Recent media coverage on risks of waterbirth has reinforced the need to ensure robust research on the safety of hydrotherapy in labor and birth, and the importance of appropriate infection protocols. We are saddened to learn of the two infants who contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Arizona after birth in the water. According to media coverage, both infants recovered after receiving antibiotic treatment.

The Midwives Alliance would like to express our sincerest congratulations to Drs. Bovbjerg, Cheyney, and Everson, who have been awarded the 2017 Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health Best Research Article Award for their published paper, “Maternal and Newborn Outcomes Following Waterbirth: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009 Cohort.”

On Wednesday, May 24th 2017, the authors were honored for their work during the awards ceremony at the American College of Nurse-Midwives annual meeting in Chicago, IL. 

MANA Community Manager

A new resource providing guidance on hydrotherapy in labor and birth is now available, thanks to a consensus of maternity care experts, including Midwives Alliance of North America. The resource, A Model Practice Template for Hydrotherapy in Labor and Birth, is a part of a growing body of resources for providers working with families considering hydrotherapy.

Tools and Resources:


A new study on the safety of waterbirth was released in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health on January 20, 2016, authored by MANA Division of Research Coordinator Council members, Drs. Marit Bovbjerg, Melissa Cheyney, and Courtney Everson. This study used data from the MANA Stats project (2004 to 2009) and reported on neonatal and maternal outcomes for 6,534 babies born underwater in home and birth center settings.

Jill Breen CPM, CLC
Justine Clegg MS, LM, CPM
Nasima Pfaffl MA

Largest Study on Waterbirth Finds No Harm to Babies

New Position Statement Compiles Waterbirth Research for Families, Providers

Jill Breen CPM, CLC

The MANA and CfM Joint Position Statement on Water Immersion During Labor and Birth is a position paper written for a broad audience including midwives and other birthcare professionals, consumers, doulas, childbirth educators, and policy makers. It is co-authored by the Midwives Alliance of North America and Citizens for Midwifery.

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