Birth Pools/tubs and temperature maintenance - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-14-2003, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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We are planning a home waterbirth for our newest expectaion. I'm looking at all of my options now so I have time to research an look for the best option cost wise and comfiort wise.

I'm one of those pople that gets irritated very easily if my bathwater cools too fast. I realize in the birth pool (any of them) that there is a greater volume of water, hence it takes more time to cool off or warm up.

Obviously a standard inflateable walled kiddie pool is the cheapest option but my concern is continual adding of hot water tothe pool - eventually it will get full. We live in a lower level apartment so drainign it might not be the easiest thing in the world. I've looked into renting an aquadoula tub that has a heating unit wiht it but I somehow cannot rationalize 250.00 for the rental plus the pickup and delivery charge.

What is the most effective way to both maintain heat in the pool and not pay a kings ransom to have a rented pool?

I had a very long labor wiht DD so I fear that if I am in the pool too long it will cool off and I won't be comfortable in it anymore.

Has anyone else had this problem and how did you solve it?
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#2 of 9 Old 02-14-2003, 08:20 PM
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We're using an inflatable pool for our waterbirth. What we're planning to do, based on our midwives advice/experience, is to keep heating water in large pots on the stove. Then we'll have a bucket around to empty out the cooling water before adding more hot. Pretty basic, but I think it will work out.

By the way, we got our pool from, on sale for 20.00. It's very sturdy--the walls can hold on adult's weight.
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#3 of 9 Old 02-15-2003, 10:53 AM
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We bought our at quality inflatables for $15.95. Here's the link to purchase it, and here's a site set up by a mom about how to use it, maintain temp, fill and drain, etc. It seems fairly easy.
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#4 of 9 Old 02-16-2003, 04:22 AM
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My tub got too cool after 12 hours, with a waterbed heater and adding hot water. I would ideally have a tub support person there to syphon and refresh the water next time. The inflatable is sooo comfy though..
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#5 of 9 Old 02-16-2003, 03:21 PM
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Our kiddie pool worked wonderful - we only had to add hot water once, right before Bella was going to be born - and the MW's just use buckets to empty some of the water and used a hose right from the tap (with a waterbed kit) to add more hot water - worked perfectly.

Make sure you get a pool with an inflatable bottom, it was so comfy when I was labouring on my hands and knees, and resting my back against the blow up sides was very comforable when I was in a sitting position while pushing.

I was only in the pool for five hours or so, but we covered the pool with a plastic tarp before I got in to keep the heat in - and if you get out of the pool for any reason during labour you can do the same.

Good luck, I sure can't imagine paying for a pool rental, our 20 dollar option could not have been more perfect!

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#6 of 9 Old 02-23-2003, 02:57 AM
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Great links, writermama!
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#7 of 9 Old 02-23-2003, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Much Writermama! Sicne we ahve a waterbed we already ahve a fill & drain kit - just need to go buy another - and I knwo our water heater has the capacity to fill a king sized waterbed with all hot water (we did that when we moved here) so I think that is the best and cheapest solution - jsut need an extra hose!
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#8 of 9 Old 02-23-2003, 06:03 PM
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>>>We are planning a home waterbirth for our newest expectation.

Congratulations Mommy StormRaven! Having had 2 out of 3 dd's in water, I wish I'd done 3 out of 3. But of course, the first was a nightmare of a hospital experience which led us to a home water birth. I only wish I knew then what I know now, especially regarding tubs.

Papa & I considered renting one, but looked for the most cost efficient & comfy tub. We opted to use our midwives inflatable hot tub. It was made of a very durable thick plastic & was very deep. (about 3 ft. deep)

Benefits: Because it was so deep I could really bounce around in the water & float belly down. I found support was difficult during contractions & papa sitting behind me was the solution. We'd planned on him being in the tub right behind me & that was the position I pushed in. I don't think my grasp had enough gravity trying to hold onto the inflatable sides & holding onto papas legs around me was perfect. About 1 minute of pushing & dd was out.

Those foam headrests found at spa stores would be wonderful! I wish I had found those back then.

Cons: The tub didn't have an inflatable bottom. I didn't realize how much my perineum would hurt by sitting on a flat bottom pool. My ass would burn because of the heater right beneath, so that created some comfort issues. We rolled up towels & placed them beneath me, but soon, the towels would be floating all over & not really supporting. I pretty much sat on papa so I didn't get burned. (we had the heater on the lowest setting too) We were horrified though when papa drained & deflated the tub to find that the heater burned the carpet!

We felt heating the water was very important so dd would come into contact w/ an environment closer to that of the womb. Papa & I chose this birth method as a gentle way of bringing dd into the world. It's amazing how calm babies enter the world in that environment. What a change to birth a child who is nearly asleep compared to one being forced to scream as a sign of being healthy.

I couldn't imagine how cold water would affect the baby. That seems like such a huge shock to their system. We kept constant eye on the water temp & had a thermometer on hand to test it. As a way of conserving the tub at a constant temp, we covered it like someone had mentioned above. I also waited to get in until I was in excruciating pain. With the birth of dd #1, I learned that warm water eases the pain, but it also can slow down labor. Having had a 36 hour labor, I didn't want to prolong it so I walked around outside, worked in the garden & stayed active until it was time for pain relief, then I turned to the tub. Contractions sped up as soon as I stepped out, & slowed down when I stepped in. Women w/ long labors may want to be cautious as to using the tub too early in labor. I'd imagine that women w/ short labors would need to fill the tub quickly because it takes a while to achieve the ideal temp. (98.6) At times we had to add cold water or it would have been too warm. I found I had to step out for relief once in a while because I'd get sleepy in the water. After being up all night & birthing into the afternoon, I needed cool air to wake me up. :*)
It's a good idea to have a big pitcher of ice water (& a cup w/ a straw) on hand because the warm water & breathing dehydrates you. I was slamming water right up until the end. It was so strange because it seemed I couldn't get enough!

dd#3 was birthed at the hospital w/ midwife. I chose this route because the hospital had recently installed a tub created for birthing. I fell in love w/ it. I could walk right into it, w/ railings on the side, it also had 2 sets of handles, & jets. Although when pushing, I thought it needed a handle all the way around because they weren't in the place I needed them. lol! Live & learn I guess. We think we're done having babies, but it would be nice to have perfected our birthing method & try one more time! :*)

Something else to consider is to practice filling your tub & adjusting the water temp before laboring to have a good idea about how long the process will take. It's also reassuring to know that everything is working properly beforehand. (leaks, heaters, pumps, etc..)

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#9 of 9 Old 02-23-2003, 06:35 PM
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We hooked a hose to our shower head in the bathroom and filled the pool that way. My labors and deliveries were not too long (around 3 hours our so) so cooling wasnt really a problem with so much water. With my second uc the water did get a bit cool, so my hubby just emtied some with a clean bucket and refilled with more warm water.
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