Professional Birth Pools – FAQs

When does the mother get in and out of the pool?

If a mother is experiencing early labour pains, she may get in the birth pool whenever she likes. In some cases, however, it might even stop your labour altogether. For the maximum pain relief, encourage the mother to get in the birthing pool when she is in active labour: when her contractions are coming every 3-4 minutes and building in intensity (around 2” dilation).

Water is not a pain relief per se, but it will help the mother to manage the pain better as it enables her to easily move into different positions, thus helping her to relax more. For added benefits of water, get the mother out of the pool every 90 minutes or so for a few contractions to land. Then get her back into the pool for an extra burst of oxytocin – the hormone that powers labour contractions.

There are 2 key methods for the mother to enter and exit the pool:

  • Site on the side and swing legs over
  • Step in/out of the pool. This flexes the pelvis and can positively affect the labour progress
  • For either method, the handles can be used for support. The top chamber may be partially deflated to make it easier for women with shorter legs to step over the sides. This can be done without significant loss of height of pool sides.

Can we specify lights to be added to the pool?

No. Fixed lights require the woman to move into certain positions in the pool and therefore, conflict with our design objectives to facilitate freedom of movement. In addition, we have deliberately avoided things that may add to the risk of infection or may be unreliable. We recommend the use of hand-held flashlights (torches).

How is the water temperature monitored?

We recommend use of a hand-held or mobile thermometer to measure water temperature.

How do I keep the water warm in my birth pool?

When you’re in the birthing pool, you should feel comfortable, but not too warm. In labor, the water should be maintained according to your comfort, between 91°F – 98°F. The latest evidence suggests that the best gauge temperature for the water is a maternal comfort. If you are too hot or cold, adjust the water accordingly and don’t overly consider what the thermometer says. However, for a water birth, the temperature should be 96°F – 98°F or the same temperature as yourself.

If you use the heat-retention cover, the heat loss will be minimised to 1-2°F per hour, depending on the temperature, humidity and air flow in the room. A cover also reduces humidity when the birth pool is not in use. Temperature monitoring every hour and adjusting the temperature by removing and adding water can be attended to effectively by your partner without great difficulty. We recommend that you keep a clean bucket to hand to empty water before topping up if the water level is already at the recommended maximum.

Is there an external step unit available?

Yes. Please request this in your enquiry for more information.

How long does it take to inflate a Birth Pool in a Box?

It takes 10 minutes to inflate Birth Pool in a Box using a good electric pump and 20-40 minutes using a hand pump – depending on the capacity of the pump and your fitness. A cheap electric air pump may not have the power to inflate the pool adequate, therefore, we recommend a pump that generates a pressure in the range of 0.7-0.9 Psi.

Why do you offer the pool with and without an overflow?

In the UK, infection control is higher priority than overflow prevention. We advise use of a timed thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) for installations without an overflow. In the USA compliance with building codes cannot be waived and therefore an overflow must be included.

Are discounts available for ordering more than one pool at a time?

Yes, please complete our enquiry form to request more information

What is the lead time from ordering to delivery?

Your order is shipped from our manufacturing partner in Virginia, USA within 21 days after receipt of your firm order. Delivery time depends on location. We use sea-freight for orders outside North America. This adds 21-28 days for deliveries to UK and mainland Europe.

Professional Permanent FP3 Pool

What is the FP3 pool made from?

The FP3 pool is made from two acrylic sheets, each reinforced with glass fibre and held together by an adhesive filler, giving exceptional strength to the pool unit.

Is it possible to easily maintain the pool surface?

Yes. The acrylic pool surface has a high hardness value and will not easily scratch or become damaged. Scratches can be repaired by sanding and buffing the affected area. No specialist skills required, keeping your costs down and avoiding downtime.

Do you have a listing with ICC or UL?

The FP3 is listed with ICC. Our manufacturing partner only lists products with electrical components with UL and therefore, we are not currently listed with UL.

Professional Portable Pool

How heavy is Birth Pool in a Box when filled?

The weights of the two pools are as follows:

Pool SizeWeight Filled with WaterWeight including motherEquivalent Number of adults
Regular650 kg / 1430 lbs730 – 770 Kg / 1606 – 1694 lbs10 – 13
Mini480 kg / 1056 lbs560 – 600 Kg / 1232 – 1320 lbs8 – 10

A solid floor is preferable or putting the pool in the corner of a room with joists that are rot-free, where there is more support. We cannot guarantee that your floor will support the weight of the birth pool.

Does Birth Pool in a Box have a disposable liner? And why do I need a liner?

Yes! The liner is held in place securely by the handles at each end of the pool (GB patent, China patent pending). One disposable liner is included with each pool and additional liners are available. We strongly recommend using a new liner for the birth to minimise the risk of cross-infection. In addition, a liner provides a second container for the 120+ gallons of water in your home and it makes cleaning up easier.

How do I choose between the two sizes of the Birth Pool in a Box?

Both Birth Pool in a Box portable pools are the same depth, so the choice comes down to length/width. For women over 5’8, the mini pool may feel too small to comfortably assume positions conducive to labor and birth, such as leaning to the side with her legs extended out behind. If her partner wants to also be in the pool, then whatever the mothers height, the regular pool would be more comfortable. On the other hand, if the room you plan to place the pool in is small, you may be better off with the mini pool, even if you are over 5’8. The buoyancy of water will be in effect no matter what your height is or which pool you choose. It is simply the amount of space you have that will differ with which pool you choose.

When and how do I fill Birth Pool in a Box?

Fill your pool with a new hose pipe (to ensure safety in hygiene) which is connected to your tap with a NEW tap connector. We recommend you run the water for 2-3 minutes into the sink before beginning to fill the pool to ensure the hose is fully rinsed. Filling time varies widely according to the water supply. It can be as little as 30 minutes from a high pressure continuous-flow boiler or up to 3 hours from a small tank that takes an hour to refill via a boiler. Always place the ClearFit Cover or a clean tarp on top of the water during filling to retain heat.

For a first-time mother, a good guideline is to begin filling when contractions are regular and between 3-4 minutes apart for one hour. For subsequent births, begin filling the birthing pool when contractions are 5 minutes apart. If you have a small water tank that takes a long time to refill, you may want to begin filling as soon as contractions start. If they progress slowly or stop, you can stop filling and leave the ClearFit Cover on.

Are the sides of Birth Pool in a Box firm enough?

The new Birth Pool in a Box has been designed specifically to be firm enough to allow the mother, midwife or partner (maximum 210lbs) to sit on the sides while entering/exiting the pool. The material used is 0.38mm PVC and the seams are bonded using a high-frequency welding process that fuses the two pieces of material together as one. To adjust the height of the pool, the middle chamber can be deflated, while the top and bottom chambers can remain firm for the pool’s stability.

Is Birth Pool in a Box deep enough for a safe birth?

The depth of the water in your birth pool is important to consider, especially if you are planning on using an inflatable birth pool in your hospital or birth centre. You need at least 18” of water in order for the buoyancy effect of water to benefit labour. For birth in the pool, it is critical that the baby remains completely underwater until it’s head is deliberately brought to the surface, hence minimising the potential for the breath reflect to be stimulated underwater. Both the regular and mini sized Birth Pool in a Box are at least 26” deep internally, which is plenty deep enough for a safe birth for most women. The water can be within 3” of the rim of the pool with the mother and midwife in it, therefore the water depth will be 23” – granted there will be some spills with this much water, so get the towels ready.

The pools can actually be ‘too deep’ when fully inflated, depending on the mother’s height or the midwife’s, so if this is the case, simply use the ‘adjustable height’ feature in the pool by deflating the middle chamber so that the total height of the pool is comfortable. When the top and bottom chambers are fully inflated, the pool is still stable enough for sitting and leaning, while the middle chamber can be softer for height adjustment.

What can a woman use to stabilize herself when entering or leaving the pool?

There are several options for this:

  • Hold onto the lip of the pool
  • Hold onto the grab bar placed on the wall outside of the pool
  • Hold onto a floor to ceiling pole placed outside of the pool

Can I use a heater in Birth Pool in a Box?

We do not provide heaters with our birthing pools as we believe it is simpler and safer for water births to be without them. You can instead top up your pool with hot water from the tap or kettle to keep it at a comfortable temperature in the birthing pool. There are several safety issues to bear in mind in terms of heaters. In order to use a heater with your birthing pool, you will need to add chemicals to the water to help preserve its freshness and prevent the build-up of potentially harmful bacteria. For many people, chemicals are inconsistent with the philosophy of natural birth.

How do I empty the pool?

This is a question of convenience versus cost. With Birth Pool in a Box professional portable pools, you can choose according to your preference. If you take a Birth Pool in a Box into a hospital or birth centre, you may need to empty and remove the pool from the room quickly to make it available for others. Check with your hospital for their requirements and any equipment they may already have.

How long does it take to inflate a Birth Pool in a Box?

It takes 10 minutes to inflate Birth Pool in a Box using a good electric pump and 20-40 minutes using a hand pump – depending on the capacity of the pump and your fitness. A cheap electric air pump may not have the power to inflate the pool adequate, therefore, we recommend a pump that generates a pressure in the range of 0.7-0.9 Psi.

How do I use Birth Pool in a Box for labor and birth?

The mother can use the pool to find the most comfortable positions for labour and/ or to give birth. Having a birth pool does not mean that she will need to or want to have a water birth. The benefits of labour in water alone are worth the investment. The mother may want to lean up against the side of the birthing pool holding the handles on the outside walls with her legs behind her for contractions, or she may want to lean back with her legs in front of her. Their partner may get in the pool to help support her, or provide massage from outside the pool according to preference. Some women like to hold onto something solid when they are in the pool and the study handles are designed for this purpose.

Is Birth Pool in a Box the right birth pool for my birth center or hospital?

Inflatable Birth Pool in a Box pools have been used for thousands of labors and births in Europe. The regular and mini pools have been available since December 2005 and were designed and built with the help of midwives and mothers in focus groups. The results are robust, safe, comfortable and hygienic birth pools for use at home or in hospital.

What is the risk of puncturing the pool?

Each pool has been inflated at the factory and left standing for 24 hours before a comprehensive inspection to ensure that there are no defects. Then, our independent inspectors randomly inflate and test another 5-10% of them before we accept them. You can take common-sense precautions to minimise the risk of puncturing Birth Pool in a Box. These include:

  • Remove it from its packaging and leave to stand outside before unfolding. In winter, we recommend 72 hours to bring the whole pool up to room temperature
  • Prepare the floor where the pool will be such as vacuuming, sanding and sweeping thoroughly to remove any possible sharp objects or surfaces
  • If the pool is going on a floor which may have jagged edges, be sure to cover the floor with a plastic sheet or cloth first
  • Take care when handling the pool. We advise against moving the pool between rooms when inflated to avoid unnecessary wear and tear
  • Remove jewellery prior to using the pool

In the unlikely event of a puncture, Birth Pool in a Box is designed with 3 independent air chambers, so if one chamber punctures, ⅔ of the height will remains – causing considerably fewer problems than if a single-chambered pool is punctured.