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Key messages

Using water during labour and birth - e.g. shower or bath/pool - as way to relieve pain has been gaining in popularity over many years.

It can lead to decreased use of epidural analgesia, a reduction in the length of the first stage of labour and improved satisfaction with the birthing experience.

Health services and practitioners are encouraged to ensure that women have the option of water use during labour and if appropriate, water birth is available to them. 

This guidance provides practical advice for Victorian maternity and neonatal care providers to support, sustain and expand the use of water during labour and birth.

This guidance aims to:

  • provide qualified, registered practitioner(s) with a safe and supportive framework in which to encourage the use of water during labour and birth
  • assist women to make informed decisions as to whether water use and water birth are suitable for them.


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Centres of Clinical Excellence: Women and Children

Page last updated: 16 Jun 2021

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