So many people call with questions about using a birth tub. They may think that they're asking about technical details: where to put it, how much water it holds, which pool is best. What they're actually asking is "how do I make a birth pool part of my birth plan?"
Whatever birth location you choose, you have great options:
Hospital: Some hospitals have large garden tubs for use in labor. Some have their own birth pool for their patients to use and others allow you to bring a birth pool in to set up in your hospital room. A local doula asked me recently about the idea of a client using a pool at home before they headed to the hospital - what a great idea!
Even if a birth tub isn't an option in your local hospital, hospital rooms usually have a shower with a handheld attachment. Many have the large walk-in showers where you could sit on a birth ball while your partner or doula sprays you with the handheld shower.
Birth center: so many have gorgeous tub options right in their birthing rooms! Others offer the use of an inflatable tub in their birthing rooms. Birth centers go above and beyond to serve women who want waterbirths and are delighted to show off their birth suites and unique tubs.
Home: birth pools come in a variety of sizes, and there is one that will fit in your home. Even if you have a large garden tub, the padded floor and sides of an inflatable birth pool give extra padding to lean or kneel on. And let's talk about buoyancy: a large garden tub holds about 70 gallons of water; a small inflatable birth tub holds about 115. More water = more of that lovely feeling of lightness that the water provides.
Using water in labor can provide amazing relief, and a birth pool can serve as a great tool. A birth tub is usually (if not always) an option in out of hospital birth, and can often be made part of your plan if you're planning a hospital birth. If you need help incorporating water into your birth plan, give us a call and we'll be happy to talk through options with you.