Topic Overview

Labouring in water

Some hospitals and birthing centres offer tubs or whirlpools for labouring. If yours does, talk to your health professional about labouring in water. The warm water supports your body and helps you to relax. For many women, labouring in water has been proved to:footnote 1

  • Reduce labour pain.
  • Reduce the use of or need for pain medicine.
  • Lower the mother's blood pressure.

Some time before you are ready to push your baby out, you will have help getting out of the tub.

Delivering in water

A water birth is the delivery of a baby while in a tub or pool of warm water. More research is needed to find out the benefits and risks to delivering in water.

If you are thinking of a water birth, discuss it with your doctor or midwife.

Related Information



  1. Cunningham FG, et al. (2010). Abnormal labor. In Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ed., pp. 464–489. New York: McGraw-Hill.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMay 22, 2015