Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 32 ~ Labor/Birth Pools

Baby's now the size of a squash!
Ready or not, baby's getting ready to emerge. She's probably in the head-down position by now, with her bottom facing up. This is the comfiest way for her body to fit in your increasingly cramped womb and will make her eventual exit (only a few months away now!) much easier. (If she's still head-up, don't panic -- there's still time for a flip before birth.)

How your baby's growing:

By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

How your life's changing:

To accommodate you and your baby's growing needs, your blood volume has increased 40 to 50 percent since you got pregnant. With your uterus pushing up near your diaphragm and crowding your stomach, the consequences may be shortness of breath and heartburn. To help relieve your discomfort, try sleeping propped up with pillows and eating smaller meals more often.

You may have lower-back pain as your pregnancy advances.  If you do, let your caregiver know right away, particularly if you haven't had back pain before, since it can be a sign of preterm labor.
Assuming it's not preterm labor that's ailing you, you can probably blame your growing uterus and hormonal changes for your aching back. Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting a strain on your back. Hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend, or lift things.

I have been researching labor/birth pools lately and wanted to share what i've found and what I'm going to do.

There are several types of pools available: 

Pools (click to view website)

 Custom Designed and Recreational pools for water birth
 As you can see, the prices range from around $40 for a kiddie pool to over $300 for a professional birthing pool.  While the birth specific pools are nice including handles, seats and certain durability for laboring/giving birth, the price is just too high for me.  

I have decided to take my chances on the inflatable kiddie pool for $38 for several reasons.  First is price.  Second is this pool does have an inflatable floor/bottom with a drain and three inflatable rings.  This should help make things more comfy on the hind end ; )  Third, the wide rim allows for substantial weight to be held up, as in a laboring mama hanging over the edge ; ).  Last, if something changes and I don't wind up using the pool for labor, my kids can enjoy it next summer in the backyard!  Actually, they can use it even if i do labor in it.  It will more depend on if i decide to put it up for another birth or not, as it will get a thorough cleaning if I use it.

I included the picture below (from amazon) because if you notice, the water is flowing into the pool from up above.  Upon further research, i found out that the pool was being filled straight from the kitchen sink via some kind of funnel, thus avoiding having to purchase a sink adapter and hose to fill the pool.  I also remembered seeing on Pinterest that you can fill anything from your sink, like a bucket, by placing a hand held dust pan backwards at the spout, serving as a funnel to get the  water outside the sink.  In addition, i thought it would be best to actually measure the space in my bed room i had planned to put the pool.  I highly recommend doing this before you buy your pool!  To my surprise, the area is 10 inches too small.  So I may wind up setting the pool up in my kitchen and filling it this way???  

Which then begs the question, do I really want to labor in my kitchen, or my living room for that matter, while my 2 year old thinks it's "crazy indoor pool day" and runs to put on a swim suit so he can get in the pool too?  Well.... if my children aren't home or are sleeping during labor, this will work.  Otherwise, i may have to set up camp on our back porch.  Ohhh...wait a minute, i'm having a baby in January!  You never know in Texas though, it may wind up being warm enough!!!  I will just have to wait and see on this one.

Here is amazons listing of the pool:

Product Features

  • Inflatable floor with drain plug
  • Ideal as an adult lounging spa
  • Repair patch comes with it
  • Inflatable floor provides extra cushioning.
  • Room for the whole family

I laughed when I read "Room for the whole family."  Although, i have heard of some hubbies who join their wives in the pool during birth and even other children, I am certain that I will be the only person in the pool during labor/birth.  Also, "adult lounging spa" would qualify as mama birthing spa, right?  If only the manufacturer knew!  They could probably mark the price way up if they renamed it and put pictures of babies around it instead of ocean animals ; ) 

Just saw this:

Product Description

Inflatable Aquarium Ocean View Pool Features 60" Diameter x 22" High Inflated
Ideal for birthing and baptismal purposes
Inflatable floor for exteme comfort and added safety
 Rugged Super-Tough Vinyl Construction
3 Air Chambers with double valve intakes and free flowing exhaust valve
12 ga. (0.31mm) Vinyl Water Capacity: 106 Gallons at 80% Full

So they do know!
There are several other factors involved when using a pool for birthing, including how to air up the pool, fill it and drain it, get enough hot water to it, and lining the floor in case of an accidentally leak.  All of these things have items that can be purchased separately to fill the need.  Thankfully, my hubbie has an air compressor to fill mine up with air and pumps that can drain it, otherwise, you would need to buy a small air pump and a drain or go rogue and siphon the water out with a hose.  At least, you will be holding your sweet new baby while your hubbie does that one-icky!  As for filling it with water, I have read to fill it partially with cold water at the beginning of labor or even days ahead if possible (I won't be able to do this), then filling the rest with hot water when ready.  Most likely, this will drain your hot water heater and you may still even have to fill it the old fashioned way by boiling water on the stove in pots or a tea kettle.  If you don't use the sink filling method above, then you will need to buy special hose adapter that fits onto your faucet and use a hose you have or buy one.  I read somewhere that pet supply stores like PetsMart carry a hose that serves this purpose for less than $10.  Also, an inexpensive floor liner to use is a $3 clear plastic shower curtain liner that you get at Walmart.  

I have searched all over the web to compare prices and in-stock but decided to go ahead and buy my pool from  This is the same company that we use to buy homebirth supplies.  There were a few places with cheaper prices, but none had this pool in stock since it is fall/winter, not summer.  Amazon was actually higher than In His Hands.

So there you have it!  Next, on to deciding what to wear in the pool??  Anyone have suggestions?  Did you use a maternity swim suit, a shirt, or something else?

1 comment:

  1. To fill our birth pool, we used a new hose and attached it to the hot water hose thing on the wall behind our washing machine (I'm sure it has a name, but I have no idea what it is!) It made filling the pool very simple and we had enough hot water. And I agree, after having helped clean up a birthing pool after a birth, the mom gets the fun job of cuddling with the baby!


Your comment is awaiting moderation. Thanks for your patience!