Materials & Structure of Birth Pool in a Box Professional Portable Birthing Pool System

Birth Pool in a Box is designed to be the best portable birthing pool system available. Safety is the top priority in its design, closely followed by convenience, durability and comfort. In this article we will focus on the choice of materials and structure of the Birth Pool in a Box Professional.


The pool, liner and cover are made from PVC (poly-vinyl chloride) sheet conforming to the European EN71 standard for limits on phthalates in toys. The PVC sheet used for Birth Pool in a Box Professional is 0.55mm thick and has the following attributes:

  • Strong in tension, allowing sufficient inflation pressure for stability
  • Good elasticity within a temperature range of 50F to 122F
  • Low porosity
  • Physically and chemically stable within a temperature range of 14F to 122F
  • Density similar to water, leading to a shipping weight of under 33 pounds
  • Chemically stable when cleaned with chlorine solution of up to 1%

The liner and cover are made from 0.22mm PVC with similar other properties, including EN71 compliance.

PVC sheet can be recycled. In most locations, standard recycling services will not normally expect to collect PVC. Recycling options are generally local or regional and these can be found via a web search. We are not able to use recycled PVC for our products because the properties are not sufficient for the purpose, in particular tensile strength.

The high performance properties of the 0.55mm sheet used for Birth Pool in a Box Professional enable us to recommend and give a warranty for up to 4 years/40 uses. We hear of midwives in the USA whose pools have exceeded 40 uses with no issues through careful habits that increase longevity.


The key design goals for the structure of Birth Pool in a Box Professional are (a) to provide adequate space and water depth for effective hydrotherapy in labor & safe birth and (b) reliability – to do its job without surprises and to be resilient. Three stacked independent chambers form side walls. This gives both resilience and the ability to adjust height without significant loss of stability.

The height of the pool less the height of the inflated floor determines the maximum water depth. A woman needs at least 18 inches of water to achieve buoyancy – more than most regular bathtubs or kiddie pools provide. For birth in water, a water depth of 20” or above is advised to ensure that that the baby remains entirely underwater as it emerges from its mother. With Birth Pool in a Box Professional up to 24” of water depth is possible.

We sometimes are asked by midwives why we don’t make the outer walls of the pool transparent to improve their ability to see. We choose instead to prioritize the mother’s sense of privacy by having blue outer walls.

There are handles mounted on the ends of the pool and on the top. Next to one of the top handles is a cup holder that makes re-hydrating fluids easily accessible for the laboring mother.

The floor is inflated to give comfort and an additional protective layer of PVC is welded to the bottom of the pool, increasing longevity. The floor colour is white to facilitate the assessment of blood loss. The valves in the floor and seat are soft to prevent them being an obstacle inside the pool.

The single-use liner provides both a redundant container for the water and an infection prevention protective layer. The liner is designed to fit securely onto the pool. To achieve this, the liner is made to be slightly undersized compared to the pool. When the top chamber of the pool is fully inflated with a liner in place, the liner is stretched by the pool, creating an “interference fit” that works with the handles pockets to keep the liner secured.

To see how the Birth Pool in a Box Professional system works in practice, watch our short video

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Posted by: Adam Maclean - 01/02/2018

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