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If You Thought You Could Have a Water Birth at the Hospital, Think Again

Photograph by Twenty20

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is once again re-emphasizing its recommendation that women should not give birth in the water. The ACOG says it's OK to labor in the water, but when it comes to the actual delivery of the baby, women should get out of the tub and onto dry land.

Water births have been rising in popularity. More and more hospitals had been offering the option for women with uncomplicated pregnancies, but after this latest set of recommendations, those options may soon be disappearing.

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According to the organization, there is still not enough research to determine whether water births are safe for both the mother and the baby, and if there are even any health benefits to this method of delivery.

DeKalb Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia, is just one of the hospitals that's following the ACOG's recommendations and has announced that they will now be limiting water birth deliveries for women with due dates after October 31.

But that doesn't mean all practitioners—or moms-to-be—will listen.

Dr. Joseph R. Wax, chair of ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice, tells Today, "While we still recommend delivery on land and not in water, we understand that some women and their providers may choose not to follow this recommendation."

At the end of the day, whether you choose to birth at the hospital or at home, families will choose to do what feels right for them.

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