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Waterbirth Blog

Filtering by Tag: birth tub

We don't carry pools with heaters.

Maryn Taylor

I get at least one call every day from someone asking me if I have pools with heaters.  I don't, and I won't.

The main reason: cleaning.  Heaters work by circulating the water across a heating element and there's no good way to clean inside.  

We've looked into this again and again, and Steve and I just couldn't wrap our heads around any way that we could get a circulating heater clean enough for reuse.  The portable ones that resemble your home water heater can't be sanitized inside, and they are mostly powered by propane and propane accessories.  (Hank Hill probably wouldn't make a good member of your birth team.)

AquaDoula is one tub that has a heater and doesn't recirculate the water.  The heater on that pool is only meant to maintain the temperature of warm water used to fill the pool.  (Source: AquaDoula's setup guide, page three.)  I also don't like the narrow edges - the inflatable pools I carry have a 10" wide side to lean against.

Here's the good news: with the inflatable pools, you don't need a heater.  The air in the floor and sides acts as a good insulator and they lose heat slowly - about a degree an hour.   Also, a couple of pots of boiling water will heat it back up nicely if it's cooler than you'd like.




What To Wear in the Birth Tub

Maryn Taylor

I hear this question a lot : "what do people wear in the birth pool?"  Here are some ideas that might be helpful and that you may already have in your maternity wardrobe.  - $20.99 on sale - $20.99 on sale

1.  Tankini top.  Bathing suits are made for getting wet, so this is likely to be a comfortable option and one that you may already have, especially if you've been pregnant in the summer.  Target has some cute and affordable options.

2.  Camisole top.  These are such a great layering piece and are relatively easy to find. Some great places for these are Target, Motherhood Maternity, and Old Navy.  Go for black or a dark color so that it's still fairly opaque when it gets wet.

3.  Sports-style bra.  I had one that zipped in the front that I wore when I was in labor with my middle son, so it was easy to take off when I got out of the pool and put on dry clothes.  I got another one (exactly like the one pictured below) at Motherhood Maternity, and I have seen similar ones at Target.  Wal-Mart always has the really inexpensive, soft stretchy ones that pull on over your head; those will work well for gentle support after baby's born, too.  

4.  Nothing.  You don't have to wear anything at all.  Do what feels best for you!

When I was preparing for my births, one of the things that I did was set out camisoles and sports bras along with my birth supplies.  My husband and doula were able to find what I'd planned to wear in the pool without having to look around for them, and later when I decided to get out of the pool for a while I had several sets of dry clothes ready to wear.

Houston B.I.R.T.H Recap

Maryn Taylor

On Saturday, I got up at o'dark thirty and drove down to Houston for the B.I.R.T.H Fair.  I was excited to be there, as it seems that most of Houston's midwives, doulas, and other birth professionals come out for a day of great talks and networking.  

I was excited to see Erin Young (Mothering Nature) and Heather Barrett (Illuminatal), the talented women who run my two Houston locations (which are in Spring and Sugar Land, respectively).  These women joined my tub rental business when we were first getting started, and Houston has grown into a busy market for us thanks to their diligent work and commitment to customer service.

I admire the team at The Birthing Place and their dedication to helping underserved women get healthcare.  I got one of their awesome shirts and visited with them a little more about their community health events.  Any woman, regardless of financial or insurance status, can come for a free Pap test.  Their Instagram feed (@thebirthingplace) is really fun to follow!

This year, I was table-neighbors with Sweet Baby Pearl's Eco Emporium.  They're a baby boutique on wheels.  They have a gorgeous truck (think food truck-sized) full of cloth diapers, cute outfits and other unique baby items, and you can request that they come to your baby shower or other event.

At the very first event I did after I started the pool business (Association of Texas Midwives' conference), I talked with Camillia May, a midwife who drives from Houston to Beaumont so that she can help women have VBACs at home because it's hard to find another VBAC provider in the Golden Triangle.  She came by to see me and I was amazed at how much she remembered from when we met three years ago!  (I grew up in Southeast Texas near Beaumont, so we'd talked about that a bit.)

All in all, it was a great day, and I had lots to think about on the way back home.  It was a great event and I'm already looking forward to next year!

Creating Your {Water}Birth Plan

Maryn Taylor

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.