Birthing Pool

Anahata Clinic has 2 birth pools for hire:

The Active Birth Centre hexagonal pool 100 for 3 weeks; then 15/week.
The Birth Pool in a Box 75 for 3 weeks; then 1/day.
Pool hire includes a new liner, pumps and all extra necessaries.

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This popular pool from The Active Birth Centre is spacious enough for you to move about freely and change positions. It's easy to transport in a couple of holdalls and can be assembled quickly. If you need to take the pool with you into hospital for birth, The Hexagonal Pool is ideal.

The Hexagonal Pool is constructed of tubular stainless steel. It is lightweight and extremely strong. In fact - it's so strong that you can lean or sit on the rim without causing a ripple! For your comfort, the pool frame and the floor is substantially padded.

To assemble the pool, you first slot the frame together into the main liner, which is made from an extremely strong, non-rip, waterproof material. The thick ground pad, which cushions and insulates the floor is then placed in the open frame. The disposable liner is then put in place. The pool is now ready to fill. Approximate assembly time - 10 minutes.

You should arrange to have your pool ar least two weeks before you're due.

People often ask about the best time to obtain the pool. As having a baby cannot be planned, it's best to play it safe and have everything planned in good time. This will help you feel more settled and prepared. Therefore, it is recommended that you get your pool at least two weeks before your estimated due date.

This will ensure that it is available when you need it. You will be able to practise assembling the pool and ensure that everything is 100% correct in good time before the birth.

This is important..... to help eliminate the risk of infection you must not open the disposable liner you'll be using for your birth before established labour has begun.

Therefore, if you want to fill the pool and have a test run before the birth you'll need an additional disposable liner.

Minimum hire period is 3 weeks at 100

Maximum hire period is 5 weeks at 130

Extra disposable liners are 30 each.

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                    BY KEITH BRAININ
                   The Active Birth Centre

Did you know that there are no formal standards or controls that regulate design and supply of water birth pools?

It's true. The design, hire and use of water birth pools is not regulated by any official agency or set of standards whatsoever.

Surprisingly, in this field where safety and hygiene are of such paramount importance, there ae no regulations to protect you. I realised early on that the use of water for labour and birth was extremely beneficial. But, if there were problems relating to safety or hygiene, the use of birth pools would not be possible.

Therefore - I decided to research the safety and hygiene issues in great depth. I spoke with with infection control nurses, midwives, obstetricians, microbiologists, health and safety officers, electricians, structural engineers and plastics experts. Through this research I defined guidelines for the same design, supply and use of portable water birth pools.

My guidelines have since been incorporated into the protocols that midwives use in hospitals to ensure the optimal level of hygiene and safety for every water birth.

When hiring a pool you need to look out for these criteria:

Does the pool have strong, rigid sides? (Can you sit on it? Can it support your
            full body weight without moving?).

Is the pool supplied with a new filling hosepipe? (Used hosepipes can contain
            potentially harmful.

Is the pool suppled with a new disposable liner (This is absolutely essential, as
            pool liners can't be dependably cleaned, disinfected and reused).

Does the pool have a ground pad? (Provides comfort and support when you're
            kneeling or leaning forward and insulation).

Does the pool have a submersable pumping system? (Efficiently empties the
            water in about 20 minutes).

Does the pool have a heat retention cover? (Keeps the heat loss down to a
            minimum and dramatically reduces humidity and condensation).

Does the pool have a re-circulating heating/water system? (It shouldn't -
            they are widely regarded by microbiologists as a breeding ground for
            bacteria, creating risk of cross infection).

Our pools are strong enough for you to sit, lean or hold onto.

All of our pools have strong, solid frames to allow you, your partner or midwife to sit or lean on the rim. I consider this to be essential for safety. You'll appreciate being able to lean or hold onto the rim both during labour and when giving birth. Your midwife may want you to sit on the rim in certain situations in which you or your baby require assistance.

There has never been a flood!

I'm pleased to say that there has never been a serious leak or spillage of water from one of our pools. To avoid the possibility I devised the double-liner system. This has been widely adopted by other pool hire companies.

It's an essential feature that all portable pools should have. Your pool will be supplied with a thick, waterproof main liner and a new waterproof disposable liner. With both liners in place your pool is truly watertight. However, I cannot absolutely guarantee that there will not be a leak. The liners need to be installed correctly. It's important that they are looked after and not accidentally punctured.

I suggest that you use a single layer of polythene ground sheet under and around the pool to provide protection to your floor or carpet. A non slip bath mat beside the pool is essential.

Safety and hygiene are primary concerns.

Our pools satisfy the recommendations of hospital microbiologists. The provision of a new disposable liner and a new hose pipe for filling the pool prevent cross infection.

We've had no report of infection since we began to hire out pools. I'm satisfied that if our guidelines are followed risk of infection is extremely minimal.

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