and in some cases positively encouraged to have an epidural. But they are being told that they are not ‘allowed’ to use a water pool or bath for pain relief in labour.

4734329552_c3a0f0fc79The rationale?

‘In case the pain relieving effect of the water masks the pain of a uterine rupture’.

Notwithstanding the fact that uterine rupture isn’t always heralded by pain (and is not common and is not nearly as significant a risk as some people are being led to believe, and if you would like to read more on this then check out this fab blog post by Rachel Reed), such a policy makes no sense.

Unless you believe that water is a more effective form of pain relief than epidural analgesia?!

In which case, maybe we should be spending less on anaesthetists and more on birth pools?


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photo credit: 4734329552 via photopin (license)

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