I keep saying I'm gonna make a thread for Arwyn to make a sticky, so maybe this is a good one to do it with...
Here's pool info. You can rent one (I wouldn't pay $249 to rent an AquaDoula
but people do and like them) or buy a pool, but they are all basically the same size - a 106 gal. capacity, with a 60" diameter, and a 23"-24" depth. They are available in the spring and summer at Toys R Us for about $14.99-$24.99, or online in the off-season (or anytime) at the links below for about $25. There is a slightly fancier one, the Sevylor Electra, that is $55. And two even fancier ones, the La Bassine for $98, and the Birth Pool In A Box for $165.
There is one pool - a hexagon fishy pool - that is larger, with the same depth, but twice the water capacity (200 gal.) and a larger diameter (72"). I used it for my first birth and I don't recommend this. It's best to use a smaller pool, because you are less likely to overtax your water heater and run out of hot water, and the other pools hold their warmth best. You will not need a heater in the pool itself. Inflatable pools retain their heat very well. You can use a fabric-backed vinyl table cloth to cover the pool to retain heat when you get out while in labor, and you should put a tarp underneath to protect your floor and you slipping. You'll need a floating aquarium thermometer
, which you can find at any pet store, or WalMart for about $1.49. The water should be kept at about 99-100 degrees F.Intex Round Fishy Pool 106 gal.Round Fishy 2 106 gal.Star-shaped Pool 113 gal.Sevylor Electra Pool 72 gal.La Bassine Pool 100 gal.Large Hexagon Fishy Pool 200 gal.Birth Pool In A Box 127 gal.
To fill and drain the pool, you will need an aquarium hose (which is drinking-water quality). This is preferable to a garden hose, which is not drinking-water quality, and is usually too long. You will need the SHORTEST hose to get from Point A (the sink) to Point B (the pool). You can get the Python Brand of aquarium hose at any Petsmart or most other pet stores for about $10-$20, depending on the length. You can also get these items online at the links I'm posting:Python Hose
You will also need a faucet adapter for the faucet in your sink to attach the hose. It's the same brand. They cost about $2. In the photo linked below, the faucet adapter you need is labeled "G" (the plastic one) or "F" (the metal one). They are standard and will allow you to connect any hose (aquarium, rv, or garden hose) and/or a drain & fill pump to the faucet in your sink.Faucet Adapters
Finally, to drain the pool you can buy a Python drain and fill pump for about $5, or buy a submersible pump for about $75. I think the drain & fill pump is better, and cheaper!Python Drain & Fill Pump
This piece attaches as shown in the photo, and uses the water pressure of your sink to drain the pool. You reverse the flow by opening the valve at the bottom of the piece where the silver screw is in the picture, and the water drains right down your sink drain. It is quite easy, and no mess, no buckets, no work! And it's quiet.
Here are some specific instructions with photos on how to connect the faucet adapter and Python Drain & Fill Pump to your faucet. There are two basic types of faucets, and instructions on how to attach for both.Instructions
If you have lots of $$$ here is the submersible pump, but I don't know how loud they are, as I have never used one.Submersible Pump
Here's a link to a submersible aquarium pump that a MW posted that you could use to drain a pool that is MUCH less expensive than that one above from the waterbirth website:Aquarium Pump
Also, it is wise to get an electric air pump
to inflate the pool. You can get one for about $15-$20 in the sporting goods section of any Walmart or Target. Inflate the pool about two weeks before your due date, and keep it inflated and ready to go. You don't fill it with water till you're in labor.
It's also VERY wise to do a test run with your pool. Turn up your water heater a day beforehand, and keep your water heater turned up the last 2 weeks before you're due. The test run will tell you how long it takes to fill and drain the pool, and how well your water heater performs. When you fill the pool, use cold water full blast for about 1/4 of the way (to protect the plastic from heat damage), then turn the water to full blast hot and fill it the rest of the way up.
You can also add a cup of salt, if you have any germ worries. And you can get a large aquarium net to scoop out any ..ahem.. "floaties."
Another piece of advice: buy your pool in the summer time! There are often posts made here at MDC in the wintertime of mamas who cannot get their hands on a pool for a winter months' birth. Pools are out of season and usually OUT OF STOCK in the winter, even online, so get one in the summer months if you know you will be birthing in the winter.
Some ladies have posted that they used a 100 gal. or 300 gal. Rubbermaid Stock Tank for a HB. These are a type of livestock watering trough. Some MW's have commented that they do not like their typically black color because it makes it difficult to see meconium or how much blood is in the water, but I have found some that are blue or gray. Some ladies who have birthed in them say they like them because of the extra inch or two of depth - stock tanks are a standard 24"-25" depth. If you are buying one, I would recommend you first try to find them locally at a livestock or feed store, because it appears that the shipping costs can be high to order them online. Here are some pictures and online sources:Rubbermaid Stock Tanks 1Rubbermaid Stock Tanks 2Green Stock Tanks (also available in white)
Here's an accessory for stock tanks and rental pools:Disposable Liner $22
That is all the info I can think of at the moment, but I'll post more later as I think of other info or links I have that could be useful. Try not to get suckered into one of those really expensive water-birth packages that are $150-200. You really shouldn't pay that much, when you can get everything you need for about $60-$100 or less.Good pool FAQ's