Birthtubs--need shared experiences - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-18-2012, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having #2 in December at home and would like to have a tub here. My MW rents them--the really fancy ones with warmers, which sounds great, but I have some reservations.

Last labor I didn't really enjoy being submerged in water. It was a shock actually because I LOVE taking baths and swimming, but for whatever reason I just wasn't into it {and I had plenty of time to get into it--I was in labor for days}. So, I don't want to spend a ton of money renting or buying one and not using it--so, for that reason I am considering cheaper options, like buying a kiddie pool or whatever, but either way--I am finding it hard to wrap my preggo brain around understand how in the world the water stays warm in a tub with no warmer. Furthermore, I am not really understanding how the super duper tub with warmer stays warm because MW says it needs to be filled with hot water and warmer just keeps it warm doesn't heat it.

We have a VERY small water heater--I can't even take a hot/warm bath in my own tub--it only fills 3 inches before the water turns cold. So, I really can't imagine how we would fill with warm/hot water a whole birthing tub in less than a 24 hour period--haha--I know you can boil water on the stove, but I am just finding it hard to fathom how that is a REAL option for filling a whole tub--wouldn't that take like forever...? 

So, can someone with experience here please explain this to me. I want this as an option because I feel like it would be lovely, but I also don't want it to be a big ordeal only to find that once again, I don't really enjoy laboring in a tub.

Thoughts. Experiences. suggestions. opinions....please and thanks ; )

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#2 of 7 Old 08-19-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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In a tub with a heater, the heater is not powerful enough to heat cold water, but is enough to keep warm water warm. In an unheated tub, the air in the sides acts as insulation and you can either get a tub with an inflatable cover or use one of the emergency blankets you can get at the camping store to keep the tub warm when not being used. You DO have to sump some water out and add more hot water after several hours, as the water cools below a comfortable level.

Regarding your water heater, you should probably take a look at it to see exactly how many gallons it holds. It might help to drain it if you have not done that maintenance recently. If you really can only fill 3" of a bathtub before your hot water runs out, it's going to be very, very difficult to fill it in any kind of timely manner.

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#3 of 7 Old 08-19-2012, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by womenswisdom View Post

In a tub with a heater, the heater is not powerful enough to heat cold water, but is enough to keep warm water warm. In an unheated tub, the air in the sides acts as insulation and you can either get a tub with an inflatable cover or use one of the emergency blankets you can get at the camping store to keep the tub warm when not being used. You DO have to sump some water out and add more hot water after several hours, as the water cools below a comfortable level.
Regarding your water heater, you should probably take a look at it to see exactly how many gallons it holds. It might help to drain it if you have not done that maintenance recently. If you really can only fill 3" of a bathtub before your hot water runs out, it's going to be very, very difficult to fill it in any kind of timely manner.

yes, that is what i understand. We rent and have no control over the hot water heater here. I am not in a position to drain it and figure out anything about it and landlord won't do that either. So, it looks like I will just save my money and forget the whole thing :(

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#4 of 7 Old 08-20-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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I've had two home births(and two hospital births) my first home birth i literally stayed in my jaccuzi tub my entire labor/birth.. i never wanted to get out.. being out of the water felt horrible. we had to drain and refill the tub several times but i'd say only about 5 times over the course of 12 hours. my second home birth we bought a fishy pool because we had moved and my nice big tub was no longer an option. we filled the tub using warm tap water in large buckets that we would dump in and with several pots of boiling water. i hated the fishy pool. i felt claustrophobic and when i was finally interested in actually using it the water was either too hot or too cold. if you have a regular bathtub that you feel comfortable in, you may just want to use that.. filling and draining it would be a piece of cake and you wouldn't really be submerged if the tub is small and that way you could also use the shower if that is preferable. if you don't that would work, then i would consider renting the heated one your midwife has.  you CAN boil pots of water and fill a pool that way.. but it will take a long time and it can be frustrating. make sure you turn the heat up on your water heater all the way. that way you wont have to use as much "hot" water to make a warm bath. I'm sure there are tankless water heater options you could look in to for the same price as renting the heated pool. so that's an option too. good luck!


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#5 of 7 Old 08-21-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by forumyonly1 View Post

I've had two home births(and two hospital births) my first home birth i literally stayed in my jaccuzi tub my entire labor/birth.. i never wanted to get out.. being out of the water felt horrible. we had to drain and refill the tub several times but i'd say only about 5 times over the course of 12 hours. my second home birth we bought a fishy pool because we had moved and my nice big tub was no longer an option. we filled the tub using warm tap water in large buckets that we would dump in and with several pots of boiling water. i hated the fishy pool. i felt claustrophobic and when i was finally interested in actually using it the water was either too hot or too cold. if you have a regular bathtub that you feel comfortable in, you may just want to use that.. filling and draining it would be a piece of cake and you wouldn't really be submerged if the tub is small and that way you could also use the shower if that is preferable. if you don't that would work, then i would consider renting the heated one your midwife has.  you CAN boil pots of water and fill a pool that way.. but it will take a long time and it can be frustrating. make sure you turn the heat up on your water heater all the way. that way you wont have to use as much "hot" water to make a warm bath. I'm sure there are tankless water heater options you could look in to for the same price as renting the heated pool. so that's an option too. good luck!

thanks for your experience. We don't have a bathtub to use other wise I would--that would obviosuly be the cheapest/best option if it were one ; )

Also, a tankless water heater wouldn't be an option since I couldn't see us replacing the existing unit in our rental for this sole purpose. We aren't people of extravagant means :/ Plus our bathtub is not big enough for me to labor in anyway {never did understand how a woman could labor in a bathtub, but then I am 5'11'--so not average sized woman, I guess.}

See, I am not having a ton of people at my birth and don't want anyone to be consumed with boiling water to fill the tub. I am along laborer, too, and am not interested in having this take over a multi day labor, should that be the experiences this time again. I had access to a jacuzzi tub fir first labor and like I mentioned--hated it--so, I guess if it comes down to it, I will just be opting out of this option. I did enjoy the shower and I do have two of those....so....waterbirth isn't something that is a must for me. 


 

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#6 of 7 Old 08-25-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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I had my daughter in a water birth at home. She was born in a mountain cabin (read: poor heating and concrete floors) in the middle of winter (Dec. 2010). So I'll tell you what we did as it sounds like a similar situation.

 

There are basically two types of water birthing tubs, the inflatable kiddie-style and the ones with heaters. We chose the one with a heater as it was going to sit on concrete and we needed to make sure it would stay warm. It was a first birth for me so we didn't know how long labor would last and a cold tub wouldn't have been good. There was a ton of snow outside and a snow storm coming our way so it was very cold outside at that time.

 

My midwife had a few tubs available and we rented ours for $100 from her. I was surprised at how inexpensive it was.

 

Do you know how much it would cost to rent the different ones?

 

Our water heater wasn't very big either. My husband started filling the tub with HOT water (didn't turn the cold on) when my midwife said it sounded like labor and was on her way. We told my parents to not use hot water and every 2 hours or so he would add more until it was full. It worked. It was nice and hot for me when I went into active labor. The heaters did their job surprisingly well.

 

I don't know what size water heater it was, but I hope this helps with your decision. 

 

We had the room warm (around 75-80 degrees) so I think that helped when I wasn't in the tub. I was mostly walking around the room in a robe, and sometimes not, so wanted the room warm until I hopped into the tub.

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#7 of 7 Old 08-25-2012, 04:46 PM
 
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i have  a la bassine, DD was born Jan 2010 and we had no issues with the water staying warm.  i imagine it would be easy enough to warm up a few gallons of water on the stove if you ran out of hot water. 
 


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