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.
‘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?