Water birth: microbiological colonisation of the newborn, neonatal and maternal infection rate in comparison to conventional bed deliveries

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2004 Jul;270(1):6-9. doi: 10.1007/s00404-002-0467-4. Epub 2003 Sep 3.


Introduction: The risk of infectious complications after water birth which might be due to water contaminated by faecal bacteria or environmental microbes from the water supply system is still in discussion.

Materials and methods: We performed a microbiological study comparing neonatal bacterial colonisation after water birth to conventional bed deliveries with or without relaxation bath. In all three groups (96 deliveries) we isolated most frequently from ear and palate of the newborns Staphylococcus epidermidis, E. coli and enterococci, which belong to the normal vaginal flora.

Results: Neonatal outcome, infantś and maternal infection rate did not differ between the three groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Baths*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Ear / microbiology
  • Enterococcus / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / microbiology*
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / isolation & purification
  • Water Microbiology*