We're moving to a new area, and I'm either birthing at our home there or laboring at home and birthing at a local midwife's home. We may be buying a house that really needs a kitchen update and a bath remodel (and new flooring and paint everywhere). I'm 4 months pregnant, so there should be time to get these things done before we move in and before baby's due if we choose this one. The bathtub is awful (tiny, no shower, leaky faucet, ugly), that room might be pretty much 80 years old, and the house price is so low we can upgrade. Neighborhood is a nice very small town and the house structure and layout works well by the way. I'm excited about a custom bathroom to labor in, talk about a chance for nesting! What would be the features of your ideal bathroom and home for laboring and possibly birthing there as well as for every day living? Any specific ideas for a type/size of tub/shower?
Perfect bathroom for labor?
I have always wanted a "Garden Tub" or "Soaking Tub"-- deep, with jets and room enough for two. I mean, just in general, but it might work well enough as a birth tub, and you get the bonus of jets on your back as an option (which you wouldn't in an inflatable/portable birth tub).
A minor "upgrade" for labor-- I broke our old wooden toilet seat recently and decided, when replacing it, to get one of those cushioned seats since I think it would be awesome for labor (lots of women labor on the toilet and I had an experience where I realized it would totally help in labor). The cushioned seats aren't super-durable (the vinyl (?) tends to tear eventually), but I figured it would last at least a year and be worth it for the $25.
We re-did our old 70's yellow bathroom (yellow toilet, yellow tub, yellow sink, yellow tile, yellow wallpaper...it was YELLOW!) while I was nesting before my last birth. We didn't have the resources or time to completely re-do everything so I had to keep the small tub...but we did replace everything yellow with white and put in a nice soothing blueish grey paint color and waterfall faucets and rainfall shower head. It's very spa like except the garden jetted tub...which would have been amazing to labor in. It is still a super tiny tub that my almost 6 foot body does not fit in...but I agree with the previous poster...a garden and/or jetted tub deep enough to submerse yourself in would have been amazing!! As it was, I used the shower a couple times during labor and being in my little spa was pretty fantastic.
Good luck and congrats!!
For my dream water birth the bathroom would need to be spa-like with a huge garden tub or soaking tub. If it had jets, aromatherapy and chromotherapy (light therapy) it would be even better.
Besides the tub the flooring would have radiant heating. My daughter was born at home in a water birth in the middle of winter in a mountain cabin. The floors got very cold.
The lighting would be able to be dimmed and there would be a sound system where I could play music. And there would be a larger toilet. The one I had during the labor was so tiny it hurt to sit. A more comfortable toilet seat that can fit a pregnant women would have been wonderful, heated would be nice too if delivering in winter time again. (A lot of women tend to sit on the toilet during labor.) ;)
Here's an idea of my "perfect" bathroom for labor. I think it is a spa or jacuzzi, but I think it would be amazing if it was salt water and not chlorine. The view certainly would help me stay calm and relaxed. Plus the railing would be supportive.
i second heated floors! not just for birthing, but in general. i had them in one place i've lived and still think about them. and i'm not even in a cold region! if i ever renovated a bathroom that would be number one on the list. as far as birthing, i actually pushed on the toilet and made a lot of progress. it's where DS crowned. at that point i moved off the toilet, and birthed him at the side of the bed. i was in the tub and he would move down during a contraction and then back up. on the toilet, he only moved down - and i was straddling the toilet resting my head on the back. so i guess a big toilet would be nice! and some room around it- my midwife was crouched down against the wall and under the toilet checking DS's heartbeat while i labored on the toilet...not so comfy!
Wow, some great ideas! Eco's picture is lovely, could be my dream too!
I was thinking of my homebirth experience in our last home and I thought my bathroom was ideal.
We think our bathroom was an old bedroom so it was a fairly large square. That was nice because it easily fit me, my husband, my mother, two midwives. I did not choose to have our baby in the tub/shower. The tub was narrow, but deep (nice for labouring) and I could have used it or the baby pool we bought just in case! Regular toilet worked fine for moving things along. My favourite was this heater coming from the ceiling. It was sooo warm and I get really shivery post-birth. We also took advantage of the kid's Ikea stool for me to sit on while the midwives did their stuff and cleaned up. Oh, and double sinks on a large countertop worked well for everyday, obviously, but was also helpful for clean-up I think. Simple set-up I guess, but this was all that I needed.
I agree with you. My daughter cried when she came out of the water because it wasn't as warm. I couldn't easily keep her body underwater and her head out, so we moved to my bed. A working heater is definitely needed.
Maybe even a towel heater/warmer would be a nice extra too.
i put our birth tub in the kitchen. it's not the prettiest kitchen but it wasnt to bad candle lit. i personally wouldnt want to birth in a bath tub, my knees would be aching from the hard bottom and it really wouldnt be as deep as i like or big enough for dh and me to both fit in comfortably