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Birth Pool resources and information

post #1 of 234
Thread Starter 
Hello. Help.

So after a conversation with my mother today, the realities of just how LITTLE time is left has finally set in.


Here's the thing. Do any of you have any recommendations as to WHERE to get one. We don't really care if we buy one or rent one, because MY momma is studying to be a doula, and we'll just give it to her after we're done if we buy one- hmmm... a used pool as a kind of thank you for all the stuff she's been doing for us. Sounds gross.

Anyway, many many MANY of the sites I've found are based out of the UK, and I honestly just don't want to deal with that. So a US site, please, with any pointers you can give.

Do I need a heater/thermometer?
How far in advance should I order?
Stores/rental places with good reputations?



In a state of 2-months-out panic after 2 months off from panicking!
post #2 of 234
I keep saying I'm gonna make a thread for Arwyn to make a sticky, so maybe this is a good one to do it with...

Here's pool info. You can rent one (I wouldn't pay $249 to rent an AquaDoula but people do and like them) or buy a pool, but they are all basically the same size - a 106 gal. capacity, with a 60" diameter, and a 23"-24" depth. They are available in the spring and summer at Toys R Us for about $14.99-$24.99, or online in the off-season (or anytime) at the links below for about $25. There is a slightly fancier one, the Sevylor Electra, that is $55. And two even fancier ones, the La Bassine for $98, and the Birth Pool In A Box for $165.

There is one pool - a hexagon fishy pool - that is larger, with the same depth, but twice the water capacity (200 gal.) and a larger diameter (72"). I used it for my first birth and I don't recommend this. It's best to use a smaller pool, because you are less likely to overtax your water heater and run out of hot water, and the other pools hold their warmth best. You will not need a heater in the pool itself. Inflatable pools retain their heat very well. You can use a fabric-backed vinyl table cloth to cover the pool to retain heat when you get out while in labor, and you should put a tarp underneath to protect your floor and you slipping. You'll need a floating aquarium thermometer, which you can find at any pet store, or WalMart for about $1.49. The water should be kept at about 99-100 degrees F.

Intex Round Fishy Pool 106 gal.

Round Fishy 2 106 gal.

Star-shaped Pool 113 gal.

Sevylor Electra Pool 72 gal.

La Bassine Pool 100 gal.

Large Hexagon Fishy Pool 200 gal.

Birth Pool In A Box 127 gal.

To fill and drain the pool, you will need an aquarium hose (which is drinking-water quality). This is preferable to a garden hose, which is not drinking-water quality, and is usually too long. You will need the SHORTEST hose to get from Point A (the sink) to Point B (the pool). You can get the Python Brand of aquarium hose at any Petsmart or most other pet stores for about $10-$20, depending on the length. You can also get these items online at the links I'm posting:

Python Hose

You will also need a faucet adapter for the faucet in your sink to attach the hose. It's the same brand. They cost about $2. In the photo linked below, the faucet adapter you need is labeled "G" (the plastic one) or "F" (the metal one). They are standard and will allow you to connect any hose (aquarium, rv, or garden hose) and/or a drain & fill pump to the faucet in your sink.

Faucet Adapters

Finally, to drain the pool you can buy a Python drain and fill pump for about $5, or buy a submersible pump for about $75. I think the drain & fill pump is better, and cheaper!

Python Drain & Fill Pump

This piece attaches as shown in the photo, and uses the water pressure of your sink to drain the pool. You reverse the flow by opening the valve at the bottom of the piece where the silver screw is in the picture, and the water drains right down your sink drain. It is quite easy, and no mess, no buckets, no work! And it's quiet.

Here are some specific instructions with photos on how to connect the faucet adapter and Python Drain & Fill Pump to your faucet. There are two basic types of faucets, and instructions on how to attach for both.


If you have lots of $$$ here is the submersible pump, but I don't know how loud they are, as I have never used one.

Submersible Pump

Here's a link to a submersible aquarium pump that a MW posted that you could use to drain a pool that is MUCH less expensive than that one above from the waterbirth website:

Aquarium Pump

Also, it is wise to get an electric air pump to inflate the pool. You can get one for about $15-$20 in the sporting goods section of any Walmart or Target. Inflate the pool about two weeks before your due date, and keep it inflated and ready to go. You don't fill it with water till you're in labor.

It's also VERY wise to do a test run with your pool. Turn up your water heater a day beforehand, and keep your water heater turned up the last 2 weeks before you're due. The test run will tell you how long it takes to fill and drain the pool, and how well your water heater performs. When you fill the pool, use cold water full blast for about 1/4 of the way (to protect the plastic from heat damage), then turn the water to full blast hot and fill it the rest of the way up.

You can also add a cup of salt, if you have any germ worries. And you can get a large aquarium net to scoop out any ..ahem.. "floaties."

Another piece of advice: buy your pool in the summer time! There are often posts made here at MDC in the wintertime of mamas who cannot get their hands on a pool for a winter months' birth. Pools are out of season and usually OUT OF STOCK in the winter, even online, so get one in the summer months if you know you will be birthing in the winter.

Some ladies have posted that they used a 100 gal. or 300 gal. Rubbermaid Stock Tank for a HB. These are a type of livestock watering trough. Some MW's have commented that they do not like their typically black color because it makes it difficult to see meconium or how much blood is in the water, but I have found some that are blue or gray. Some ladies who have birthed in them say they like them because of the extra inch or two of depth - stock tanks are a standard 24"-25" depth. If you are buying one, I would recommend you first try to find them locally at a livestock or feed store, because it appears that the shipping costs can be high to order them online. Here are some pictures and online sources:

Rubbermaid Stock Tanks 1

Rubbermaid Stock Tanks 2

Green Stock Tanks (also available in white)

Here's an accessory for stock tanks and rental pools:

Disposable Liner $22

That is all the info I can think of at the moment, but I'll post more later as I think of other info or links I have that could be useful. Try not to get suckered into one of those really expensive water-birth packages that are $150-200. You really shouldn't pay that much, when you can get everything you need for about $60-$100 or less.

Good pool FAQ's
post #3 of 234
Thread Starter 
holy cow you are awesome!

what a good idea for a sticky!!!
post #4 of 234
Happy to oblige.
post #5 of 234
Here's a copy of an old post to explain how the Python drain & fill attachment works:

Look at this picture first:

Item H in photo

It should be hooked up just like this picture. The adapter (white part) is screwed into your faucet. Then the pump (the green T-shaped part) is screwed into the white adapter. Finally, your hose is screwed into the horizontal portion of the "T" on the pump.

If you look at the bottom of the pump that points downward toward the drain, where the little silver screw is in the picture, you will notice that this piece rotates, like a valve, and has an 'open' and 'closed' postition.

This piece must be in the 'closed' position in order to send the flow of water through the hose to fill the pool. It must be in the 'open' position to drain the pool.

BUT, here's the KEY:

In order to acquire suction to pull the water OUT of the pool, you must first CLOSE the valve at the bottom and turn your cold water on FULL BLAST for a moment like you would to fill the pool. This allows the pressure to build, then you simply rotate the valve into the 'open' position WHILE LEAVING THE WATER RUNNING and it will now REVERSE the flow with suction and drain your pool. DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR SINK! You have to keep the cold water turned on while it drains; that's where the pressure providing the suction is coming from.

It's very easy, you shouldn't have any problems.
post #6 of 234
Thread Starter 
Another question, might be good for the sticky as well. (Thanks, by the way!!)

How about the thermometer-slash-water heater? Do you think it's necessary?
I'm in a rental house and honestly not sure how big the tank is here, because it's under the house and I can't fit there anymore

post #7 of 234
Originally Posted by deuxceleste View Post
How about the thermometer-slash-water heater? Do you think it's necessary? I'm in a rental house and honestly not sure how big the tank is here

Are you asking if your water heater is big enough to fill the pool because you livre in a rental? I'm sure it is, but all the more reason to use one of the 106 gal. pools, and not the 200 gal. hexagon one. It's too big.

Are you asking if you need the floating thermometer in your pool? Yes, it's definitely a good idea. The pool should be about 99-100 degrees while you labor so you don't get overheated.
post #8 of 234
thanks for the pump link, that's perfect! Last time, we (should say "they" b/c I didn't do any work!) couldn't get the hose to work as a siphon so they had to empty it bucket by bucket..... Anyway, a cheap sink attached thing is perfect--thanks!

Also, can you attach a normal garden hose to this???

post #9 of 234
Originally Posted by EmmaJean View Post
Also, can you attach a normal garden hose to this???

Yes, you can - but if you have weak water pressure it may not work due to the length of the hose. It can't generate enough pressure to make the suction. It would be better to spend the ten bucks on a short aquarium hose.
post #10 of 234

I have a question about heating these pools.

Awesome sticky and GREAT post Stacy.

How about waterbed heaters under the pool?

What about boiling water on the stove and adding it to the pool?

Pros? Cons?
post #11 of 234
Another draining option--- works sorta like the python pump.
They are available at pool stores.
It takes a garden-hose sized hose on one side and it takes a pool vacuume hose on the other.
It's as simple as puting it in your pool, directing the vacuume hose to where you want the water to drain and turing on the garden hose. For every gallon of water thru the garden hose 6 gallons of pool water are pumped out.
post #12 of 234
Originally Posted by Synchro246 View Post
Awesome sticky and GREAT post Stacy.
How about waterbed heaters under the pool?
What about boiling water on the stove and adding it to the pool?
Pros? Cons?

Thanks, I hope it helps a lot of ladies!

I actually owned a waterbed for about 15 years - way beyond the point in which it was "cool" to do so! : I suppose you could use a waterbed heater, since they are encased in plastic, but honestly it would not be realistic. They would be a) hard to find, b) expensive, c) they aren't going to work fast enough, and d) you really just don't need one.

The pools retain their heat extremely well, especially if they are covered when you get out to take a break. And if it is not your first birth, your labor will likely not go long enough for heat loss to be an issue.

You don't need to boil any pots of water on the stove when you are using the Python drain & fill pump. If your pool cooled a bit, you would simply reverse the flow to drain a bit of water off, and then add more hot, since your water heater will have caught up by the time you needed more.
post #13 of 234
Check ebay and craig's list. I bought a gentle birth pool (www.waterbirth.org) on ebay for about half the price they charge at the websites. It had everything they do except 1 liner and the waste net.
post #14 of 234
Does anyone have an idea for a non PVC pool that isn't very expensive?
post #15 of 234

birth pool rental in nyc

anyone have any local (NYC, brooklyn) referrals for birth pools (with heat regulator)? i'm trying to avoid the $125 shipping fee from waterbirth international.
post #16 of 234
Originally Posted by twinangels04 View Post
Does anyone have an idea for a non PVC pool that isn't very expensive?

I have never heard of a non-PVC inflatable pool. Maybe they exist somewhere, but I've not seen it. However, if your pool has been left inflated for a couple of weeks before birth, it has had a chance to off-gas, and I wouldn't be concerned. You just don't spend enough time in there (certainly not after the babe is born) for it to be a problem.
post #17 of 234
Thank you. I'm hoping letting it off gas for a couple weeks will be sufficient.
post #18 of 234
thank you for the tip on the python kit, I found one at my local Petsmart. It was $50 Canadian, but $10 off if you joined their free pet club (ie mailing list). It came with great instructions. Last time we got a waterbed fill/drain kit (basically the same thing) but it was not nearly as good quality or with instructions. We couldn't figure out how to reverse it, and now I have realized that the water needs to be ON when empying to build pressure!
post #19 of 234
Does anyone know how to tell whether the floors of one's house/apartment would be able to support a birth pool full of water and pregnant mama and partner/s?

This is my wife's primary concern with a birth pool. We live in a house that was built 80-100 years ago. The floors are a little creaky, but there's really nothing that leads me to believe they'll give way at the slightest sneeze. But full pools are HEAVY!

Any ideas?
post #20 of 234
I wouldn't worry about it at all. The pool's capacity is only 100 gallons, and water weighs about 8 lbs. per gallon. If your floor can handle an aquarium or a waterbed, it can certainly handle a fishy pool.
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