Objective: To study the significance of some clinical parameters related to neonatal 'swimming' (water therapy) during hospitalization.
Methods: Normal newborns were randomly divided into two groups to observe their birth weight, weight before discharge,time of first defecation and meconium turning yellow. Group one was the swimming (study) group, comprising a total of 223 newborns including 127 babies delivered after spontaneous vaginal delivery and 96 babies after Cesarean section. Group two was the bathing (control) group, comprising 154 newborns including 109 babies delivered after spontaneous vaginal delivery and 45 babies after Cesarean section.
Results: There was no significant difference in birth weight between the two groups (p > 0.05). However, the mean weight before discharge of the babies in the study group was 3.29 + 0.35 and 3.51 + 0.40 kg, spontaneous vaginal delivery vs. Cesarean section, compared with 3.09 + 0.38 and 3.17 + 0.48 kg, respectively, in the control group (p < 0.01). The corresponding mean times of meconium turning yellow were 39.15 + 15.88 and 39.02 + 13.60 h in the study group compared with 48.01 + 19.42 and 55.67 + 25.05 h in the control group. This difference was significant (p < 0.01), as was the difference between the time of first defecation (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Neonatal swimming can accelerate babies' growth in the early stage.