Clinical Skills Development Service

Pioneering work in maternity care

Ms. Megan Barker, Program Director – Queensland Maternity Education, and Dr. Lisa Peberdy, Senior Research Fellow – Maternity, from the CSDS team, presented their research: “Towards Improved Maternity Care: Improving Access to Water Immersion for Labour and Birth. Development of a Water Immersion for Labour and Birth Education Package” at the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) conference in May.

Their research and development efforts have led to the creation of an educational package designed to enhance the accessibility and safety of water immersion during labour and birth.

From left to right Dr. Lisa Peberdy and Ms. Megan Barker

The presentation highlighted the numerous benefits of water immersion for both women and babies, including reduced pain, increased relaxation, and potentially shorter labour times. However, access to this option has been limited in many settings due to a lack of comprehensive training and resources.

Recognising this gap, Ms. Barker and Dr. Peberdy spearheaded the development of a Water Immersion for Labour and Birth education package, which aims to provide healthcare professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to offer this option more widely and safely.

The response to their presentation was overwhelmingly positive. Attendees praised the thoroughness of their research and the practical application of their findings. Many expressed excitement about the potential for this educational package to transform maternity care practices, making water immersion a more accessible and viable option for women in labour.

The work of Ms. Barker and Dr. Peberdy exemplifies the mission of CSDS to advance healthcare through training, collaboration and innovation.

For more information, contact the CSDS maternity team at