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Let's talk pools: La Bassine vs Birth Pool in a Box

2957 Views 32 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  HeatherB
Okay, I need to decide on one of these two pools, and it seems a lot of us are working on that sort of decision. I've read through the resources thread, but would like to talk about these two, specifically, in more detail. I'd also REALLY LOVE to hear from mamas who have used them!! (Has anyone used BPIAB?!)


La Bassine: ~$95
- no phthalates
- interior handles - one set
- oval
- 25" high (external?)
- blue floor

Birth Pool in a Box: ~$150
- no phthalates
- 3 sets of angled handles
- round
- seat for support person (or mama?)
- external depth 28"; internal depth 26"; water depth 23"
- white floor
- edge weight capacity 210lbs (seated)

Questions for those who have used these:
- How do the handle positions work in practice? Does it seem better to have internal (say I'm trying to squat? or am semi-reclined?), or are exterior better (for hands and knees? moving the pool?)?

- How high on/over your belly did these pools come? Were you able to be fully covered, or only mostly?

- Were there benefits or drawbacks to the size of the pool? (i.e., could your DH or support person get in with you? Did you feel cramped or like it was too big?)

- How did the bottom of the pool feel during labor? (Assuming these are both padded, no?)

- How well did they keep insulated?

- Were there any issues with pool quality or set-up and clean-up?

Thanks for all the input!
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It is hard to figure out which pool to get. I can't justify spending a lot of money on a pool. So I just bought a 25.00 star shaped pool. If I was going to choose between those two pools, it would probably be the Pool In The Box.
I used La Bassine a handful of weeks ago.

Water level was perfect, my DP was in there with me (helped catch
), GREAT insulation. Keeping it covered with a tarp or blanket helps a lot too.

We took it for a test run when we got it and it insulated so well that I couldn't get in for five hours while we let the water cool off.

I felt like the size was perfect. And I *think* I used the handles during pushing, but not sure b/c, well, I don't really remember much

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those were the same two i deciding on too. i went with the La Bassine because it was less expensive and it shipped from a local retailer which meant i had it in 2 days. i like the idea of the seat in the BPIAB but i figured i'd put my son little plastic stool or a small birth ball in there if i needed to sit on something. we've done a test run on it and i really liked it. tons of room and the water was high enough for me. i'll update after i have my baby and let you know how it worked out.
Last birth I set up something like the fishy pool. It was no deeper than the bathtub I had at that time. I ended up never getting into the pool and having most of my labor an dmy birth in the bathtub.

My big issue with it was that it wasn't deep enough. The two tubs you describe above are even more shallow. The shallow water meant the positions I could use were very limited. I'd rather have something that is at least 48" deep. I wanted to be mostly submerged, and for that I needed more depth. I wanted to be able to squat, kneel, and even stand and walk back and forth, and still be in the water up past my belly.

My births are long and hard, which is OK with me, but it does change some of the logistics. Being in vs out of the water made a huge difference in pain level, so I did not want to get out of the water to try different positions. During such a long birth, I really did need to use more positions to keep things on track than I was able to in such a shallow tub.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do next time. I wish I had a big hot tub that I could use. Those have seats at different levels so I'd be able to do a lot of different things, even stand, recline, kneel, squat, get on hands and knees, and so on.

edited to add: I did NOT want anybody in the pool with me, but I'm a very solitary birther. During the whole 36 hour labor/birth I wanted about 15 minutes worth of attention in small bits spread through the process. Not everybody feels that way. Some peole really want people close and might want a pool with room for others.

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I haven't given birth yet but yesterday we tested the La Bassine we bought. I couldn't let the hot water go to waste so I spent some time in it
It covers my belly nicely (I'm 5'9") and it felt so good (I didn't feel huge for the first time in weeks). I'm happy we got it.
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Hey, I posted about the same two pools. I thought about it for quite a while now, but now I think I'll go with the Bassine. I like the Pool in the Box, but I think it is not that much better than the other one. At least not so much better that I would be willing to pay so much more for it. And so far I heard only good things about it.
ok, question...what are the benefits of buying one of these versus just a blow up pool from a local department store?

Is there really much difference?

I am thinking these are insulated andkeep the water warm, correct?
The benefit of these over the fishy pool or similar is that they are:

A- deeper
B- designed for birthing
C- free of phthalates (harmful chemicals in PVC/vinyl)

Any good pool should keep in heat fairly well. These may do better because their sides are pretty deep, but as others have said, covering them makes the biggest difference. None of these have heaters, pumps, etc. (Though you could buy a drain pump for any of them.)
I just got my la bassine in the mail last week and it looks PERFECT. I am SO excited to use it
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Originally Posted by doulamom7 View Post
what are the benefits of buying one of these versus just a blow up pool from a local department store?

Is there really much difference?

I am thinking these are insulated andkeep the water warm, correct?
No, there really isn't much difference.

All birth pools (round fishy, Sevylor, La Bassine) have roughly the same external height (23"-25") the same diameter (60"-65") and the same volume (about 100 gallons). None are insulated, but all retain water temperature VERY well.

These are all good birth pools and have been used successfully by many mamas here at MDC.

The only real difference between them is PRICE and in the La Bassine, a set of handles.

You can see links to all the types in the Birth Pool resources thread.

One piece of advice: Buy a pool NOW if you are due this coming winter! They are IN SEASON and IN STOCK now, but are often not available at all in the winter time.
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i had la bassine this time and really liked it. i'm tall- 5 11- and it was plenty deep enough. the sides are really nice and sturdy too.

i bought it used on the tp and i'm hoping to sell it if anyone is interested.
It seems that, depth-wise, the only one with much of a difference is the BPIAB - with its WATER depth at 23". The fishy pool I used the first time has a total depth of only 22" - so the water depth is likely, at most, 18-19". Those 5 inches are rather appealing to me!

Originally Posted by chrissy View Post

i had la bassine this time and really liked it. i'm tall- 5 11- and it was plenty deep enough. the sides are really nice and sturdy too.

i bought it used on the tp and i'm hoping to sell it if anyone is interested.
Congrats Chrissy!!! I'm so glad that you were able to use the la bassine and liked it as much as I did. Another mama pm'd me yesterday about it and I gave her your name in case you wanted to sell it as well.
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There is an 8ft pool for sale at our local K-Mart that is 30" deep with 27" water depth. I don't really want a pool that big, but I may have to take it to get the depth. The 12foot pool is 42" deep with 36" water depth, which sounds better, but there is no way I want to fill a pool that big. I've got space for it, but the electricity, and logistics of getting that much water hot, forget it. I may go for the 8 footer, which is also too big, but a compromise I think I can make.

Off the back of the house we have this screened in porch with a stunning view of our wooded lot. I've not measured it, but I think it's 15x15, or close. We'll have to plastic it in to keep it warm enough for that time of year, but it's plenty big enough for the pool. It's built to take a huge hot tub, so it can handle the weight. If the tub were to split the water would just run out into the back yard.

For the taller women, have any of you ever used an Aquadoula? I know we are only compairing La Bassine and BPIAB, but I am wondering how these 2 compare to Aquadoula for comfort. I am 5'10" and my friend who is about 5'8" birthed in an Aquadoula a couple of weeks ago and told me that it was not deep enough for her. Which surprised me. So now Aquadoula is out for me. Now I need to find a pool that will be big enough for me. I see two women who are tall who say the La Bassine worked well for them so now I am thinking I better get one of those.

I wonder how much the height judgements are based on the comfort of the pool? Like, the AquaDoula has hard sides that I wouldn't think are too comfy to lean into (though I've never tried one). The inflatable tubs are so cushy that you can get more reclined, so maybe they seem to cover better because of that? If my theory is anything like legitimate, you'd just be leaning further into/under the water in them, even if they're very similar in size.

I used the fishy pool, which is shallower, and I'm 5'6" - so not super tall. I don't remember it being too shallow, but for ctxs I rocked forward onto hands/knees or more like a squat, which got more of me into the water. I do recall that it was a pretty comfy height to lean back against! And the cushioned bottom was just wonderful! (Though I could feel the difference in textures on different parts and that kinda bothered me. And the smell of vinyl is yucky!)
The Birth Pool in a box - has a White bottom. That might not mean anything to you now, but apparently midwives really like it. When I told a local midwife friend that the BPIAB had a white floor she was so happy. She said, "I know it was designed by midwives!" Apparently, since it reflects the light, they can see better if they have to use a flashlight underwater to see things going on during birth.

The La Bassine is blue on the bottom. Doesn't offer the same benefit.

The BPIAB has 6 handles for various positions, and they are angled the LB has only 2 and only on the inside.

The max suggested height for mom is 6' for the BPIAB - so it should work well for us tall gals (I am 5'8 myself). If one chamber pops/is punctured the others will stay inflated. I don't know what happens with the other types of pools.

The sides of the BPIAB are supposedly strong enough for a 210 lb person to sit on. The sides are also adjustable. It is also factory tested for 24 hrs before you get it.

There are many subtle differences when it come to the Birth Pool in a Box, which to me shows how well it was designed and that midwives and moms really did design it.

However, it won't be right for everyone.

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Thanks, Micky! That's just the sort of detail I've been looking for. Will add some of those details to my first post.
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