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Water births

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The health watchdog in the UK has said that all expectant mothers should be offered water births – as they are the safest form of pain relief during labour.

According to guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellent (NICA), using water as pain relief during labour is more effective than anything other than an epidural.

“There is a perception that water is just nice,” said Dr. Julia Sanders, a consultant midwife and member of the group which drew up the guidelines. “But it is the most effective form of pain relief barring an epidural in labour. I would like to see more women using water and fewer women using the types of pain relief that are less effective”.

The watchdog added that using a bath at home is just as effective as a specialist birthing pool.