Specialties Ob/Gyn


We are getting lots of requests from patients for jacuzzi's to be used in labor. Can any of you who currently use "hydrotherapy" in labor please share your experiences and any information about merchants who supply/install the tubs?


Robin MC

12 Posts

Hi Raizie, I don't have any info regarding the purchasing or installation of jacuzzi tubs but I do work at a hospital that uses the jacuzzi as an important part of early labor pain control. Our unit has these tubs in every room and they are used very frequently. I find it perfect for when ladies are just getting into the stronger part of their labor. Our institution uses a lot of epidural anesthesia and the jacuzzi often provides distraction and true pain relief to get patients to that magical 4-6 centimeters when they can get their block. I wholeheartedly support the tubs and think they are a valuable resource for laboring women.


4 Posts

In Australia women are often encouraged to immerse themselves in a jacuzzi style bathtub right up until the crowning when most larger establishments do not allow waterbirths. However, correct me if I have my facts confused, but I have always been under the impression that jaccuzzi's (presumably with air bubbles) are to be avoided due to the possibility of air embolism which may occur via the opened cervix which can cause maternal death. Otherwise water immersion during labour seems to be very efficient in decreasing the amountof pain relief required during the labour.


1 Post


Hydrotherapy has been shown to be highly effective for increasing relaxation and in some studies decreasing need for pharmacologic pain relief measures. There are studies which show decreased lengths of labor as well (only if provided after 5 cms - if given earlier it can actually slow progress). Alot has been published in the UK re. waterbirths-every birthing unit is required to have a tub available to laboring/birthing women. There is quite a bit published, as this has been a hot topic for a while. One of the biggest concerns has been re. infection. That is were the concern about jacuzzis comes in. It's more difficult to clean the jets/hoses. This seems to be only a concern if you plan to do births in a tub. There are good protocols in place (re. cleaning, monitoring of moms and babies etc) with excellent results re. rates of infection/outcomes, if just laboring in water. I've never seen anything in the literature about amniotic fluid embolism from tub bubbles. There's an excellent contact here in the US for hydrotherapy/waterbirth info including tub rental/purchase which is: Global Maternal/Child Health Association &/o Waterbirth International. I've misplaced their address/phone but they may have a web page. Located in Oregon I think. Many OB conferences have tubs on display now, lots of companies making them. There are lots of conciderations (ie. weight bearing of the floor, emptying time, how deep the mom can get, supportive devices, temp. control etc) Hope this helps.


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