Mayo’s discontinuation of water births has local effect

 Veterans Memorial Hospital Administrator Mike Myers, RN, was informed recently that the Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare has made the decision to discontinue water births. This decision also affects Veterans Memorial Hospital locally as the Waukon Mayo Clinic physicians are the ones who deliver babies in the birthing tub at the hospital.
In an August 12 news release, Mayo stated this decision follows a joint opinion issued by the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which, in brief, indicates underwater deliveries should only be done in the context of a clinical trial.  
Mayo also stated they recognize that many patients have appreciated having water births as an option for their delivery and may feel disappointed by this decision. However, women will still be able to use water immersion while in labor and may choose this technique to aid in relaxation and pain management, but the birth itself will not be performed while in the water.
Veterans Memorial Hospital has been offering the birthing tub as a birthing option since 2002, with great popularity and success. Numerous mothers have chosen this form of natural child birth for all of the benefits it offers in addition to the pain relief and relaxation it provides.
“We are greatly saddened to have to discontinue offering water birth as one of our birthing options,” stated Diane Allison, RN, OB Supervisor at Veterans Memorial Hospital. “Our moms have loved this option and have even travelled from many miles away just for this opportunity. But we need to follow this decision at this time, with hopes that one day we may be able to offer water births again.”
Since Veterans Memorial Hospital’s complete renovation of the maternity services department did include whirlpool tubs in each private suite, all moms will still have the option of laboring in water to help ease the pain and pressure of labor.
“Not only was our Maternity Services Department recently been redecorated for the comfort and convenience of our families, but we have also added many other forms of pain management such as complementary massages and the recent addition of nitrous oxide for managing labor,” added Allison. “The nitrous oxide option offers non-invasive, quick acting, short lasting pain relief and is completely controlled by the laboring mom herself. We have had numerous moms in the last year really appreciate this new form of pain management. It is fortunate that we can offer another non-invasive option for our laboring patients.”
For more information, consult a local medical provider or call Diane Allison, RN, OB Supervisor at Veterans Memorial Hospital, at 563-568-3411.