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These steps are distilled from our experience supporting thousands of home water births. Get most or all of the following resolved and you’ve given yourself the best chance possible.
Note: these assume that you have discussed using water for labor or birth with your midwife and have decided to go ahead.
Assume that you will have your home water birth and plan accordingly. To do otherwise undermines your chances of success. Labor is often unpredictable but if events take a different course you can know that you did everything you could to achieve the birth you wanted.
Get your birth partner involved! Have them review the instructions and technical specification and take ownership of the set up, faucet connectors,filling, temperature management and emptying.
If not using the pool on a ground floor, ask a wood preservation company to check the integrity of your home’s floor boards and joists.
Takes 10 minutes. Do it at 36-38 weeks, then follow them!
Check that you have a faucet connector that fits a suitable faucet in your home.
If you don’t have an on-demand boiler, test how long it takes to fill the bath (4 times for Regular pool, 2.5 times for Mini). If it takes more than 1.5 hours, consider how to create hot water in other ways, eg kettle, urn, large pans on stove. Be careful when handling hot water. Make sure you have cold water in the pool first and keep small children well back.
Sweep or vacuum the floor before putting the pool down. If your floor is stone or ceramic, cover it with a blanket first to reduce heat loss through floor.
Make sure the pool and accessories are at room temperature before unfolding and handling. PVC is brittle below 10C (52F) and it takes 24 hours (up to 72 hours in winter) for the innermost material to warm up when the pool is folded and out of its packaging.
Practice setting up the pool between 36 and 38 weeks. You can always sell the pool on Ebay later if you don’t use it. A full practice including filling with water is even better and soaking in a pool can help with late pregnancy back pains and SPD. Remember to use a new liner for birth.
When you start to fill the pool with water, close the windows and doors to reduce ventilation. Once the room reaches equilibrium humidity, the rate of heat loss will fall by half. Covering the pool while it is filling also helps.
If your labour is progressing fast, fill the pool at 37C (98F). If it is early days but you want to get started, fill half full at 40C (104F) in preparation, and take stock before continuing to fill. Do not get into a pool with water above 37C – you will be hot in labour and overheating can be dangerous for your baby.
Mix up water before taking a temperature reading. This is especially true if you are adding hot water at the bottom of the pool.
If you have any questions feel free to call us on +1 844-256-4702.
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