It's no surprise that choosing to give birth in or with the assistance of a birthing pool is a popular option for many. Helping you to feel cosy and safe, a water birth can lead to a more comfortable labour and is even said to ease the pain of contractions and labour.
And you don't have to head to the hospital to use a birthing pool either. For a home birth, you can buy a birth pool for around £170 but we'll be honest, there isn't loads of choice - in fact we only found one in stock. This is the same leading brand - Birth Pool In a Box - that is typically available for renting.
Alternatively, another option is to rent a home birth pool from a company or to borrow the pool – speak to the person who runs your local antenatal class, or try asking on local social media pages.
If borrowing, you'll need a new birth pool liner (around £30), plus the hose and tap connector (around £20), a pump to blow the pool up (around £10), and a pump to empty it (around £25, optional).
Buy a birthing pool
Birth Pool in a Box Personal Pool with Liner
This personal use birth pool comes with one disposable single-use liner. It's made from eco-friendly material and has 2 sets of top handles perfectly positioned to help you control your movement in labour plus an internal seat which is useful during labour for adopting alternative positions and movement.
Birthing pool hire
Measuring 193cm x 165cm the Regular pool is more spacious for the mother to labour and birth in but does require more space than the Mini pool and therefore also takes a little longer to fill. It has an inflatable floor, seat and handles positioned around the pool.
A smaller version of the above, this pool measures 165cm x 145cm and is quicker to fill as a result. With the same features such as inflatable floor, seat and handles, you should bear in mind that there is not enough room for your partner to join you in this mini version.
Will I need a birth pool liner?
Yes, a birth pool liner is essential as it forms an effective barrier against water and germs. You'll find when buying or renting most birth pools come with a liner but you might want to buy an extra one.
Make the most of your birthing pool
Have a trial run
If you’re having a pool at home, it’s essential to have a trial run at blowing it up, filling it, and of course, having a test dip. In labour, deciding when to start filling the pool is the million-dollar question, but it’s best to err on the side of caution, especially if you have a water system where you’ll need to reheat several tanks to fill a birth pool. If you think you’re in labour, get your partner on the case, because there are many stories of women who have given birth before the pool was ready to get in!
Accessorise your pool
Get an underwater thermometer - a bath thermometer will do - to ensure the water is at the safe temperature of 96 to 98 degrees. A small sieve can quickly remove any 'debris' from the water while a clean bucket is useful to bail our colder water before topping up with warm. Plate battery-operated fairy lights between the liner and pool to create a lovely 'glow' in the water.
Stock up on towels
Keep plenty of towels handy – some old ones that can be put to use mopping up any spills around the pool, and several nice fluffy ones that you can wrap around you if you need to get out. You may need at least half a dozen if you get in and out several times.
Your water birth can be made even more special by creating a calm, relaxing birth space. Keep lighting low and use tea lights and fairy lights, along with your favourite music, and discourage interruptions. Practise deep breathing or hypnobirthing as you float your way through contractions.