Are you in the process of making a birth plan? Wondering about a birthing pool and want to find out more?
Keep reading! Birthing pools can be a huge help during labor. Find out how so you can prepare for the big day.
WHAT IS A BIRTHING POOL?
Firstly, a birthing pool (also known as a birthing tub) is simply just that. It is a pool about the size of a spa bath that can be used during labor for pain relief and to deliver your baby in if you wish. If you are planning a home birth, you can rent or purchase a birthing pool to use.
Alternatively, the majority of hospitals with a delivery suite will have one available. If you are planning a home birth, you can rent or purchase a birthing pool to use. Alternatively, the majority of hospitals with a delivery suite will have one available.
HOSPITAL BIRTHING POOL
Most of the large hospitals that have a fully equipped maternity unit will have birthing pools accessible in the delivery rooms. It is important to discuss the use of a birthing pool for pain relief and labor with your maternity carer. Be aware that some hospitals have rules and regulations surrounding the utilization of the birthing pool.
So it is a good idea that when you make your birth plan, you find out all the details around the use of it. Be aware that some hospitals have rules and regulations surrounding the utilization of the birthing pool, so it is a good idea that when you make your birth plan, you find out all the details around the use of it.
HOME BIRTH POOL
If you are planning on having a home birth, then a birth pool could be something that you are thinking about to use as an option for pain relief and to deliver your baby in. Some families will buy a birth pool, or you can rent one and then purchase a birth pool liner.
If you decide to hire one a google search of ‘birth pools to hire or rent” will provide local contact details.
WHAT DO YOU WEAR IN A BIRTHING POOL?
What you wear in a birthing pool is entirely up to you! What do you feel most comfortable in? That’s the real question!
Some women prefer to be completely naked or have a bikini/singlet top on with no bottoms. This makes it easier for your car provider to check your progress quickly.
Once your baby is born, it is important to have skin-to-skin contact. Wear something that is easy to remove.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BIRTHING POOL?
The benefits of a birthing pool are not only for the mother but for Baby, too!
- The warm water provides a soothing, relaxing and calming environment.
- Water allows the pregnant mother to feel lightweight which then allows you to move freely to get more comfortable.
- Being in the warm water can help lower blood pressure caused by anxiety.
- Water helps the perineum to become more relaxed and elastic in preparation for the birth of the baby which may lead to less chance of an episiotomy and stitches.
- The water can help the body relax and also help your mind to mentally relax which then provides strength to work through the labor.
- If the baby gets delivered in the warm water, it creates an environment similar to that of the amniotic sac.
- As it may ease the stress of the birth for the mother, it may then reduce the stress for baby too.
ARE THEIR RISKS WHEN USING A BIRTHING POOL?
The American Pregnancy website states that “over the last 30 years as water births have grown in popularity, there has been very little research regarding the risks of a water birth.” You should always listen to the advice and guidance of your doctor or midwife if choosing to have a water birth.
The American Pregnancy website also reports that while it may be useful for pain management, there can be a possible risk that baby can develop respiratory distress due to aspiration after giving birth in a pool. “This would be a rare occurrence because babies do not typically inhale until exposed to air. They continue to receive oxygen through the umbilical cord until they start to breathe on their own or until the cord is cut.
The final potential risk is that the umbilical cord could snap as the baby comes to the surface of the water. Using caution when lifting the baby up to the mother’s chest can help prevent this.” Also, water too hot can be a risk to you and your baby.
Remember to stay hydrated. To be safe, ensure you stay well hydrated, and the temperature stays at 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
ARE THERE ANY CIRCUMSTANCES THAT A BIRTHING POOL MAY NOT BE A GOOD IDEA?
Be open and have a clear discussion with your health care professional to find out if there are any situations when they would suggest you avoid a birthing pool. A few examples are:
- If you have a breeched baby
- If you have multiple babies
- You have a preterm labor
- If you have toxemia or preeclampsia
- If you have experienced any bleeding during pregnancy
- Your health care professional has advised against it
TO HAVE A BIRTHING POOL OR NOT?
Is ultimately your decision if you get the all clear! Communication with your health care professional is imperative in the decision of having a birth pool available and using it during the big event!