Frugal home birth prep? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 04-14-2012, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Woah, I am overwhelmed at how much the birth planning is costing.

I want to have a pool, but rentals are only a bit cheaper around here then buying a new (such as a la bassine or ecopool)

Then to order the birth kit, and all of the other fabulous goodies to make labor easier.
So tell me, how can I make this less stressful financially. What was absolutely necessary for your Homebirth?

Thanks mamas

 

 

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#2 of 28 Old 04-14-2012, 09:56 PM
 
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You could always get a kiddie pool instead of an actual birth pool, they are probably going to be on sale soon.


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#3 of 28 Old 04-15-2012, 07:26 PM
 
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Well what kind of goodies do you want?  My birth kit is $75, a $35 fishie pool, and a few other random supplies are on my midwife's list.  The whole works ends up being about $125 for the supplies (SolUMel, sea salt, plastic table clothes, etc.).  Of course there are lots of women who don't do a pool and just use the bathtub....  The expensive part of our birth is the cost of gas for our midwife- her fees aren't even very much :)


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#4 of 28 Old 04-16-2012, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL. See! Iowa Organic you just gave me new things to think about! What is the sea salt for? And the SoluMel? 

And are you using plastic table cloths as tarps?

 

Hubby is afraid fishy pool will spring a leak and ruin our rentals carpet. Maybe I should just go for it though. 

 

I really have no idea, never had a homebirth. The extra stuff was essential oils I don't have, extra sheets, tinctures, etc.


 

 

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#5 of 28 Old 04-16-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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Dovemama: Do tell what is on the list. I won't be meeting with my midwife for a couple week and we haven't talked about this stuff. But it did occur to me that there might be added expense for supplies. I think my friend near you bought a birth pool for cheap - I'm hoping I can buy it off of her for cheap when she is done with it. But the other midwife I liked said I should just use my bath tub to labor in - to stop up the emergency overfill part so I can fill it higher. But she didn't really want me to birth in water anyway. 

 

Could you put the tub in the kitchen - someplace without carpet? I think we'd likely put ours in our basement. Not my favorite room in the house, but better than ruining our wood floors elsewhere.

 

Cindy


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#6 of 28 Old 04-17-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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The fishy pool is totally the way to go! No leaks, super cheap, very easy, and then you have a pool afterwards! And, since you aren't re-using it for another mama, you don't need a liner. You can use a tarp to keep the heat in, but that's pretty cheap and you might even find one to borrow.

 

This is the end-all-be-all thread for fishy pools. Don't be intimidated by the length, the second post has almost all the info you need.

 

As for other supplies, I found there were two lists. First is the stuff that your MW needs and is usually a given: cord clamp, gloves, towels, etc. My MW sold a kit that was pretty much the same price as if I bought it all myself, but that's because where I live, shipping is super expensive. You might be able to piecemeal it together yourself here.

 

The other category of stuff is things that will make you more comfortable, and you can find most of those around your house or even at a thrift store, or grocery store. I see your babe is due in Aug (so was mine last year!), so you can even start buying one one or two things at a time now, and it won't hurt $$ so much. You can buy towels and washcloths at a thrift store. Same with a spare set of sheets. A cheap drop cloth in the painting section is a great thing for putting on your mattress and couch for waterproofing. Have a couple waterbottles around the house with yummy, hydrating drinks. I HATE coconut water, but it's so hydrating and I found that I can't taste it if I mix cran juice in it. You can keep your eye on your store to see if a sale pops up between now and summer. Same with other snacks. Other things you most likely already have: camera (keep it charged!), chapstick, lotions, music, candles, tennis balls (great for back pressure), hot rice sock, etc.

 

You can also post an ISO on Craigslist. I gave away a bunch of extra chux pads, giant pp pads and some depends after DS was born. Good luck!

 


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#7 of 28 Old 04-17-2012, 02:40 PM
 
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The plastic table clothes are what I actually had DS on- they were all over the living room floor and on the couch- we had about 6 of them and they just moved them to where I wanted to be and they worked awesome.  like a tarp but cheap (and I use them anyway most of the time on my table so I have a stack of old ones that aren't in too bad of shape).  My MW has a pp bath recipe that is awesome and that is what the sea salt and  SolUMel are for- the SolUMel is water soluble tea tree oil.  I would go to the thrift store for the extra sheets- around here you can get them for $4/set or less.  Ask around- people give me their old towels for our shop all the time- I actually use them in the house- but whatever....  Juice, a few hard candies, some snacks like toast, a good nourishing pp meal, and you should really be about good.  If you are nervous about the fishy pool leaking- what about renting a carpet shampooer or shop van to quickly slurp up any water?  I used my carpet shampooer when the kids flooded the bathroom :)  Your midwife should give you a list for your birth kit...


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#8 of 28 Old 04-18-2012, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome, thank you all for the input.
Also that thread about fishy pools was so helpful.

Good idea about the thrift store linens. Having my mum look for some. We have sort of crummy thrift stores around here.

So, since you asked Cindy, my basic things I want, which I don't currently have are therapeutic grade oils, such as clary sage, for stimulating contractions, geranium-relaxing, lavender, ginger, etc.
I have a ton of eo's but none that I trust to be of exceptional quality.
teas for labor and postpartum.
Salves for different needs.
Some homeopathics, etc.
Tinctures for cramps, moods, hemorrhage.

I love the Wise Women Herbal for the Childbearing year by Susan Weed. It has instilled a lot of confidence in being prepared for a home birth.

And now perhaps table cloths.
Cat13, I can't stand the taste of coconut water either, but I am definitely going to try mixing it with cranberry juice. Thanks for the awesome suggestion!

It's actually kind of fun building a little natural birth space.

 

 

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#9 of 28 Old 04-18-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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Thanks Dovemama! I'm wondering if I'll just be able to do without a good portion of that stuff. I hated scents during my last labor! I had wanted candles burning but I felt like I was drowning in the scent. Just wondering, but shouldn't your midwife have tinctures, pitocin, etc. in case of a hemmorage? That doesn't seem like something we should have to buy on our own? Or do you mean things to take after to help you recover from it- once the danger part is done? 


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#10 of 28 Old 04-18-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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The dollar store has Shower curtains or table cloths to keep things clean, along with a spray bottle you can use to spray herbal infusions on after you give birth. They also sell things such as epsom salt, hydrogen peroxide. You can use a shoe string or rubber band to tie off the embilical cord (if your midwife wants yout to buy your own). The fishy pools have been used by many, if you look on amazon the reviews are by homebirthers. Not sure exactly what you ae buying but the dollar store helped us cut down prices lol. Also a lot of herbs you can buy fresh from a farmers market, which is actually cheaper than at, say, wal-mart. (and healthier smile.gif
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#11 of 28 Old 04-18-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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My midwife just gave me a list of things and personally I didn't use or have most of the stuff on it for my first birth and don't want the hassle or expense of gathering it this time. The only thing I will use that I don't already have is a $10 vinyl mattress cover for the bed I plan to labor in, Although I already keep waterproof mattress covers on all my beds and custom fit ones to go under the upholstery on my couch cushions, but it will be easier to take the vinyl one off after birth and have fresh sheets underneath with an other waterproof cover under those. I will use a simple cotton string to tie off the cord and don't get into all that herbal stuff or the hassle of a waterbirth, plus I have a fairly deep soaking tub if I decide to use water. Everything else I already have, thermometer, suction thingy, medical scissors, etc... Instead of chic pads, I'll be using regular bath towels, that's what I did last time and my husband washed a couple loads afterwards and they all came perfectly clean and unstained. Oh, I do need a stethoscope...
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#12 of 28 Old 04-18-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Vegan Princess,

Yes I am sure mw carries pitocin and the one with the m word (can't remember) 

I just happen to love herbs, and am passionate about it.

So it's all just my preference. 

 

Now doubt you can get thru without any of it, since last time I only had some lavender eo (which I sniffed like a mad woman), and obviously midwife will be prepared.

 

 


 

 

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#13 of 28 Old 04-18-2012, 12:49 PM
 
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We got shower curtains at the dollar store. I have arnica and Wish gardens after ease on hand but that's it for homeopathy. No tub for us (2nd floor apartment and didn't like the water with DD).

 

The birth kit was like $60 for us and was our MWs kit from a site she uses so no choice there. I got receiveing blankets for the birth from a friend. Clothes off freecycle and family hand me downs. Everything else was small stuff (paper towels, soap, etc)
 


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#14 of 28 Old 04-18-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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I had a number of herbs and remedies and never remembered to take them.  I found that yo really need someone who is knowledgeable and can give it to you when needed.  Does your MW have much knowledge about herbs or remedies?

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#15 of 28 Old 04-20-2012, 01:21 PM
 
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bump.


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#16 of 28 Old 04-20-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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musts for my last birth were:

a waterproof covering for the bed (most of my birth was on my bed, that's were my water broke)

2 sets of sheets (one for during, one for after. if you don't have two sets of sheets, you'll probably want another for after baby comes anyway. can't count the number of times we've had spit-up on our sheets and not been able to wash them in time to sleep again)
chux pads (to try and catch most of the mess, both during the birth and after for the bleeding)

something to puke into (I always puke several times during labor. not everyone does, but it's good to have something on hand)

towels (again, to clean up the mess)

heating pad (warmed op the receiving blankets for the baby and to ease after-pains)

peroxide (to clean any blood that gets on the carpet or sheets)

straws for sipping water through

thermometer for checking baby's temp (you should have one anyway)

baby-wipes (both for the baby and for me)

diapers

receiving blankets

newborn hat

menstrual pads

sterile gauze (used for cleaning enough to check for tears)


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#17 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 06:06 PM
 
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I just had a home birth and even though I kind of wanted a pool we didn't get one. I also wanted to keep my costs down. Truthfully the birth went fast so I wouldn't have used it long at all! I just bought the home birth kit for about $90. I was also told to get a shower curtain liner and I went to our local thrift shop to buy sheets that I could throw out after the birth. I bought cheap maxi pads from the 0.99 store. I would recommend buying a sitz bath and you can just use sea salt and warm water to sit in if you need to after the birth. My midwife told me to have the fridge packed with high protein foods and some comfort foods for after the birth. Let me know if you have more questions.

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#18 of 28 Old 04-23-2012, 02:04 PM
 
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I just wanted to point out that, ime, all births are different. The first time I went through all this business about baking a roll of toilet paper, etc., which I never used,  but the time I was sure I needed  a special stool to lean on I wound up spending much of the labor with one leg kinda wrapped around my head to encourage my little sunny-side up baby to find his way out. The baby I had multiple layers on the bed for insisted on being born in the living room, and so forth.

 

It's not that my kids are unnaturally contrary, either. :D

 

So, I think essentials include: a working camera and someone to operate it (not partner or medical personnel, and not someone who will be too overcome by the experience to push the 'go' button.)

A big stack of newspapers for the floor.

A squirt bottle for going pee afterwards.

Something high calorie for when you feel sorry for yourself.

A partner who will stay calm.

Someone to mind existing children, who generally find labor dull.

A functional way to wash and dry laundry.

Food for family and attendants with a smell that doesn't make you ill.

A working shower.

Chux.

 

Glamorous, isn't it? ;)

 

 

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#19 of 28 Old 04-24-2012, 12:17 AM
 
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Our MWs provided a birth kit with chux pads, medical equipment (the stuff they'd need, and also peri bottles, etc.) and newborn cap.  Otherwise, if I recall correctly we needed:

-a second set of sheets for birthing on (thrift store - the queen size were $10, the mismatched king were $3...we bought the king and saved some money winky.gif  My only regret is that I got really eked out by what had occurred on those sheets and actually made my MWs throw them in the garbage instead of wash them!  so silly!  especially now that I'm PG with #2...)

-a shower curtain liner (I think this was in the birth kit, but we got one at a dollar store for $1 before we knew)

-2 rolls of paper towels (they had us buy nice ones, which they then didn't see and used the cheapies under the sink anyway...)

-two towels, one for me, one for baby after the birth - we used old ones we planned to throw out, but after the sheet silliness I washed and kept them for backups after dirty days outside

-pads for post-partum bleeding

-lavender oil/aloe vera juice - I think it's a mothering recipe, but MWs gave me copy of recipe for frozen PP pads - AWESOME.  Couldn't have survived without them

-fit ball for rolling on during labor (I used the one I already owned for workouts, but I think they're $20 at Sporting goods stores)

 

I think that's it.  We didn't use a tub (didn't think I'd want one and I was right - tried our regular tub at one point and it totally slowed me down and made everything more painful, so I got out fast) or any other fanciness.  I see the MWs for the first time with this pregnancy tomorrow, so if I see anything else on their list I'll repost, but the acoutrements weren't the expensive part for us, it was the cost of the MWs, unfortunately...irked.gif

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#20 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 07:16 PM
 
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I also found that I didn't use most of the supplies I had. (i had lots of oils, herbs, homeopathics, special snacks, massage stuff etc)

What I did use was:

pilates (birth) ball

my own reg bath tub

lavender oil in the bath helped me relax

old towels and sheets from a friend (try asking on freecycle.org)

$5 mattress cover from dept store

giant overnight maxipads

placenta bowl (already owned)

juice

sparkling wine (to celebrate after)

cheap red wine (to take the edge off the contractions)

had a homemade lasagna in the freezer that midwife and DH ate during and I ate after

thigh-length comfy nighty

hair brush (had DH brush my hair to relax)

 

borrowed double electric breast pump from midwife to induce labour

midwives are publicly funded here so her supplies were free

 

i was in no way hungry once active labour set in and also in no state of mind to think about what herbs or homeopathic i could use, or what comfort measures I wanted, so unless your midwife or a doula will be taking on that role you prob won't use them

 

honestly, though it's nice to have lots of options, the comforts you already enjoy are probably the same ones that will help in labour and the issues you have emotionally/ mentally will be the ones that inhibit you. for example with me, i have trouble letting go of control and was having a lot of anxiety in pregnancy, therefore a i had trouble getting into labour and had trouble breathing into the pain letting the baby down. so needed the breast pump and a cohosh tincture to get going and lots of hot water poured over my back reminders to breath. verbal/ emotional support is def the most important and practice ahead of time for breathing through contractions.

I say this from my personal birth and from being a student midwife. 

 

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#21 of 28 Old 04-25-2012, 10:45 PM
 
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Don't have a lot more to add. Mainly want to second others who said that all their great oils, teas, ect went unused. EOs made me nauseous even though I normally love them. I'm an herbalist and could have cared less about herbs during active labor. Herbs and other remedies require thought, and I was just not in a thinking place. The biggest thing for me was lighting. I needed very soft and dim lighting. I also wanted music that took me inward as opposed to the light, relaxing stuff I thought I would want. That said, basic, strong chamomile tea was nice before things got really intense. I would advise getting a good lavender EO because it is so helpful for you and baby after the birth even if you forget about it during the big event. It's also good to keep homeopathic arnica around the house for trauma amd it is nice to take in the first few days postpartum. I used a lot of herbs after the birth because I have them on hand and while they are certainly helpful, they aren't necessary. Ask your midwife if she keeps homeopathics and tinctures on hand for various birth-postpartum situations. You may not need to buy your own. I think investing in your health BEFORE birth including strong nettle tea, a little red raspberry, the best quality food you can possibly afford, especially protein and bone broths, is the most important thing to think about. That and getting plenty of rest and nutritious, easy to digest food after the birth. As for the birth itself, you will be in a parallel universe where none of this matters.

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#22 of 28 Old 04-26-2012, 02:51 AM
 
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I'd recommend a box of depends instead of maxi pads.  (afterbirth is SO glamorous)

or maybe both.  But, with the depends you don't really have to worry about things slipping around down there.

 

we hit up the thrift stores for towels and sheets, dollar store for shower curtain liner or whatever for the bed.  We bought the kit recommended by the mw.

oh chux pads (which came with the kit) you could also use puppy training pads.  If someone you know raises/raised dogs they probably have extras.  I don't know if the cost is any different.

 

We didn't use any special herbs or anything, but that is probably cause i'm not knowledgeable about them to begin with.

 

We borrowed a fishy pool, it worked great!  We borrowed an air compressor to blow it up.  Made sure the hose attached (got the attachment piece ahead of time, thank goodness)

 

 

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#23 of 28 Old 04-26-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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My birth pool rental was included along with my MW 'HB fee'   - which was good because i weighed 297 lbs the day i delivered my last baby and i doubted a blow up pool from Walmart was gonna do it! 

i spent so little on my HB:

2 disposable lasagna pans from supermarket  (for placenta and vomit)  3.98

1 small aquarium net from pet store (for possible 'debris' in the pool)  1.99

2 shower curtain liners - also from supermarket - 7.98

newborn diapers (work better than Depends OR Kotex for the first 48 hours)

i made my own reusable underpads - but a box of Chux is about $10 here and provides plenty

i had old towels and sheets

i wouldnt bother buying a pre-made 'hb kit'  i really think there is superfluous stuff in there....


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#24 of 28 Old 05-06-2012, 05:21 AM
 
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I really like to keep things simple.  We have half a dozen clean towels (that don't matter if they get stained, but if you throw them in the washer to soak in cold right away they come out really clean! - using peroxide is a huge bonus to that too), I do have a shower curtain or two on hand just in case but haven't needed them in my previous two home births.

A couple chux pads are nice to have afterwards, but prefolds work really well too (once again, soak in cold water/peroxide and they'll be fine).  The only things I can think of that come from my midwife are: navel clamp, blue gloves, herbal sitz bath (love love LOVE!), and peri bottle. The peri bottle doesn't have to be so specific either, you can use a ketchup bottle from the dollar store too ;)

I like to have a few receiving blankets as well on hand, and prefolds or depends for overnight (for me!).

Having pads soaked in witch hazel then popped in the freezer were really great after my 2nd birth when I tore a bit.

 

It doesn't have to be such a big production ;)


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#25 of 28 Old 05-23-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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I'll go ahead and "third" the notion that so much of what I prepared for at the birth went unused - so, so much. And, much of it was labor intensive to prepare and costly. If I had to do it over again I would have asked a friend to be the "go to" person to shop for me on a moment's notice for about a week after the birth. That way I could still have what I wanted/needed without over preparing and wasting so much crap! 

 

Other ideas to reiterate: 

 

  • Second hand (great for towels, receiving blankets and etc) 
  • Dollar Tree (shower curtains) 
  • BORROW! (great for some of the household stuff you may not have) 
  • Local bulk for herbs (if you have a store like that - bulk herbs for labor are cheap if you can buy them in small quantaties locally) 
  • Ask your MW to put you in touch with other clients to see about trading for unused supplies

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#26 of 28 Old 05-26-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by katt View Post

I'd recommend a box of depends instead of maxi pads.  (afterbirth is SO glamorous)

or maybe both.  But, with the depends you don't really have to worry about things slipping around down there.

 

I wish I'd had this advice before my birth! I will second this, and add that I systematically bought everything on the list my MW gave me only to have her tell me that it wasn't all actually necessary, so I'd ask her about it before tackling the shopping.


Moo.

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#27 of 28 Old 06-04-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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I loan out my birth pool for free to my clients. but if you want, the fishy pool for $35. works just fine. Have a roll of duct tape handy for leaks, but they only usually happen after the 1st  4 or 5 times they are used. I have switched to stocking the La Bassine, which lasts longer, but the cheap ones are fine if it's just you using it. I did have a waterbirth in my regular tub too, that worked very well, though for maximum benefit, it's nice to have one  that covers your belly. It can cost as much or as little as you want to have a homebirth.

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#28 of 28 Old 06-06-2012, 04:18 AM
 
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FWIW My fishy pool did spring a small, easily repairable leak before birth. On the other hand, I bought another never used for birth and my rough kids have played in it for two summers with no problem. 


Boys: 12/94, 1/99, 11/03, 6/11. Girls: 11/06, 10/09, 12/12 2ndtri.gif

 
       

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