I’ve been advocating waterbirth since my daughter’s birth back in 2000. Since then I’ve been recommending the kiddie pool setup to hundreds of women who are looking for a cheap option, showing families how to setup and take down the birthing pool using the waterbed kit, and also have birthed my second child in water in Feb of 2005, into a kiddie pool.
The first question I usually get when a women asks me about a waterbirth, is ” But I don’t have a hot tub or a Jacuzzi tub, how can I do this?”
Many women think that if they can’t afford the high price of a rental tub, or find a facility that offers waterbirths, they are out of luck.
But I’m here to tell you that is not the case. The setting up for a water birth does not need to be complicated or expensive.
In fact this setup is easily portable and could be a waterbirth kit set up for midwives to do for their clients, as many midwives are doing now.
If money and facilities are an issue, don’t fret, you too can have your water birth you want for under $50.00. You don’t need a birthing center, or a Jacuzzi pool in your home. You too, can have your water birth right in the middle of your living room
All you really need is a durable kiddie pool, a water bed hook up kit, a garden hose and a running hot water source ( the kitchen sink, or the shower head.)
We used the round three ringed Intex pool with the cute little fish all over it, measuring 60″ x 22″ (152cm x 56cm) for our births. The inflatable bottom one I used for my daughter’s birth was much more comfortable for me than the plain bottomed pool we used for my son’s birth. But, this can easily be remedied with comforters on the floor under a tarp for water spillage safety, so you’re not sitting or kneeling on the hard floor.
Among water birthing families, this pool is very popular. It is a very durable 12 ga. vinyl pool and holds 106 gals (400 L) of water. We found that was very comfortable for me and my husband to be in together. Keep in mind, though, I am a very short women, only 4 foot 11 inches tall. If your taller, you might want to get a bigger kiddie pool.
Contray to claims on some birth pool rental websites, there is not only one kiddie pool to chose from. They would like you to beleive that they are a better choice over a kiddie pool. Comparing the smallest option in a kiddie pool to their pool via pictures only, without giving actual sizes, to make their pool look like a better option is misleading to women looking to use a kiddie pool for labour and birth.
Kiddie pools ARE comfortable and can accommodate your size well, no matter how big a person you are. There are many options out there, even larger then the rental birth pools out there. Just do a google search for “inflatable kiddie pools” and look at the image results.
What about the durability of a kiddie pool?
Some doubters of the kiddie pool set up will talk about durability of the pool, compared to rental birth pool with hard sides. With my sons birth I was in and out of the pool for three days while labouring with contractions every 5 to 10 minutes. One thing I know about is the kiddie pool’s durability! The pool stood up well to the in and out for over 47 hours of labour, the leaning on the edge of it to push and birth my son into my husband’s hands and the many many top ups to keep the pool warm enough over that time.
The three rings of the pool inflate giving it a very rigid side that is good at supporting the weight of the birthing momma, if she chooses to lean on it like I did.
Birthing my son’s head, leaning back with all my upper weight on the pool’s side. You can see it holds up well.
What about the weight of the filled pool?
Many people ask about the support of the floor holding that much water. It really is not a problem unless you live in a really old house ready to fall over. In which case, chose the bottom floor of the house and place the pool on the floor near a load bearing wall.
I have known woman to waterbirth in mobile homes, apartments, houses, small cabins, on their back yard deck, and in their back yard with this pool. It is very versatile, and doesn’t cause issues with the floor holding the weight.
How does it compare to a real birthing pool?
Our kiddie pool was more than adequate to cover my contracting belly when sitting up and gave me the option to birth sitting or even on all fours, with both of us in the pool at the same time. Granted a deeper pool would have been nice, but when your working with a very limited budget and space, it worked just fine to gently birth my son into this world.