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Water Immersion Labour to commence at University Maternity Hospital Limerick

Women are now being offered a wider and better choice by University Maternity Hospital Limerick with the introduction of Water Immersion Labour.

Water Immersion Labour to commence at University Maternity Hospital Limerick

Women are being offered greater choice by University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL) through the introduction of Water Immersion Labour.

 This service will commence by the end of May 2018 for normal-risk women in the newly refurbished home birthing room at UMHL.  Water immersion is part of a range of supports provided in the home birthing room to facilitate natural labour.




 Sandra O’Connor, Clinical Midwifery Manager 3, Labour Ward/Theatre, said the main driver behind the refurbishment of the room was requested from women and the publication of The National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026. The project has had ongoing support from UL Hospitals Chief Executive Officer, Professor Colette Cowan.

Eileen Ronan Acting Director of Midwifery said, “The National Maternity Strategy identifies three care pathways in its model of care, based on the risk profile of women.   The supported care pathway is intended for normal-risk women, with midwives leading and providing care within a multidisciplinary framework.  With this in mind, the opening of the refurbished home birthing room is welcomed.”

 “The first priority is always safe care, therefore we have criteria to facilitate the use of the pool.  An information leaflet is being developed for women, and staff training is progressing. There is already significant interest from women in the Mid-West for the new service.”

 “The pool is only one element of the new space for holistic care aimed at supporting normal birth. The bed does not dominate the room in any way. Women can move from the floor to leaning against the bed, to the shower to using the ball, “ added Ms Ronan.

 Dr Mark Skehan, the Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, said the team at UMHL is looking forward to opening the new labour room to women. 

 “Water Immersion Labour and hydrotherapy can be quite effective for pain relief and a larger element of all of this will be using the room for more natural processes and trying to get more natural birth. We have in addition to the bath, an adjoining shower room, a birthing cube, and birthing balls. This is something of a prototype for us and if it is successful and demand increases, we hope to do the same thing in another labour room, said Dr Skehan.

 Eileen Ronan invites members of the public to attend a session on ‘Water Immersion Labour’, as part of the Public Lecture Series, CERC Building UHL on Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 6 pm.  We look forward to meeting future service users on the night.

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