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making the hot water last longer if I want to shower in labor

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm nearing the 3rd trimester and starting to think (ahem, overthink.... ) all the little details. This morning I was taking a shower and thinking about how much I love being in the shower, and how I bet it would feel really nice during labor. However, my shower runs out of hot water after 15-20 minutes or so. I can see that being mighty irritating if I wanted to use it as a labor tool! So I'm guessing I need to turn up the temp on my water heater right? Is that safe to do even though we have a toddler in the house? She doesn't turn on water by herself, FTR, shes not even 2 yet. And how hot do I turn it up to? Is it worth it to try to do this, esp since I also plan on having a birth pool (probably the fishy one, I need to discuss those details with my MW still).

Sorry for the dumb questions, this is my first homebirth and I'm in that "need to make everything perfect" stage it seems

Thanks!
post #2 of 18
if you don't already have one, i think installing a low-flow shower head would help a lot.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
we rent an apartment, so I don't think they'd want me to change anything like a showerhead...
thanks though
post #4 of 18
Mama I just wanted to let you know we use to rent and changed the shower head it is super simple and easy to change back....like we go the one that was adjustable and was a HUGE head that flowed over your whole body

Good luck I have been thinking about the hot water issues too but I am thinking of getting a pool with a heather
post #5 of 18
I was just thinking the same thing in the shower this morning, and I'm only 15 weeks.

I thought I might shower for half an hour, get out and do something else for a while, and then return to the shower again. Some variety might be nice. My labors are pretty fast, anyway (the first being only 4 hours, the second being 7 hours with twins).

I'm going to ask DH to put some big fluffy towels in the dryer when I get in the shower, so I have somethine warm and comfy to crawl into when I get out. Makes moving in and out of the shower sound more appealing.

I was thinking it might be nice to put a birth ball or a chair in the shower, too. Our shower has a large flat floor, so it should be perfectly safe.

As the PP mentioned, you'd be shocked at how easy the shower head is to change. We just changed ours recently, and I never guessed it would be such a simple operation.

We may end up going with the pool option, but at the moment the shower is appealing to me more. There's plenty of time for me to change my mind multiple times between now and September.

* Jaime
post #6 of 18
I'm 11 days away from my due date and I turned up our water heater to "HOT" - the hottest setting when I was about 37 weeks. We also have a toddler but I'm just extra vigilant around the taps with her.
We ran out of hot water with our first homebirth/waterbirth. I took a shower for a while and the laboured on the 'toilette' (french makes it sounds so much nicer) while they filled the birth pool. We ran out of water filling up the pool and the midwives ended up boiling water on the stove. So this time I'm trying to be a bit more prepared, espescially since we won't have a heater for the pool this time.
post #7 of 18
Also, it doesn't really take that long for the hot water heater to heat up from a lower setting to a higher setting (at least mine doesn't). Unless you are expecting a very fast labor (like, less than an hour from when you know you are in labor until you can't stand not having the hot water) I'd think you could just turn up the temp all the way to the top when you think labor is beginning, rather than having to do it now (it's $$$ to have it turned up high all the time.)

I wish I had thought of this before my last birth!
post #8 of 18
I spent the majority of my (5 hour) labor in the shower on hands/knees. It was fantastic! By the time the water would run cold I was ready to try a new position/get out and dry off. We keep our water heater up pretty high.
post #9 of 18
Yep, just turn it up. That will make it last much longer.

And yes, changing a showerhead is a really minor thing. If you're really into showers, maybe treat yourself to a massaging shower head or something for the birth
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~MamaJava~*~ View Post
Yep, just turn it up. That will make it last much longer.

And yes, changing a showerhead is a really minor thing. If you're really into showers, maybe treat yourself to a massaging shower head or something for the birth

Yep & Yep, turn it up and change the head (SUPER Easy)!
post #11 of 18
I second the changing shower heads and turning up hot water heater options...both are relatively easy.
The other thing my DH is doing is getting some insulation that just slips on over the pipes (again very easy and relatively inexpensive i think) that way they keep the water at temp better, since our hot water heater is on the opposite side of the house in our un-insulated basement and my shower/birth pool is on the second floor apparently its loosing a lot of heat that way.
All of these changes are very easy to change back if your landlord got upset, but none are detrimental to the property at all so I'm sure they wouldn't!
Good Luck.
post #12 of 18
Just popping in to agree, yes, installing a showerhead ia SUPER Easy. I bought a dual head and installed it myself in no time at all. I LOVE IT, and would never be without one again. Mine has a head that hooks in to the main pipe, as well as a hose that turns on and off- perfect for washing babies, or running water over prodomally contracting bellies... Go for it, it can only increase the value of your rental.

As for turning up the hot water... We did. I was super bummed during my first uc when I ran out of hot water, just before I shifted into transition.
post #13 of 18
I keep my water heater all the way up. Little ones dont turn it on alone. You could always turn it up real high when you get close and then turn it back down after baby is born.
post #14 of 18
How about doing a waterbirth then you'll have the tub full of water...AquaDoulas are great if you can rent one.
post #15 of 18
I loved the shower for all my labors. I turned up our hot water for our last home water birth and posted signs on all the taps to remind everyone not to scald themselves. What I did not do was think about my other appliances! So the water pump on my washing machine melted!!! ah! Not what a pregnant mommy of 3 wants to be dealing with 2 wks before her due date! So I had it fixed for a small fortune and then used the cold cycle! Just some practical advice!! Hope you have an awesome birth.
post #16 of 18
I'm normally not one of those people who trys to scare people by posting "horror stories." I am very inclined to think the same way you are about the safety aspect, however....

A friend had a baby about 6 months ago & had their hot water heater turned up as far as it would go (she was bottle feeding & was told that it would be more sanitary for the dish washer.) When the baby was about 3wks old her mother in law was over and I'm not sure exactly how it happened but the baby ended up getting severely burned by tap water. (she will have scarring for her whole life-spent a few days in the trama/burn unit)

If I were you I would go ahead & turn up the water heater for the birth & turn it back to normal after delivery. No use risking your toddler getting hurt the first time she does decide she knows how to use the faucet herself. You might save a bundle on utility costs too. I second the PP who mentioned how easy it is to change and change back shower heads. You can get some really neat massage ones for pretty cheap too.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by *mama moose* View Post
we rent an apartment, so I don't think they'd want me to change anything like a showerhead...
thanks though
Yes, you need to turn up your water heater. Check out the Birth Pool Resources thread at the top of the forum for more tips.

We have rented for years and I bring my low-flow showerhead with me when we move! You can certainly put it on and take off the one the apt. came with and put it aside in a drawer for awhile. THey just unscrew - very simple. Here's my showerhead - only $5!

Niagara Earth Showerhead
post #18 of 18
My shower is like that too. It gets cold so fast. One thing a plumber told me to do was to not put the water on full blast. If you turn the cold water down, then you will need less hot water. Using less hot water gives your tank more time to heat up water while you are using it instead of it running out so quickly. Its a little bit of a softer stream of water, but its SO worth it and you wont run up a bill from your hot water heater running all night.
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