< Go Back

Birth Pool in a Box FAQs

Birth-Pool-in-a-Box Design:

“We have worked closely with midwives and mothers to understand what the ideal birth pool would be. The feedback we gained has supported this leap forward in the development of personal birthing pools. Now there is no compromise between performance and price for mothers who want to give birth their way” Amy Maclean, Founder

Registered Design: UK Regd. Des. 3023420 GB Patent Pending

A: Fitted disposable liner

Midwives advised that a new liner for the birth was a necessity from a hygiene perspective, while allowing for mothers who wanted to do trial-runs to do them. The pool comes with one liner and additional liners are available as extras.

B: White Floor

Midwives requested a white floor to enhance visibility.

C: Soft 2in high floor chamber

Mothers wanted extra comfort on the pool floor.

D: Clear Inside Wall

Mothers liked the perception of larger space created by having a clear inner wall.

E: Adjustable Height

Midwives said that mothers with shorter legs may have difficulty getting in and out of a pool. When a woman wants to exit the pool, simply open the top fast-deflate valve for a few seconds to reduce the height and width of the top chamber of the pool.

F: Choice of two sizes

Some mothers had limited room space, some wanted their partners to join them and some wanted as much freedom as possible in the pool. So we made the pool in Regular and Mini sizes.

G: Three separate chambers for greater safety

This is safer than a single chamber in the event of an accidental puncture in the pool walls.

H: Opaque external wall

Mothers unanimously agreed that the opaque external wall increased their sense of privacy.

I: Choice of pattern or plain blue external wall

The specially commissioned artwork depicts an underwater scene of creative labour and birthing images. This makes the pool useful for fun in the garden after the birth or for sharing the birth story with young children. Alternatively, the pool is available without the pattern as shown here.

J: Egg-shape

Some mothers wanted to be cosseted while others wanted space, so we made the pool narrower at one end and wider at the other.

K: Double reinforced handles

Mothers requested these strong handles on the outside of the pool (2 sets, uniquely positioned) for use when leaning over the side, as well as to assist with entry and exit of the pool. They are angled at 30 degrees for maximum comfort.

L: Tested for Quality, Durability and Stability

Each pool is factory tested to ensure that it has no defects. Also, the sides are strong enough to allow a 15-stone person to sit or lean on them.

M: Plain blue rim

Mothers said they wanted a clear space to rest their heads with no distracting text or shapes.

N: No internal handles

Midwives and mothers agreed that internal handles might obstruct full movement.

O: No Rough Edges

Mothers requested that seams be smooth where they rest their heads.

P: No drain plug

Midwives and mothers agreed that a drain plug was an unnecessary weak link in a birthing pool.

Birth-Pool-in-a-Box FAQ’s

Is Birth-Pool-in-a-Box the right birth pool for me?

The first generation Birth-Pool-in-a-Box (BPIAB) Deluxe and Standard pools have been used for more than 1,200 labours and births in the UK. We have built on the feedback from mothers who used those first pools and developed the new second-generation of BPIAB with the help of midwives and mothers in focus groups. The result is a robust, safe, comfortable and hygienic birth pool for use at home or in hospital. We do recognise that no pool design can be all things to all people. This FAQ will help you decide if BPIAB is for you.

Does Birth-Pool-in-a-Box have a disposable liner?

Yes! The liner is held in place securely by the handles at each end of the pool (GB patent pending). One disposable liner is included with each pool and additional liners for trial runs are available for £20.00 each. We strongly recommend using a new liner for the birth to minimise risk of infection. If you use BPIAB without a new liner for the birth, you do so at your own risk.

My friend has said I can use her Birth-Pool-in-a-Box. What are the issues in doing this?

When a Birth-Pool-in-a-Box is sold to an individual, it is for their use only (or their partner or daughter/grand-daughter). If you use a Birth-Pool-in-a-Box bought for someone else, then we do not guarantee it for your use which is entirely at your own risk. If you decide to proceed regardless, then to minimise risk of cross-infection we strongly recommend that you clean and wipe the pool with sterile alcohol wipes, use a new disposable liner and new items to fill the pool (the entire Optional Kit).

How heavy is Birth-Pool-in-a-Box when filled?

The weights of the two pools are as follows: Pool Size Weight Filled with Water Weight including mother Equivalent Number of adults Regular 650 kg / 1430 lbs 730 – 770 Kg / 1606 – 1694 lbs 10 – 13 Mini 480 kg / 1056 lbs 560 – 600 Kg / 1232 – 1320 lbs 8 – 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. You may want to get a free inspection of your joists and floorboards from a wood preservation company, particularly if your house is old and you have not had such an inspection recently.

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

It takes 10-12 minutes to inflate a BPIAB using the hand pump provided FREE with the pool. Using the optional electric pump takes 8-10 minutes. The new second-generation pool takes considerably less time than the first generation BPIAB because of the addition of new large valves which both ease and speed inflation/deflation.

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 weed out pools with defects. You can take common sense precautions to minimise the risk of puncturing BPIAB. These include:

Keep pets away from the pool, both in storage and when inflated.

Prepare the floor where the pool will be, i.e. sand, vacuum, sweep thoroughly to remove sharp objects or surfaces. Take care when handling the pool. We advise against moving the pool between rooms when inflated to avoid unnecessary wear & tear. Remove jewellery prior to using the pool. In the unlikely event of a puncture, BPIAB is designed with 3 independent air chambers so that if one chamber punctures, 2/3 of the height of the sides remains, causing considerably less problems than if a single-chambered pool is punctured.

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

The new second-generation BPIAB has been designed specifically to be firm enough to allow the mother, midwife or partner (max 15 stone or 95kg) to sit on the sides while entering/exiting the pool or supporting the birth. The material used is 0.38mm PVC and the seams are bonded using a high-frequency welding process that fuses the two piece of material together as one.

How do I get in and out of the Pool?

There are two main methods for the mother to enter and exit the pool:

Sit on side and swing legs over Step in/out of pool. This flexes the pelvis and can positively affect labour progress. For either method, the handles can be used for support. The Optional Kit includes a plastic step to aid stepping into or out of the pool. In addition, 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.

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

The depth of water in your birth pool is an important consideration, especially if you are planning on giving birth to your baby in the pool. A woman needs at least 18″ of water in order for the buoyancy effect of water to benefit her labour. For birth in the pool, it is critical that the baby remain completely underwater until its head is deliberately brought to the surface, hence minimising the potential for the breathe reflex to be stimulated underwater. Both the Regular and Mini size BPIAB pools are 26″ deep internally (28″ externally with a 2″ cushioned internal floor), deep enough for a safe birth for most women. The water can be within 3″ of the rim of the pool with the mother in it therefore the water depth will be 23″ (granted there will be some spills with this much water, so get the towels ready). Hired birth pools in the UK are generally 25-28″ deep externally, with floor padding reducing this internally and hence comparable to BPIAB.

How do I choose between the two Pool sizes?

Both pools are the same depth, so the choice comes down to length/width. For women over 5’6″ the Mini pool is likely to be too small to comfortably assume positions conducive to labour and birth, such as leaning on the sides facing out with legs extended out behind. If your partner wants to join you in the pool, then whatever your height, the Regular pool is more likely to enable that comfortably. On the other hand, if you have limited space in the room you plan to use, you may be better off with the Mini pool even if you are over 5’6″.

What if my midwife is uncomfortable using Birth-Pool-in-a-Box for water birth?

The main issue for a midwife is likely to be the depth of the pool as she will want to ensure there is enough water to safely birth the baby. A baby born under water needs to be completely under the water as it is born, so the woman’s lower body needs to be completely submerged when birthing the baby. If your midwife expresses reservations about using your pool, you have a few options:

invite her to have a look at the pool prior to labour;

demonstrate how the pool will be when properly inflated, filled and with you in it; put her in touch with our company and we’d be happy to refer her to many midwives who have happily used and would recommend Birth-Pool-in-a-Box. Note that the clinical judgment of the midwife on the day of your labour should be recognised as she may not be the same midwife who you originally spoke to, so be sure to cover as many bases as you can prior to your labour. Of course, the benefits of using water for labour alone are worth the investment, even if the midwife requests that you get out for the actual birth. Water is proven to shorten labour and reduce the need for interventions, regardless if there is a water birth or a land birth at the end of the labour!

The other issue for midwives may be the risk of puncture. Sensible precautions are covered in this FAQ under “What is the risk of puncturing the pool?”.

How do I fill Birth-Pool-in-a-Box?

Fill your pool with a 1/2″ NEW garden hose pipe (to ensure safety in hygiene) which is connected to your tap with a NEW tap connector. Filling time varies widely according to the water supply. It can be as little as 30 minutes from a high pressure continuous-flow “combi” boiler or up to 3 hours from a small tank that takes an hour to refill via a boiler. Always place the heat retention cover (from the Optional Kit) on top of the water during filling. You can use kettles of hot water and boil pans of water on your stove if you have small water tank or slow hot water system. Take care to never pour boiling water near the sides or near a person in the pool.

When do I fill Birth-Pool-in-a-Box?

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 heat retention cover on.

When do I get in the birthing pool?

If you are using the birthing pool in your own home, you may get in the birthing pool whenever you like. It may help ease early labour pains. In some cases, however, it might even stop your labour altogether. For the maximum pain relief, get in the birthing pool when you are in active labour: when your contractions are coming every 3-4 minutes and building in intensity (around 5-6 cm dilation). Prior to getting into the pool, many women find that a TENS machine provides effective pain relief. Water is not pain relief per se, but it will help you manage the pain better as it enables you to easily move into different positions, thus helping you relax more. For added benefits of water, get out of the pool every 90 minutes or so for a few contractions on land. Then get back in the pool for an extra burst of oxytocin-the hormone that powers labour contractions.

How do I keep the water warm?

When you are in the birthing pool, you should feel comfortable, but not too warm. In labour, the water should be maintained according to your comfort between 32°C – 36°C. The latest evidence cites that the best gauge for temperature of the water is maternal comfort. If she is too hot or too cold, adjust the water accordingly and don’t mind so much what the thermometer says (Note that your NHS Trust may have more rigid guidelines or policy than this, despite recent evidence). However, for water birth, the temperature should be 36°C – 37°C or the same temperature as the woman. You will want to use a clean thermometer to measure the water temperature. Note that temperature measurement is an inexact science and most inexpensive thermometers are accurate at best to +/- 0.5°C regardless of the number of decimal places they display.

If you use the optional heat-retention cover, the heat loss will be minimised to 0.5-1°C 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 temperature by removing & adding water can be attended to effectively by the woman’s partner without great difficulty. We recommend that you keep a clean bucket handy to empty water before topping up, if the water level is already at the recommended maximum.

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 birth to be without them. It does not take much effort to top up with hot water from the tap or kettle to keep a comfortable temperature in the birthing pool. There are several safety issues to bear in mind with respect to 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 build-up of potentially harmful bacteria. For many people, chemicals are inconsistent with the philosophy of natural birth.

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

You can use the pool to find the most comfortable positions to labour and/or give birth. Having a birth pool does not mean that you will need to or want to have a water birth. The benefits of labour in water alone are worth the investment. You may want to lean up against the side of the birthing pool holding the handles on the outside walls with your legs behind you for contractions, or you may want to lean back with your legs in front of you. Your partner or birthing companion may get in the pool to help support you, or provide support/massage from outside the pool according to preference.

Some women like to hold onto something solid when they are in the pool. The sturdy handles are designed for this purpose.

How do I empty the pool?

This is a question of convenience versus cost. With BPIAB you can choose according to your preference. If you take BPIAB 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.

Method Cost Pros & Cons

Bail with bucket Time. Bucket – £3.00 Little or no cash cost. Approx 140 x 1 gallon buckets to empty Regular pool. Time away from family is opportunity cost. Syphon using filling hose No cash cost. Can take 3 hours with one hose. Using more than one hose reduces time. Strain pool water thoroughly first.

What accessories will I receive with the Birth-Pool-in-a-Box?

Birth-Pool-in-a-Box comes with the pool, one disposable liner and a fast inflation hand pump. The Optional Kit comes with the additional following items:

  • “Using Water for Labour and Birth” Information Pack
  • Foil-backed Heat Retention Cover
  • Water strainer
  • Thermometer
  • 15m filling hose
  • Multi-purpose tap connector
  • Round tap connector
  • Plastic ground sheet (2x3m)

You can also specify water emptying accessories.

< Go Back