Should you rent or buy your water birth labor and birth pool?
A good question.
Most rentals will cost you as much, or more, or at best, just a bit less then buying a birth pool.
One way to recover some of the money you spent on your birth pool is to offer it for sale to your midwife for 50% of what you paid for it. It is a win-win for both of you.
Another way to save money is to talk to your midwife to find some other clients who have births at least one month or more after yours. The two, three or four of you can share one pool and simply buy additional liners and accessories.
OR… use your birth pool as a personal spa. Relax as needed in the comfort of your own home in warm water when you have back discomforts or when you want to spa with a good movie in the living room. Who says water must stay in the bathroom or outside?
Use your birth pool as a play center for your toddlers.
Donate it to a family who can not afford to buy or rent a birth pool.
We get this question all the time and there are two answers.
1) NO! They can be very dangers
2) NO! You don’t need one.
To address the dangers. Many people have tried placing a water bed heater under their inflatable water birth pool in an attempt to help keep the water warm. Seems like a logical idea.
While attending a couple midwifery conferences, I have heard first hand from several midwives that after doing this, and after the birth they discovered that the pool material had actually thinned where the heater was.
This was alarming. So… please, do not use a water bed heater under your birth pool.
To address my second point, that you don’t need one… Inflatable birth pools hold water temperature better then hard structured tubs or foam structured tubs. The thick air walls on inflatable pools are perfect insulation.
Your pool should maintain water temperature for roughly 5 hours before starting to cool down.
Start with a bit warmer water then you desire – say 100 degrees. This little bit extra temperature will help to warm the pool material without cooling the water too much.
What should you do if your pool water does cool too much? Simply add a couple tea kettle or soup pots of hot water – very carefully – to your pool. Have someone “stir” the water while you add the water slowly to the pool water being careful to not let the hot water touch the sides of the pool or the mother.
Another point about pool water cooling down. Many midwives are not rigidly maintaining pool water to a specific temperature anymore. As the mother labor advances and she gets hotter, cooler water can feel great and help keep her cool.
Babies have seem to do just fine in cooler water. Placing them on mom’s very hot chest immediately after birth will keep them warm. If a baby is not staying pink, it is easy enough to remove the baby from the water to warm and pink up. You can then warm the pool water and if all is well, give baby back to mom to relax in the warmed water.
If allowed to labor naturally in water, most women will labor in an upright kneeling position. Often this is the position she will be in when pushing begins.
As this phase of birth continues the women will generally spread her knees wider and lower her bottom closer to the floor of the pool. This is a safe and more comfortable position for a woman to birth in water (or on land). Her baby can safely glide out of her body into the water then up into mother’s arms.
It is easy to see that in this position the birth attendant can not visually monitor the baby’s progress through crowning and birth. This is where the use of a water birth mirror is very handy.
By placing the mirror on the floor of the pool and with the aid of an underwater light (shine the light onto the mirror and the beam will bounce up to the birthing mother’s bottom) the care provider – and dad – can watch and monitor baby’s progress.
We sell a simple mirror for this use. It is recommended that the mirror be disposed of after each use as birth water tends to seep into the frame of the mirror and the mirror may not be adequately cleaned for repeat use.
With the use of a mirror your midwife can monitor your baby’s progress and well being without disturbing you. This allows you to stay “within” mentally and not be distracted with touches or requests to change position.
Adapters! These little items are a must if you want to have water in your water labor and birth!
The simple fact that your water hose is designed to attached to water sources ONLY outside of your home not inside. So, you must find the right adapter to access water inside your house.
The easiest location is your kitchen sink. We recommend using the “Y” adapter as well so that you can leave your water hose attached and still get water from your kitchen sink by opening and closing the valves on your “Y” adapter. The end cap goes on the pool end of your hose so you can set your hose outside of your pool and not worry about water draining from the hose onto your floors.
You can also use a shower adapter to access water from your shower pipe (the pipe coming from your wall that your shower head attaches to) for filling your pool but keep in mind that this water source is more complicated. You will need to remove your shower head and have the right tools to do this. You will also need plumbers tape and plumbers putty to put the shower head back on to not have leaks.