The other day we were reminded of the potential for long useful life for our Birth Pool in a Box Professional pools when a hospital in Europe sent an order for more Pro Mini Liners to use with the 2 pools they bought a year ago. We chatted about how it was surprising they did not need pools as well: the warranty for our Pro birthing pools is 40 uses and in a hospital with a high waterbirth rate that might be reached in 60 days. When we checked our records, it became apparent that this particular hospital had used each of their pools more than 200 times!
This is not the first time our customers have experienced this extraordinary longevity. There is a wide range of lifespans reported and we realised it is time to share the top tips of customers who enjoy the lowest cost per birth for their Birth Pool in a Box Professional pools.
Top Tip #1: Keep it in same location
Same location meaning same place in the same room. Moving a pool out of its bag between rooms is particularly high risk.
Top Tip #2: Leave it inflated
This is a double-win: it removes the additional handling of packing away and then setting up the pool for each use *and* it keeps the pool visible, reminding mothers that water for labor is an available option.
Top Tip #3: Take care removing plugs in floor and seat
If you cannot leave the pool inflated in place, take care when removing the soft plugs in the floor and seat: reaching over the inflated sides can lead to them being “yanked”, severing their attachment to the pool. Always deflate the sides first, then ease out the soft plugs carefully.
Top Tip #4: Use an air pump with max pressure of 0.8 Psi
Birth Pool in a Box Professional pools are made with a flexible PVC material that will stretch according to the pressure inside the air chambers. We have tested them with an industrial compressor at higher pressures and they keep expanding until they reach a limit. However, the material will become permanently stretched and weakened. And the Birth Pool in a Box Pro Liner will no longer fit! The design pressure for the pools is 0.74 Psi and this is the maximum pressure of the air pumps we sell. This makes it easy because you just place the palm of your hand on the pool as it inflates and turn off the pump when you can no longer feel the material stretching. If you do not use our pumps, check the max pressure on yours and take care not to over-inflate!
Top Tip #5: Raise awareness about the risks of sharp objects
Accidentally scraping a sharp object can bring a rapid end to a pool’s useful life. Train midwives and other attendants to remove such objects and to reinforce this message with mothers and their supporters. Jewellery on ankles is easily forgotten. Signs are part of the solution here.
Top Tip #6: Always Use a Birth Pool in a Box Pro Liner
Birth Pool in a Box is a system comprising a pool and liner. They work together to provide a safe, comfortable and convenient portable birthing pool solution. A liner protects the pool material as well as giving a redundant container for the water.
The final few apply when your Birth Pool in a Box Professional is used in a home environment:
Top Tip #7: Keep pets away from the pool
No explanation required here.
Top Tip #8: Use on a clean flat floor inside
No surprise here.
Top Tip #9: Do not pack away damp
Leave the pool up to dry completely after decontamination. The material can be stained if packed away damp, reducing confidence in the pool.
These are the basics of an extended life for your Birth Pool in a Box Professional. Not all of them can be followed at all times. For example, if you hire out your pools and the hirer is responsible for set up and care. In this case you will want to create the incentive for the hirer to care for the pool with a combination of a deposit and raising awareness of the instructions.
Let us know any other tips you want to share with your fellow birth professionals by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leighton Hospital have been offering Waterbirth in the MLU since 2013. They First started using our Birth pool In the Box Pro Pools and have recently upgraded to our FP3 Birth Pools in all three rooms.
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