In April 2014, ACOG (the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and the AAP (the American Academy of Pediatrics) published a joint statement rejecting Water Birth as a safe option for expecting parents.
The news caused many in-hospital birth centers and regular labor and delivery services to ban or slowly phase out water birth when they offered it before (such as Family Beginnings, in Dayton), or to cancel plans of offering it in the future, depriving many families of an increasingly popular comfort measure.
Evidence Based Birth just published a thorough analysis of the evidence used for the ACOG/AAP publication so you can decide what is safe for you and your baby: Evidence on the Safety of Water Birth.
The benefits of delayed cord clamping are becoming better known by expecting parents and care providers. Skin-to-skin is a wonderful part of birth and family bonding, and has been shown to improve infant health and breastfeeding relationships.
You may have been told by your provider that delayed cord clamping and skin-to-skin immediately following birth were incompatible, because gravity would prevent placental transfusion (when your baby continues receiving blood from his placenta) from happening, and that your newborn would have to be placed below his placenta until you were ready to cut the cord, preventing you from holding him right away.
However, this recent study published in the Lancet shows that no matter where your baby is right after birth (lower than your abdomen, or skin-to-skin on your abdomen or chest), placental transfusion still occurs and it is not affected by gravity.
The authors conclude: “Position of the newborn baby before cord clamping does not seem to affect volume of placental transfusion. Mothers could safely be allowed to hold their baby on their abdomen or chest. This change in practice might increase obstetric compliance with the procedure, enhance maternal-infant bonding, and decrease iron deficiency in infancy.”
Delayed Cord Clamping Should Be Standard Practice in Obstetrics