How did you get/keep the birth tub warm? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-06-2010, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Gearing up for my first birth, which - God willing - will be at home in the water.

Our midwife's tub is a 150-gallon Rubbermaid stock trough (the shape and size and everything are SO perfect, I'm glad we didn't go for one of the inflatables - we practiced lots of laboring positions in it already ...)

From what I understand, it'll take about 45 minutes to fill using a hose from the bathroom sink.

The water heater is 80 gallons, so first I'm wondering how you GET a full tub of hot enough water (it'll cool as it is being filled) ...

On the birth supply list are big huge pots, to boil water for reheating. Did anyone go through this? How many times did you have to top off the water? Or how long did it stay hot?

Has anyone tried the waterbed heaters to help? This trough is built for much hotter heaters (to keep it from freezing outside in winter), so I assume it's fine for a waterbed heater, but not sure how effective that'd be.

Dad & I are both construction-engineer types so we keep thinking, there must be a better way ...
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#2 of 6 Old 05-06-2010, 04:41 AM
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I would start filling it when you're sure you're in active labor, maybe earlier. The balance is early enough you can get a second water tank hot, and not so early it cools down all the way. We used a BPIAB (inflatable) and covered it with a quilt. I would definitely recommend having a quilt or comforter to cover it with, perhaps even as it's filling, to prevent heat loss. Also, make sure the water heater is turned way up, so it will be as hot as possible to start with.

We have never had to add hot water, but we did have to use pots to get water OUT when I was in a smaller tub and needed the constant flow of hot water on my belly. Not fun, but my DH and the assistant MW worked on that while my MW sat with me (she was the best one for putting pressure on my back!). Having a bigger tub will prevent some of those issues, thankfully!

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.

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#3 of 6 Old 05-06-2010, 05:14 AM
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Yep, keeping it covered is key. You could get one of those cheap camping foam pads and cut it to size, so if it gets wet, it'll float.

I've attended several water births and the water temp stayed warm for the most part, we had to add a pot or two of hot water when it came time to push (so the water was where it needed to be for the babe). I don't have experience with water heaters, I too am curious if anyone can recommend one.

Bekah (33): Doula and CNA sharing a great life with DH for 10 yrs now, momma to DS Baron (7/10)
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#4 of 6 Old 05-06-2010, 04:57 PM
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Our plan is to hook up a hose to the hot water pipe for the washing machine. It means that we use a hose nearly twice the diameter that we would use for the hot tap, the flow is much faster.
I don't know how your hot water system works, but we can switch ours completely over from the radiators to just heat the water tank, and crank up the thermostat to full.
We think it will still take two tanks to fill the pool, and we plan to insultate under the pool (we have a cold floor) with foam pads and then lay silver-backed bubble wrap cut to size, right on top of the water surface.
We figure that if we are careful to cut the flow of water on the first fill before it starts to cool off, so that the water is very hot, we can keep it warm and then adjust to the required temp on the second fill.
We're using an inflatable so a heater isn't an option but hope some of the above might help
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#5 of 6 Old 05-06-2010, 05:32 PM
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We turned our water heater up which worked great, and then we continued to boil water on the stove until the pool was filled. I believe it was at 110 degrees F when we finished. We did that at 6 am, and we kept a tarp on top of it. I didn't get in until about 10 pm and it was still at 100 degrees.
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#6 of 6 Old 05-06-2010, 07:56 PM
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We used one of those emergency blankets over top of the tub when I wasn't in it.
Then just taking out buckets and adding in a couple hot ones full.

Lovin my sweet babygirl 3-17-10love.gif and expecting another in March! love.gif

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