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Neonatal outcomes of waterbirth: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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  • Published on:
    How a Belgian daily paper informed its readers about the contents of the review on waterbirth

    Le Soir, one of Belgium's leading French language newspapers (1), headlined the front page of its 23 May 2016 edition with "Birth in water: a dangerous new fashion." Page 6 was devoted to the review by Taylor et al; the subtitle said "New study underlines the dangers of drowning and pulmonary infection for babies; no benefit from this fashionable birthing technique". I was asked that afternoon, in my capacity of advise...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Re: Water births: adverse events for the baby are rare but devastating
    • Alastair Sutcliffe, Professor
    • Other Contributors:
      • Henry Taylor, Ira Kleine, Susan Bewley, Eva Loucaides

    We are grateful for the interest in our paper and the opportunity to refute the suggestion that it is falsely reassuring. Our paper provides a fair and accurate representation of the best available data; it concludes that "this systematic review and meta-analysis did not identify definitive evidence that waterbirth causes harm to neonates ... However, there is currently insufficient evidence to conclude that there are no...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Water births: adverse events for the baby are rare but devastating

    The overall tone of this systematic review is to reassure the reader that waterbirths are safe; this is not justified by the results which rely almost exclusively on extremely poor quality retrospective cohort studies. Different study designs have significant differences in their susceptibility to bias and the authors have largely ignored this issue. Larger, non-randomised studies, more prone to bias, carry more weight ; n...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.