Water immersion in labor and water birth refers to a birth process in which part (or all) of the labor and delivery occurs in a birthing pool. Water births may take place at home, in a birthing center, or in a hospital. A pregnant woman who wishes to try water labor or water birthing can be cared for by an obstetrician, a certified nurse-midwife, or a midwife.
The scopes of practice vary for different providers and the rules and laws related to birthing facilities and practices. It is, therefore, difficult to cover all specifics related to water births. Note that the following discussion refers to water immersion in labor (first stage) in a hospital and water birthing (second stage) in hospitals.