PBB has put together a list of questions and answers to help you as you make decisions about purchasing and using a birth pool for labour and birth.
PBB has put together a list of frequently asked questions, and answers, to help you as you make decisions about purchasing and using a birth pool for labour and birth. Researching your options in pregnancy helps you decide whether or not a pool is right for you, which pool suits you best, and how to set up and pack up your birth pool If you have questions we have not answered here, please contact us directly by either email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 MIDWYF (1300 643 993) for further information.
Most orders are usually shipped within one business day. Delivery time depends on the area in which you live and how your order was sent (i.e. Australia Post or courier). Delivery can vary between 1 to 16 business days. If there is a delay in dispatching your order we will contact you. If you have a special requirement, such as overnight delivery, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
The Water Birth Articles section of the PBB website offers a wealth of information to assist you, including step by step instructions on how to set up and pack up a pool, as well as articles on the history and benefits of water birth. For other questions or to report a pool fault, please contact Pregnancy Birth and Beyond on 1300 MIDWYF (1300 643 993).
At least 45 cm of water depth is required. In order to create true immersion you require enough water to comfortably cover your pregnant belly. Research shows this creates a buoyancy effect which produces the chemical and hormonal changes that facilitate a more rapid and positive birth.
Most pools come with clear instructions on set up. In addition, a comprehensive article is available on the PBB website entitled Setting Up a Birth Pool. You will need an electric air pump to inflate your pool, and a suitable hose and tap adapter to fill it.
Depending on the pool you choose, it can take between 5 and 15 minutes to inflate a birth pool with an electric air pump. However keep in mind that the area needs to be prepared, the liner fitted and the pool filled before it can be used. It is best to set up your pool as soon as labour is establish, ready to be filled.
The pool is filled using a hose attached to a tap which supplies both hot and cold water. A new hose must be used as an old hose can contain bacteria. Consider using a drinking water hose, as many garden hoses are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which uses lead as a stabilizer.
If this is your first baby a guide is to begin filling the pool when contractions are strong and regular, and around 3-4 minutes apart for at least one hour. If this is your second or subsequent baby we suggest to start filling the pool when the contractions are regular and increasing in intensity. This is just a guide. Labour can be slow or fast and it can be a little difficult to get the ideal timing right.
Depending on which pool you choose and how high you fill it, a filled birth pool can weigh between 330 kg and 720 kg on average. Translated, if the floor in the room you are considering placing the pool couldn’t carry 10 to 12 people standing together, you should select a different location.
Water treatment is not required or advisable. Standard tap water is fine for your pool. A new hose must be used to fill it, as an old hose can contain bacteria. Consider using a drinking water hose, as many garden hoses are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which uses lead as a stabilizer. You will need to keep the water as clean as possible. Stools and blood clots should be immediately removed from the pool using a debris net.
The water should be body temperature, which is in the range of 35 to 37 degrees. Water temperature should not exceed 37 degrees. You can check the pool temperature using a new, clean bath thermometer (the kind used for children’s baths).
You will need a source of hot water to keep the temperature comfortable. To raise or lower the pool temperature, remove some water with a new, clean bucket and top up with either hot or cold water as required.
Use a clean thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust it. We recommend a bucket of hot water every couple of hours. If you're topping up the birth pool from a kettle, make sure you add the water away from the sides of the pool and mother.
If your pool has a cover, ensure this is kept on while the pool is not in use. This will help to minimise the need for top ups. Placing a thick blanket or quilt under the pool prior to set up will help to reduce heat loss through the floor.
At present, there is no safe heater made for inflatable birth pools.
Each birth pool comes with a different warranty. Check manufacturer’s instructions for details.
To ensure bacteria levels are kept to a minimum, the woman ideally needs to leave the pool to urinate.
Women of all different sizes have used birth pools. Research does not clearly show specific weight restrictions for birth pools. Women within standard weight ranges for pregnancy should not be concerned. If you are well above these standard ranges in weight, consider seeking the advice of your midwife or doctor in regards to any restrictions in using birth pools.
Emptying the pool is easy using an electric water pump or siphon. The hose used to fill the pool can be used to empty it. The hose should then be discarded as there is no way to ensure it is 100% clean.
The birth pool can be deflated quickly using an electric air pump.
Some pools are designed for a single use only while others can be used many times. Before purchasing a pool it is important to consider this point. A handy birth pool comparison chart is available on the PBB website to assist your birth pool selection.
Specific storage containers are not available. Provided the pool is thoroughly dried, it can be packed in any new, clean, lidded plastic storage container of a suitable size. However if you are buying a single use pool, storage is probably not a consideration.