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Is anyone else concerned about leaching chemicals in birth pools?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'd love to use a pool like the Aquaborn or La Bassine for my homebirth, but I'm concerned about what chemicals might leach from the vinyl into the warm, chlorinated tap water during the many hours it's filled, from either the pool itself or the disposable liner.  I know Aquaborn uses an "eco vinyl" free of phthalates, cadmium, and lead, but what are they using instead? 


I've written to Aquaborn but I'm still waiting to hear back. 


In the mean time, I'm just wondering if I'm being overly cautious, because no one else seems concerned!!!


And can anyone suggest a vinyl-free birth pool alternative?  I have a deep bathtub; could I just throw some towels in it to cushion the hard surfaces?


Thanks for any input!



post #2 of 15

I have thought about the same thing. Ultimately I don't know if I am worried enough about it to not use a birth pool. I don't believe there are any other alternatives. If we end up staying in the apartment we live now, I will be using the garden tub in my bedroom. I would love to see the reply email from Aquaborn. I also think in general people are sooo worried about BPA or other chemicals inplastic....BUT what else are they replacing it with? Plastic is just not good in the first place. :(

post #3 of 15

I had my first HB in a garden tub in my home - it was perfect. I didn't even put towels down. My second HB was in a La Bassine. I was concerned about the vinyl, but my only alternative was the really awkward, uncomfortable tub in my apartment. I knew I'd want to be in water, so I just tried not to think about it. If you have a large-ish, comfy tub, though, I'd say that's preferable to a vinyl pool...

post #4 of 15

my midwife said we'll first fill our tub 1/3 with cool water & then slowly heat it up with warm, then add hot... that way it'll never get hot enough to leach. (and it's easier to heat up then cool down after full)

post #5 of 15

That seems like such a simple solution, Coleina!!!!  Kind of a "ah-ha" moment with a light bulb. haha

post #6 of 15

i have considered this too. i wish our tub was big enough, but its pretty small. i was thinking i would spread the tub out somewhere well ahead of time and let it off gas some. the idea of heating it up slowly is great, we will definitly do that too.

post #7 of 15

I just used a deepish bathtub, and it worked great! I'm a tall person who gets huge when pregnant, and there was plenty of space in a tub that is deeper than usual, but not a huge garden tub. 

post #8 of 15

Hiya! I'm freaky about chemicals in all things.... Aquaborn is phthalate, lead & BPA free. I wrote them to confirm, as they don't seem to feature this on the website. I would not given birth in reeky vinyl, aquaborn had no odor whatsoever. All birth pools should be plasticizer free, such a no-brainer!

post #9 of 15

Oh, and you could use the bathtub, I did with my first but the depth and room is like a super-mega-glorious godsend. You wouldn't regret it for a minute. Depth is everything.

post #10 of 15

I'd be more concerned about the chlorine, get a filter and fill it with chlorine free water. thumb.gif

post #11 of 15

Oh, and most birthing/midwifery supply places sell a very reasonably priced PVC hose. You can also get them in in some hardware stores, called " drinking water" hoses. Plus, on amazon ( and elsewhere) you can get a bathball which acts as a chlorine filter.

post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by Lupena View Post

Hiya! I'm freaky about chemicals in all things....

I hear you!  Thanks for the info about the Aquaborn tub.

post #13 of 15

If you are interested I know an eco birthpool here

post #14 of 15

Mammarama - I'm just dropping in to let you know I had the same concerns about chemicals! (I ended up not using the pool anyways.)

Someone mentioned a filter...I haven't gotten one for my shower because I've only found ones that work at 104 degrees or less.  My shower has to be set at higher than 104 or there is hot water for 3 minutes, no more.   

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input everyone!


I wrote to Aquaborn in late December, but I still haven't heard back.  I totally get that they need to use plasticizers of some sort to make the liner flexible enough to be useful; I just wish they would disclose which alternative plasticizers they are using.  If there's one thing we learned from the BPA debacle, it's that these plasticizers aren't always adequately tested before they hit the market!


I ended up buying an Aquaborn pool anyway.  Our bathtub is just too small to spend a long time in.  I off-gassed the Aquaborn for a week, and then we did our trial wet run this weekend.  It feels heavenly!!!!!  Now it's back to off-gassing until we need it.


Thanks for the tip about heating it up slowly.  I supposed I should do further research on what temperatures make most plasticizers start to leach into water; as if there wasn't already enough to do!


@lovebirths, thanks for the link.  I wrote to them too, but they also haven't answered about which alternative plasticizers they've used!

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