I'm an RN at a teaching hospital that delivers approx 2200-2300 babies per year. I'm doing a little research for our Nurse Practice Council for an issue that people have been having.
Our hospital has waterbirths for several years, and many women take advantage of this wonderful opportunity! So far, no has perfected a system at protecting ourselves from getting wet while helping to catch babies in the tub. (The name escapes me, but our tub is a big hard plastic permanently placed tub with 3 removable/sealable access doors) We wear scrubs and have full arm length plastic gloves, but we don't have a fail proof system. Some midwives have tried the long gloves under the "impervious" disposable blue gowns, with the sterile gloves over, but still end up wet on their arms & scrub top underneath. We all know that the tub water is contaminated with blood and bodily fluids, and we don't feel like we are able to practice universal precautions if we are always getting wet during waterbirths. A lot of our residents are learning to not like waterbirths because of this. So what are people out there doing that works? What brands of PPE/system are people finding reliable?
And one more question about how people practice...do you have moms deliver the placenta in tub or get into bed? Why/why not?
I wear long gloves & an apron for waterbirths. I do not usually get wet. Why are your people getting wet? Maybe interfering too much? Maybe tub is too high or too wide, making it hard to reach her? I like the La Bassine best which holds aout 120 gals.- don't ,know how your tubs dimensions compare to mine.
I check FHT's if she gets out to pee, or walk, or use my waterproof doppler when necessary. I usually hold a facecloth to the rectum during the birth, as most moms like this, but some don't want to be touched & that's fine too. Baby floats up & mama grabs him to her breast. Most moms like to stay in the pool until baby has nursed & placenta has delivered, which is usually fine with me. Only time I would make them get out is if the water is getting too cold, or too red & I need to keep better track of EBL. In the rare instance there would be a SD, I ask the dad to lift her up, so she is dangling over the pool, instead of down in it, just as I would if baby started coming out on the toilet.
Barbara Harper would say that your hands should never go below the surface of the water during a water birth. So, no reason for your staff to be getting so wet.
If you haven't contacted Barbara, I would suggest you start there. She is an amazing resource on water birth and policies.
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