In some aspects of life, it seems like we’ve come full circle.
While all births used to happen at home, many without the help of a doctor, the pendulum swung in the other direction, making hospital birth the most popular option. Now, some parents are choosing to have their births at home again with the help of a midwife and/or doula. These home births can take various forms, some traditional, some less so.
Water birth is one popular option for pregnant women, but experts are now warning that it’s important to watch out for some serious risks.
Legionnaire’s disease is a bacterial form of pnuemonia that’s spread through contaminated water rather from person to person.
Recently, several infants have contracted the disease after water births in home tubs that carried the bacteria.
Experts say infants contracting Legionnaire’s disease through underwater birth isn’t surprising, and there are things parents who want to give birth this way can do to reduce risk.
One of the most important things is to make sure the temperature of the water does not invite bacteria.
Another is to start labor underwater but ultimately give birth outside of it.
No matter what, parents should do research, decide what’s right for them and keep an eye out for any symptoms that require medical attention.