"Gabriella is my third child. After the midwives convinced me to get in the tub, I didn't want to get out. I can remember every second of my labor and delivery and what a wonderful experience it was! Water birth was not an option with my first two, but I wish it had been. We're expecting our fourth child in May and hopefully we'll be able to have another water birth then."
-Samantha, mother of:
 
Gabriella Alicia-Anette
Born 10/11/2005
Jerrabomberra, NSW

Australia 
submitted 11/27/2006





"Waterbirth was wonderful! I had a back injury a week before my daughter was born and the water made it bearable during labor ... 18 hours, unmedicated, no tears. I am still in love with the birth tub my midwives had and took pictures of it for posterity."
-Jenn, mother of:

Maya Isabel
Born 5/8/2006
Andaluz Waterbirth Center
Tualatin, OR

USA
 
submitted 12/20/2006




  "The best and most peaceful birth I've had yet! He was so happy and calm after his birth. We love water for birthing!"
-Amy and Jon, parents of:
 
Josiah Gilbert
Born 7/9/2002
Home, Scottsville, KY

USA
 
submitted 12/14/2006
 
 


 
"Olivia is one of my twin daughters. I labored in water and she was born in the pool. Her sister Erin was born on dry land after I decided to get out of the water. She is, however, no less important!"
-Julie, mother of:
 
Olivia & Erin
Born 12/13/2004
Hospital, Dorchester, Dorset
Great Britain

 
submitted 12/10/2006
 


 

"I think having a baby in the water was the most wonderful experience.....the water was so comforting while I was in labor. I believe the water made pushing much easier, too."
-Colleen, mother of:
 
Amanda Grace
Born 2/28/2003
Hackettstown Community Hospital
Hackettstown, NJ

USA
 
submitted 12/5/2006



  "In my experience, it's the best and most natural way to alleviate back labor. Couldn't ask for a better birth."
-Jenn, mother of:
 
Lilith Caroline
Born 12/29/2005
Mother's Own Birth Center
Temperance, MI

USA
 
submitted 4/19/2006


 

"A surreal experience! The warm water eased contractions and  allowed me to work with my body through twelve hours of labor. A very calm, sweet boy was born to us in a loving, familiar environment. It was awesome!"

 

-Dawn, mother of:

Aidan Scott

Born in water 10/21/2005

Homestead, Florida

 

 

 

 

 

"It was a wonderful, calm, serene beautiful birth! The warm water eased the birthing pains, my perineum did not tear, and it was a wonderful experience! I am expecting another child at the end of May and am opting once again for a water birth.”

 

Flory, mother of:

Indigo Moon

Born at home 5/10/2002

Putte, N.Brabant, Netherlands


 

"This was our second baby, born completely naturally at home in water. Our baby was caught by mum and dad with sister looking on. Our midwife was very hands-off and observed our family welcoming from a distance, the way birth should be.”

 

-Deirdre, mother of:

Ty Jeremy

Born at home 1/20/2006

Hamilton, New Zealand

 


"I had a wonderful, comfortable labor and birth in the water. The water eased the labor pains, and even with a head circumference of more than 14”, I had no tearing whatsoever. My son was beautiful and healthy and came into this world in the most peaceful way I could imagine. As both an apprentice midwife and a home birthing mother, I highly recommend waterbirth!!!"

-Cori, mother of:
River Teagan
Born in water 3/4/2004
Garland, TX
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Birth Pool FAQ

We have assembled this list of questions and answers to help you as you make decisions and prepare for using a birth pool for your labor and birth.  More specific waterbirth questions are addressed on our Waterbirth FAQ page. If you have questions that are not addressed on either page, please Waterbirth Solutions and they will be glad to help you.


Waterbirth International recommends Waterbirth Solutions as the birth pool & equipment supplier.  Call 877-811-0238  or go to www.waterbirthsolutions.com if you have questions about birth pools.


Birth Pool in a Box ECO Questions

Birth Pool in a Box ECO comes in two sizes and two grades and represents a whole new generation in inflatable birthing pools. Safe, user friendly. Barbara Harper saw the design at a home birth in Holland where she had been asked to give support to a wonderful Dutch midwife. A few days after seeing the Eco pool in action, she flew to the UK to meet with the owners of the Good Birth Company to inquire about bringing the Eco Birth Pool in a Box to North America.  


The first thing that was done was send out sample pools to busy midwives to get feedback.

 

Here are some of the things they said:

"Why am I using the other pools? This one is so incredibly comfortable and easy to set up. No more lugging my hard sided pools around." Jennifer Gallardo, CPM

 

"I love the two different sizes of the ECO. I can always keep one in my car for the mom who can't afford to rent a pool or purchase one." Madrona Bordeaux, CPM

 

"Our nurses are so used to setting them up now. There are no complaints - not like with the other pools. The moms love them and the liner is so soft and pliable.  It is the next best thing to installed birth pools." Kathleen Hensch-Fleming, CNM

Is Birth Pool in a Box the right birth pool for me?

Does Birth Pool in a Box have a disposable liner?

My friend has said I can use her Birth Pool in a Box. What are the issues in doing this?

How long does it take to inflate a Birth Pool in a Box?

What is the risk of puncturing the pool?

Are the sides of Birth Pool in a Box firm enough?

How do I get in and out of the Pool?

How do I choose between the two Pool sizes?

What if my midwife is uncomfortable using Birth Pool in a Box for water birth?

How do I keep the water warm?

Can I use a heater in Birth Pool in a Box?

How do I use Birth Pool in a Box for labor and birth?

How do I empty the pool?


General Birth Pool Questions

Are the pools easy to set up?

What temperature should the water be?

Is there any danger of the birth pool falling through my floor?

How do I fill the Birth Pool in a Box?

When do I fill Birth Pool in a Box?

When do I get in the birthing pool?

How do I keep the water clean after I have filled the pool?


Birth Pool in a Box FAQ

Is Birth Pool in a Box the right birth pool for me?
 
Inflatable Birth Pool in a Box (BPIAB) pools have been used for thousands of labors and births in Europe. The Regular and Mini pools have been available since December 2005, and were designed and built with the help of midwives and mothers in focus groups. The new pools represent a new generation of BPIAB. The results are robust, safe, comfortable and hygienic birth pools for use at home or in hospital. We do recognize that no pool design can be all things to all people. This FAQ will help you decide if BPIAB is for you.
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Does Birth Pool in a Box have a disposable liner?
 
Yes! The liner is held in place securely by the handles at each end of the pool (GB patent pending). One disposable liner is included with each pool and additional liners for trial runs or pregnancy relaxation are available for $30 each. We strongly recommend using a new liner for the birth to minimize risk of cross-infection. In addition, a liner provides a second container for the 400 litres of water in your home. If you use BPIAB without a new liner for the birth, you do so at your own risk.
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My friend has said I can use her Birth Pool in a Box. What are the issues in doing this?
 
When a Birth Pool in a Box is sold to an individual, it is for their use only (or their partner or daughter or grand-daughter). If you use a Birth Pool in a Box bought for someone else, then we do not guarantee it for your use and you do so entirely at your own risk. If you decide to proceed regardless, then to minimize risk of cross-infection we strongly recommend that you clean and wipe the pool with a cloth soaked in a hypochlorite solution such as Milton, use a new disposable liner and new items to fill the pool.
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How long does it take to inflate a Birth Pool in a Box?
 
It takes 10-12 minutes to inflate a BPIAB using the hand pump, and approximately 8-10 minutes with an electric air pump. The pools takes considerably less time to inflate than other inflatable birthing pools due to the large valves which both ease and speed inflation/deflation.
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What is the risk of puncturing the pool?
 
Each pool has been inflated at the factory and left standing for 24 hours before a comprehensive inspection to ensure there are no defects. You can take common sense precautions to minimize the risk of puncturing BPIAB. These include:

  • Keep pets away from the pool, both in storage and when inflated.
  • Prepare the floor where the pool will be, i.e. sand, vacuum, sweep thoroughly to remove sharp objects or surfaces.
  • If the pool is going on a floor that might have jagged edges, be sure to cover the floor with a plastic sheet or cloth first.
  • Take care when handling the pool. We advise against moving the pool between rooms when inflated to avoid unnecessary wear & tear.
  • Remove jewelry prior to using the pool.
In the unlikely event of a puncture, BPIAB is designed with 3 independent air chambers so that if one chamber punctures, 2/3 of the height of the sides remains, causing considerably fewer problems than if a single-chambered pool is punctured.
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Are the sides of Birth Pool in a Box firm enough?

The new BPIAB have been designed specifically to be firm enough to allow the mother, midwife or partner (max 210lbs or 95kg) to sit on the sides while entering/exiting the pools or supporting the birth. The material used is 0.38mm PVC and the seams are bonded using a high-frequency welding process that fuses the two piece of material together as one. To adjust the height of the pool, the middle chamber can be deflated, while the top and bottom chambers can remain firm for the pool's stability.
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How do I get in and out of the Pool?
There are two main methods for the mother to enter and exit the pool:
  • Sit on side and swing legs over
  • Step in/out of pool. This flexes the pelvis and can positively affect labor progress.
For either method, the handles can be used for support. In addition, the top chamber may be partially deflated to make it easier for women with shorter legs to step over the sides. This can be done without significant loss of height of pool sides.
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How do I choose between the two Pool sizes?

Both pools are the same depth, so the choice comes down to length/width. For women over 5'8" the Mini pool may feel too small to comfortably assume positions conducive to labor and birth, such as leaning on the sides facing out with legs extended out behind. If your partner wants to join you in the pool, then whatever your height, the Regular pool is more comfortable. On the other hand, if you have limited space in the room you plan to use, you may be better off with the Mini pool even if you are over 5'8". The buoyancy of water will be in effect no matter your height or which pool you choose. It is simply the amount of space you may have around you that will differ with which pool you choose.
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 What if my midwife is uncomfortable using Birth Pool in a Box for water birth?
The main issue for a midwife is likely to be the depth of the pool as she will want to ensure there is enough water to safely birth the baby. She may also want to ensure she has access to the mother for delivery. A baby born under water needs to be completely under the water as it is born, so the woman's lower body needs to be completely submerged when birthing the baby. If your midwife expresses reservations about using your pool, you have a few options:
  • Invite her to have a look at the pool prior to labor;
  • Share with her the adjustable pool height options;
  • Demonstrate how the pool will be when properly inflated, filled and with you in it;
  • Put her in touch with our company and we'd be happy to refer her to many midwives who have happily used and would recommend Birth Pool in a Box.
  • We can also supply her with a copy of "Emergency Exit Procedures" for Birth Pool in a Box.

Note that the clinical judgment of the midwife on the day of your labor should be recognized as she may not be the same midwife who you originally spoke to, so be sure to cover as many bases as you can prior to your labor. Of course, the benefits of using water for labor alone are worth the investment, even if the midwife requests that you get out for the actual birth. Water is proven to shorten labor and reduce the need for interventions, regardless if there is a water birth or a land birth at the end of the labor!
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How do I keep the water warm?
 
When you are in the birthing pool, you should feel comfortable, but not too warm. In labor, the water should be maintained according to your comfort between 90-98°C. The latest evidence cites that the best gauge for temperature of the water is maternal comfort.  You will want to use a clean thermometer to measure the water temperature.  Temperature monitoring every hour and adjusting temperature by removing & adding water can be attended to effectively by the woman's partner without great difficulty. We recommend that you keep a clean bucket handy to empty water before topping up, if the water level is already at the recommended maximum.
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Can I use a heater in Birth Pool in a Box?
 
We do not recommend the use of any kind of heater with the Birth Pool in a Box, or any other inflatable pool. There is a risk of melting the wall of the pool, creating a hole in the pool and posing significant risk of shock. 
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General Birth Pool Questions

 
How do I use a birth pool for labor and birth?
 
You can use the pool to find the most comfortable positions to labor and/or give birth. Having a birth pool does not mean that you will need to or want to have a water birth. The benefits of labor in water alone are worth the investment. You may want to lean up against the side of the birthing pool holding the handles on the outside walls with your legs behind you for contractions, or you may want to lean back with your legs in front of you. Your partner or birthing companion may get in the pool to help support you, or provide support/massage from outside the pool according to preference. Some women like to hold onto something solid when they are in the pool. The sturdy handles are designed for this purpose.

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Are the your pools easy to set up?
YES! All of of our pools are designed to be set up in less than 20 minutes, though the filling may take an hour or so depending on the size of your hot-water heater. Each birth pool comes with an instruction booklet, and the Gentle Birth Pool even comes with a setup DVD.
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What temperature should the water be?
The birth pool should be filled at the temperature intended for use. This largely depends on your comfort level – however it is very important never to exceed 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Is there any danger of the pool falling through my floor?
In over 6,000 pool rentals, we have never had a pool fall through the floor. The weight of the pool is equivalent to 4 large adults sitting around a table. Water weighs 8.2 pounds per gallon, so once filled, the pool weights approximately 840 pounds.
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How do I keep the water clean after I have filled the pool?
All standing water needs to be treated either with a chemical "shock" or be partially drained and refilled every 48 hours.  You do this to keep bacteria from growing.  We recommend a quick "shock" of 1/2 cup of household beach added to the water, stirred, the left to sit for about 2 hours at a minimum.  You can also use 2 teaspoons of powdered Bromine. Both of these substances produce a gas, which is harmful if inhaled, so please wait to get into the water until the smell has dissipated and the substance has completely evaporated - about two hours.  Some couples choose to add food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide to a full birth pool.  You need approximately 2 cups of FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide added to the water, stirred and left to sit for 2 hours.  H2O2 is activated oxygen and the extra oxygen molecule deters bacteria growth.  It is safe to birth the baby in a birth pool that has been treated with bromine or bleach, but only after waiting for the evaporation to take place.  There are new environmentally safe substances on the market for treating spas and swimming pools.  Check with your local spa dealer to find what would work best for you.  The best way to always be sure you are safe with your pool is to completely drain and refill every two days.
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Does the bleach have a negative effect?
If you are on city water, the bleach that you will be adding to the water is far below the amount of chlorine in the city water. Bleach prevents the growth of bacteria. It evaporates quickly which is why it is needed every 48 hours. The biggest health concern with bleach comes when one breathes in the vapors. Therefore, we advise you to avoid the vapors for two hours after you add bleach.
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Are your birth pools deep enough for a safe birth?
The depth of water in your birth pool is an important consideration, especially if you are planning on giving birth to your baby in the pool. A woman needs at least 18" of water in order for the buoyancy effect of water to benefit her labor. For birth in the pool, it is critical that the baby remain completely underwater until its head is deliberately brought to the surface, hence minimizing the potential for the breathe reflex to be stimulated underwater.  All of our pools provide a minimum of 20" of water depth.
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How do I fill a Birth Pool?
Fill your pool with a NEW hose pipe (to ensure safety in hygiene) which is connected to your tap with a NEW tap connector. We recommend the use of a hose which is marked either: "Suitable for drinking water", "Lead-free", "Non-toxic" OR "Water Potable". This is the only way to ensure that no lead is leached in from a standard garden hose that MAY contain lead. We recommend you run the water for 2-3 minutes into the sink before beginning to fill the pool to ensure the hose is fully rinsed. Filling time varies widely according to the water supply. It can be as little as 30 minutes from a high pressure continuous-flow "on-demand" water heater or up to 3 hours from a small tank that takes an hour to refill via a boiler. Always place the heat retention cover on top of the water during filling. You can use kettles of hot water and boil pans of water on your stove if you have small water tank or slow hot water system. Take care to never pour boiling water near the sides or near a person in the pool.
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When do I fill a Birth Pool?

Suggestions for the Birth Pool in a Box: For a first-time mother, a good guideline is to begin filling when contractions are regular and between 3-4 minutes apart for one hour. For subsequent births, begin filling the birthing pool when contractions are 5 minutes apart. If you have a small water tank that takes a long time to refill, you may want to begin filling as soon as contractions start. If they progress slowly or stop, you can stop filling and leave the heat retention cover on.
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How do I empty the pool? 
This is a question of convenience versus cost. With BPIAB you can choose according to your preference. If you take BPIAB into a hospital or birth centre, you may need to empty and remove the pool from the room quickly to make it available for others. Check with your hospital for their requirements and any equipment they may already have.
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Will my insurance cover the cost of purchasing a birth pool?
A few insurance companies will allow a pool purchase to be reimbursed.  But those who refuse usually say that it is used for pleasure and not pain management.  We suggest writing to your insurance carrier and sending them some articles about water use in labor.  You can also ask your provider to write you a prescription for the use of a labor pool as a pain management modality. A few insurance companies have realized that the benefits far outweigh any potential risks and that paying two or three hundred dollars is far less expensive than an epidural or narcotics (not to mention better for the health of the baby in the long run). We can also re-write your invoice to state that we provided a durable medical good, which was used for the purpose of therapeutic pain management.  It has worked with a few!!

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