Eriksson, Ladfors, Mattsson, et al. "Warm tub bath during labour: A study of 1385 women with prelabour rupture of membranes after 34 weeks of gestation." Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavia, August 1996, Vol. 75, No. 7, pp 642-644 Authors: and others
The goal of this study was to evaluate the influence of a bath on infectious morbidity in mothers and neonates in women with premature rupture of membranes after 34 weeks gestation.
A nonrandomized study of 1385 healthy women took place. In the first stage of labor 538 women wanted a bath while 847 did not. The women awaited spontaneous contractions up to 24 to 72 hours after the rupture of membranes before labor was induced with oxytocin. Internal examinations of the cervix were avoided until onset of active labor or until the time induction was planned.
The authors found that chorioamnionitis during labor occurred in 1.1% of the women in the bath group and in 0.2% in the reference group. Postpartum endometritis was found in three cases both in the bath group and in the reference group. The frequency of neonates receiving antibiotics was 3.7% in the bath group and 4.8% in the reference group.
The conclusions are that a tub bath did not increase the risk of maternal or neonatal infection even after premature rupture of the membranes and prolonged latency.
Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 1 Issue 45, Nov 5, 1999)
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