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Water Birth at the UCH Center for Midwifery

The Center for Midwifery at University of Colorado Hospital is the only facility in the Denver metro area that offers water births as a delivery option for expectant mothers.

How is It Different?

In a water birth, women immerse themselves in the warm water of a large tub during labor and through the time of delivery. A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is there to offer support and guidance throughout the process. The nurse midwife also monitors the baby's well-being by listening to the heart beat at regular intervals.

Certified nurse midwife and clinical
instructor Jessica Anderson (at left) cares
for a patient who chose water birth at the
UCH Center for Midwifery.

Many women find that the safe, tranquil environment helps them to relax. Research done on this birthing method suggests that it decreases labor pain, encourages dilation, and reduces tearing of the perineum during birth.

In addition, many who are familiar with both traditional and water delivery methods say that water birth babies appear calmer.

A partner in care

Women can get in and out of the tub, shower, walk, or sit on a birthing ball to help induce labor. They can also choose to receive an epidural or intravenous medication to help them manage pain. A woman can use the warm water to soothe labor, but then elect to deliver outside the tub.

Watch the "water birth" video

Jessica Anderson, a CNM at the Midwifery Center, emphasizes that the center is a "partner in care" with every expectant mother. "We want to provide an experience that is safe and empowering," Anderson says.

For more information

Not every woman is a candidate for water birth. Prenatal evaluations and in-labor assessments determine whether water birth is a safe option.

  • To learn more about water birth, call Jessica Anderson at (720) 985-7349.
  • To make an appointment for a free consultation, call the Center for Midwifery at (720) 848-1700.

This page is adapted from a story that appeared in the UCH Insider, the hospital's candid e-newsletter. The Insider, which is published biweekly, is available to people outside the hospital via a free e-mail subscription. Tyler Smith ( is managing editor of the Insider.

Watch the water birth video!

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