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Water birth not recommended, says Health Ministry

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, December 19, 2017 | 12:03 pm
Water birth not recommended, says Health Ministry

One of the currently popular birth methods is water birth, where the mother gives birth in a tub filled with warm water. (Shutterstock/File)

Giving birth to a baby is a risky business for both mother and the child. Therefore before choosing a birth method, mothers should be fully aware of the risks they involve.

One of the currently popular birth methods is the water birth, where the mother gives birth in a tub filled with warm water. Such a method is said to have such benefits as easing the birth process and lessening its pain, as well as making the baby feel that they are still comfortably inside the womb when they are actually in the water.

According to Dr. Ali Sungkar, SpOG-KFM, water births have been carried out by at least 5,000 to 7,000 mothers worldwide. But, as it is an alternative birth method, it is not taught in schools of medicine.

As reported by kompas.com, water birth has its risks, including drowning of the baby. There is also the risk of infections transmitted through the water.

Read also: Five things you need to know about water birth

Ali said this infection risk could also happen during the lotus birth, a method where parents don't cut the baby's umbilical cord allowing it to naturally separate itself from the placenta.

"Who can guarantee there is no infection [?] If the mother defecates the water will [have] to be replaced. How much water is needed to replace it each time [this happens]? Then, how do you keep the temperature the same?" said Ali during an event in Jakarta on Thursday.

The Health Ministry's family health director Eni Gustina added that the ministry did not recommend water birth as a birth method.

Eni said the ministry had even instructed some parties who claimed water birth was safe to come to its office.

"One of the causes of death is infection. Who can guarantee the water is sterile [?] Even though it's warm, bacteria can still live there. We don't recommend it," said Eni. (kes)

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