Letter: Decision to not allow clinical trial for waterbirths is disappointing
I grew up in small town Iowa and am a family physician in Waukon, which has a population of 3,897. When I arrived in Waukon, I discovered water births were offered at the local hospital.
Not being part of usual family medicine training, I took time to understand the process. My wife even became an enthusiast and, with my partner advising me, I caught my second son in a birthing tub.
Recently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement that water birth is considered experimental and is only to be performed as part of a clinical trial. Our leadership in La Crosse, Wis., enthusiastically set out to design a trial to allow providers to study water births. Unfortunately, the AAP faltered and deemed this an inappropriate subject to study. In turn, Mayo Clinic has decreed there will be no more water births. I must say I am disappointed.
I am disappointed the AAP is too gutless to allow the studies they recommended. I am disappointed safety is cited as the reason for the decision when legal concerns seem more likely. I am disappointed our patients now will ponder giving birth at home with fewer resources to assist them in an emergency. I am disappointed an organization with international fame and clout like Mayo did not support its rural doctors.
Benjamin W. Ross