Health Sciences & Medicine
Pages 8 (2008 words)
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In 1993, the UK's Department of Health published a report that stated that birthing choices available to women should include that of labouring and/or giving birth under water. As a result of this initiative, more than three-quarters of NHS hospitals have installed birthing pools to provide this option for mother's-to-be.


Other professionals declare that water birth is not without its problems and, due to a lack of clear evidence, still believe that there are potential risks involved for the child.
This paper will be critically analysing the environment of water birth in its social context, taking into account the physiology, psychology and spirituality of childbirth. By first considering its historical aspects, the essay will then reflect on recent research that indicate the benefits of water birth for both the mother and the child, the beliefs and opinions of those who fear this approach, recent research and media reports, and finally a brief look at both psychological and spiritual considerations.
Although it has only been relatively recent that the initiatives of using warm-water pools for labour and childbirth have been introduced into Western culture, there are records of women giving birth in shallow sea water in the South Pacific Islands, and also of Egyptian Pharaohs being born in the waters of the Nile. And, throughout the world today, there are many cultures that use water as a medium for birthing, due to the belief that it is a natural environment for child birth (Susanna Napierala pp. 67-74).
In the 1960s, Igor Charkiosky, a Russian researcher, conducted extensive research into both the safety and benefits of water birth. ...
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