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Ergonomic Use and Handling of the Aquaborn Birth Pools

Aquaborn Eco Birth Pools are ergonomically designed to be used width ways and length ways and supports improved manual handling for midwives and doulas.

Midwifery: Health and Safety & Ergonomics

The Aquaborn Pools have been designed so that a midwife is able to more easily assess a mother in the water with out putting themselves at risk of back and shoulder injury.

Although in many cases the use of water in labour and birth facilitates a hands-off approach, it is essential to have easy and quick access to a mother when she is in the pool should circumstances warrant it. Regular assessments whilst in the water may be necessary. The Aquaborn pools have been designed so that their occupant uses them predominantly width ways, allowing the midwife to be closer and not to excessively bend or twist. The handles are placed on the long sides of the pool allowing the midwife to be on the opposite side with the mother directly in front (at the shortest distance away from the midwife). Whether the mother is kneeling, forward leaning or squatting, the midwife will always be able to assess the woman in labour. At no time should the midwife need to bend or twist through 90 degrees. The pool is used length ways for reclining and using the water for buoyancy and ease of movement during labour.

With the midwife kneeing at one side of the pool and the mother directly opposite, the midwife can reach a mother of average height (168cm) by allowing only 25 degrees flexion at the hips whilst keeping the back straight and maintain a 30 degree bend in the elbow for optimal handling. Pools with lower sides traditionally facilitate unwanted lumbar spine flexion in order to reach further forwards to the mother in the water. The Aquaborn Pool vastly reduces the occurrence of low back injury and shoulder injury.
 
The pools should be set up in a space which allows a 70cm cleared perimeter around the footprint of the pool.

Entry and exit to the pool

The sit and swing method should be used by the mother and one of the top handles be held during this manoeuvre. The mother should sit on the side of the pool, holding a top handle, and then bring one leg at a time around into the pool so that she is now sitting on the upper ring on the pool with her legs in the water. From this position she can lower herself into the water. If the mother has any difficulty with this manoeuvre, the top ring can be partially deflated so that the mother sits on the firm lower chamber and does the same manoeuvre with assistance.
 
To read more about the ergonomics of the Aquaborn Birth Pool see the following pdf document:

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