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chlorine in birth water

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm ready to birth any day this month and just came up with the question of chlorine in the birth pool. There is chlorine and chloramine added to our tap water. It's been suggested to me that the chlorine could kill all the bacteria the baby contracts coming through the birth canal, thus weakening the baby's immune system. Any thoughts?

I don't have time to order products online, and I don't have a lot of funds for buying a filter to put on the hose for filling the tub. I'm thinking of using vitamin C (powdered ascorbic acid) straight in the tub. I'd love to know exactly how much to use to get rid of the chlorine.

Any advice? Is this something no one worries about? I'd appreciate all input!

Thank you!
post #2 of 10
I don't know if vitamin C will neutralize chlorine but I would say that the concentration of chlorine in tap water is fairly low and would probably not be sufficient to destroy the flora in your body or on your baby. I would partly base this suspicion on the fact that I like to take long baths in tap water but am not beset by yeast infections or any other symptoms of having my body flora disrupted.

Also, chlorine evaporates from water fairly quickly, more quickly from warmer water so if you fill the bath early on it will have even less chlorine by the time the baby comes than it did when it came out of the tap.

Miss Chris
post #3 of 10
I don't think the baby stays in the water long enough to kill bacteria. If tap water could do that, we'd be able to use it to disinfect stuff.

Now, I'm not a big fan of chlorine, but I'm not worrying about it for my birth. I know they make dechlorinators for fish tanks, you could check that out if it makes you happier, and if you don't have time to let the chlorine evaporate... and I guess they'd have to be fairly safe, or they'd kill the fish.
post #4 of 10
What would kill any germs in the water without the chlorine in there?
I think it might be a case of benefits outweighing the risks.
Ascorbic acid can be an eye, ear and lung irritant, so I would be cautious about using too much of that, too.
post #5 of 10
This never occurred to me before...hmm.
I don't think the chlorine in tap water would be *that* strong, it's not like pool water, you know?

I would look into the de-chlorinating drops for aquariums. I'm not sure how safe they are to soak in, but I will tell you that once my DD drank some as a baby. Poison control said there was no danger.
post #6 of 10
All the waterbirths we've attended in the big city, never even worried about it. All the babies have been fine...there isn't THAT much chlorine to begin with... hope that helps some...
post #7 of 10
sea salt is what we used.
I think about 1 cup in a birth pool .
post #8 of 10
Adding salt shouldn't affect the chlorine, though early proponents of water birth used salt in the water to more closely reflect the salinity of amniotic fluid. However PP was right that chlorine evaporates fairly quickly and it's such a small amount anyhow, I really don't see it as a problem.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the thoughts, everyone! We realized we can hook our (vit c) shower filter to the hose so the water going into the pool should have the chlorine filtered out, and we're going to add some ascorbic acid to the water as well.

I am not worried about germs so much as chlorine and chloramine (which the filter should also help with).

I know you could always find one more thing to make more pure or natural about a birth, or any experience, but once a potential contaminant comes up, I feel better doing something about it!

As an aside, I thought I'd be holding my baby by now!
post #10 of 10

I'm still looking for more help with this one. Our city uses chloramine, not chlorine, and apparently it's almost impossible to filter out chloramine from water - none of the filters I've seen on the market are known to do it effectively, except possibly whole-house filters with lots of carbon steps - but they cost thousands of dollars. 


If anyone has come up with any ideas for chloramine specfically, please post... We are planning a homebirth and I would really like to be in the water but not sure how to do it without putting the baby's flora at risk. 

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