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picking a birth pool-ocean reef?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

So I'm going for home water birth.  My jetted tub is too shallow (17" to brim so can probably only fill it to 13" or so), so I want to buy/rent a birth pool.  I want to do this for as cheap as possible.  I let my mw know and she supplied me with a comparison of the pools that they have available for rent or purchase, which is basically the fishy pool for $30 purchase, the La Bassine for $150 purchase, the BPIAB for $150 rent, or the Aqua Doula for $250 rent.  I told her I wanted to go with the fishy pool and she said she did not recommend it for me since it is my first birth - that she would recommend instead the aqua doula because it is heated.  I asked why she would not recommend it and she said because I'm a "taller gal" (I'm 5'6"....not that tall) that she thought the fishy pool would be too small for me and that it would lose heat faster than the aqua doula.


A lot of people on here have said the fishy pool worked fine for them (although it seems the BPIAB is the favorite on here, but I just can't justify spending that kind of money on something I'm renting) and the fishy pool got a couple good reviews from home birthers on Amazon.  Did anyone have issues with it being too small or having the water get cold during their birth?  I found this other pool that is a little bigger than the fishy pool but made by the same manufacturer and looks to be very similar construction: http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Center-Ocean-Reef-Pool/dp/B00005OARQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310691097&sr=8-1  It had good reviews from home birthers as well, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone on here reference it.  I'm thinking since its a little bigger and slightly taller, that will be nice.  Has anyone used it?  Good/bad experiences with it?  Thanks so much!



post #2 of 19

I'm interested to hear the answer to your question as well. I just bought the ocean reef pool that you linked. For $30, if it doesn't work I won't feel too bad and we can use it for our 2 1/2 year old next summer. I'm 5'7" and when I talked to my midwife she told me that the fishy pool would work fine. Unfortunately, I won't be able to give you a review for another 1-2 mos.

post #3 of 19

I used the fishy pool and loved it. I'm 5'3" and it was just fine--I suppose it might have been nice to have had a deeper thing to float about in, but honestly I liked having it shallow enough to cover my belly but still give me the support for kneeling/squatting, etc. I think floating probably isn't what you need once you get down to the serious work of labor.

I had a pretty quick labor, so the heat wasn't a problem, but we did boil water on the stove and in the kettle (it was hilarious to be boiling water for a birth!) and added hot water as necessary (I ended up adding too much cold when I was filling it, which is why it needed more hot; plus I like my baths really warm!). My MW suggested getting the tarp in the birth kit to use as a cover for the pool, to keep it hot when you're not using it, but it ended up not being necessary. The ocean reef one looks great--it'll take considerably more water to fill it, so make sure your water heater is turned up in the weeks leading up to the birth.

post #4 of 19

I'm in the same situation right now myself. I'm 5'9" and I was looking at the fishy pool, but my doula said it would be too shallow. It's only a couple of inches shallower than the Birth Pool in a Box or Aqua Doula, but I really can't afford any of those. So, I'd love to hear if any other tall mamas used the kiddie pool.


As for heating it, here's a great thread about birth pools. Most other mamas said that the inflatable pools don't need a heater, because the inflated bottom/sides insulate it so well. Just remember to turn up your water heater a few weeks before your EDD so you'll be prepared to use a lot of hot water.

post #5 of 19

I am 5 foot 5 and my pool was a bit shallower.  It was 66 inches x 66 inches and 19 inches deep.   It was awesome.  I had no issues with heat but my labor was ultra fast.   My son's job was to fill the tub and he filled it at 11pm and my baby was born at 1am.   So I can't vouch for that.  I wanted a smaller pool because I wanted to be certain my pool was filled quickly cause I thought I would have about a 4 hour labor.  Instead I ended up with a 2 1/2 hour labor.  I was only in the pool for about 10 minutes but it was worth the cost and the work for even that short of time.

post #6 of 19

I used the ocean reef pool to labor for my homebirth.  Didn't get to have the babies in it (got out to go potty and ended up needing to push right after), but loved it for the labor.

post #7 of 19

I've used it twice with no issues, I'm 5'5. Our hot water tank isn't the greatest so DH just kept pots on the stove to add really hot water in as need be. It does hold the heat very well though. 

post #8 of 19

I used the larger ocean reef pool for 2 of my waterbirths.  I am 5'4" and loved that I could lean against  the side and my legs had room to freely float around.  Hubby got in with me one time and the other I was alone.  I will be using this pool again for our 5th baby in Feb.  We did have to boil some water, but it really wasn't a problem.  I would buy the pool as opposed to renting it, then you can keep it and clean it out to use for summer time!  Hope this helps!!  Good luck!!

post #9 of 19

I'm 5' 6" the fishy pool was just fine for me. Also I only got it half full and then gave birth in it and still at half way full it was enough.

post #10 of 19

I just bought the larger fishy pool a couple weeks ago from Amazon.  There are so many good reviews for it, plus it matches the same depth dimensions as the "real" birthing pools. Many of them claimed it was very sturdy, retained heat well and was big enough for two.  I'm 5'7" and I'm counting on it to fit me comfortably - and hopefully my DH, too!  I'm planning on buying a plastic sheet or something to line it so clean-up won't be a nightmare.  We also need to get a compressor pump (they said hand-pumps get too hot and could damage the plastic), a drink-safe hose and a faucet attachment.  But hey, at least most of these things can be used again for other stuff.  I can't wait to use it and review it myself!

post #11 of 19

I also just got my fishy pool and am so excited to use it (and for baby to get here... anyday!). I got the smaller one, and since I'm 5'9" I was a little worried about depth, but last night we filled it up with air and I got in, I think it will work. I'll be sure to post my updates after baby comes.



post #12 of 19

I have had 2 home births and was really enthusiastic about trying the fishy pool the second time around...   my first birth i used my jetted tub.. and i would have liked the water to be deeper... but i was pretty comfortable in there.. in fact.. i only got out to pee :P   so i thought i would love having the fishy pool.... i HATED it! that being said.. i am 5'4 and very overweight and it was plenty deep for me... but i felt clostraphobic in it.. it got cold really fast and was really annoying to try to drain water from it and wait for more hot water.. i didnt birth in it because i hated it so much.  if that had been my first experience with water birth i wouldnt have wanted anything to do with it!


i know a lot of people love it.. i would say buy it.. blow it up, fill it up and spend a good hour in it and see how you feel... if you cant do it not in labor... you might want to consider something else!

post #13 of 19

I used the traditional "fishy pool" for my last labor (I didn't birth in it because I really wanted to birth in my bed). I am 5'9" (almost 5'10" and I have a long torso) and it was plenty deep enough for me. I used  this  one. I bought it from qualityinflatables.com, not from Amazon, though. There were a lot of things I preferred about it... like the fact that the bottom was inflated, too... so it was nice and soft to kneel on. We also inflated it so that it was very firm. I hung over the edge almost the whole labor and didn't spill water out over the edge, it is pretty sturdy that way. I also birthed in January and my house was pretty cool and we had no problem keeping it warm. I put a tarp on the floor, then a comforter, then the pool. When I wasn't in the pool DH covered it with another tarp and comforter. We had no issues at all with it staying warm, even when I was in it for hours. I don't think we ever even added hot water.


In total, I was probably in the pool 3-ish hours, on and off. I will be using the same pool again this time. I loved it!

post #14 of 19

I know this wasn't one of you options, but my sister's midwives use a stock tank.  You know, those large water tanks for horses and cows.  I think they can be purchased fairly cheaply.  But it was me, I would go with the fishy pool.  I'm cheap like that.  ;)

post #15 of 19

I used the Ocean Reef pool with my first homebirth and I agree, it was not deep enough.  My 2nd hb I used the BPIAB and it was SO wonderful!  I will be using it again within a couple of weeks!  You can buy it brand new for under $200, so I wouldn't rent it for $150.  I'd buy it outright and then if you didn't use it anymore, resell it!


I spend a lot of time on my knees leaning over the pool side while laboring and in the fishy pool, my back was exposed and I couldn't get good bouyancy even when sitting on my butt.  It just was.not.deep.enough.  In my opinion, the BPIAB is worth every penny! (I'm 5'7", btw)

post #16 of 19
I used the ocean reef ( bigger fishy pool) with my home water birth, and it was perfect. There was no way I could afford one of the fancy ones. We filled it with hot water from the washer through a hose, and it kept pretty hot. When it started to cool, they would just turn the hot water back on, and scoop out some of the old water with a bucket. I am 5'4" and there was plenty of room for me and hubby, and it covered my belly. Oh, and it has a cushioned bottom, which was nice. It was very sturdy. I actually loaned it out to my cousin, who bought a liner and had her son in it too, and she is much taller than me (I think she is close to 6 feet).
post #17 of 19
I used the fishy pool for my most recent birth (6 days ago smile.gif ). I am 5'6 3/4" and I do think that it was a bit too shallow, my DH and midwives added water while I was in it to bring the water level up, and it did the job, but my past experiences left me wishing it was a bit deeper (and wider maybe). My first birth I used a BPIAB, my second was a spa in a box. I LOVED having the pool heated (with the spa in a box), I was able to use it the few weeks prior to labor and a couple of weeks after to relax. I didn't like the price. The price of the fishy pool was great wink1.gif.

My wish was to actually buy an inflatable spa this time, but the finances just weren't available. Though I did see a couple for sale on craigslist for the same price I rented mine for last time.
post #18 of 19

came on here to post this exact question. no way in heck can I afford the "real' birth pools and my apartment is tiny anyway. plus, in my past 2 births I had a pool and didn't end up even giving birth in it... kind of thinking, maybe third time will be the charm? we'll see.


what other "accessories" did you need for it?


MWs also told me about someone who loans out a birth pool and everything with it for free, you just have to supply your own liner... I guess I should call her first and see if its available when I'll need it.

post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post

came on here to post this exact question. no way in heck can I afford the "real' birth pools and my apartment is tiny anyway. plus, in my past 2 births I had a pool and didn't end up even giving birth in it... kind of thinking, maybe third time will be the charm? we'll see.


what other "accessories" did you need for it?


MWs also told me about someone who loans out a birth pool and everything with it for free, you just have to supply your own liner... I guess I should call her first and see if its available when I'll need it.


This thread is all you ever wanted to know about pools/accessories and then some! I got:

  • the smaller, round fishy pool (no liner)
  • a rv hose. must be drinking water quality and long enough to go from your sink to the pool
  • an adapter to connect the hose to your sink
  • an electric air pump to inflate the pool (found in the camping section of walmart)
  • a floating thermometer and a net for catching 'solids' (found in the pet section)
  • a drop cloth or tarp to put under the pool to protect your floor from drips
  • some system to empty the pool. DH tried to use this pump that connects to an electric drill and it sucked (not in the good way), there wasn't enough pressure. so he ended up bailing it out with a bucket


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