As you all know I have been planning a home birth for this last pregnancy. I have also been planning to have a water birth. With my last labor I desperately wanted to be in the water but it wasn't an option at the hospital I birthed at. A lot of people don't know much about water birth and find the idea scary and dangerous but that isn't the case. It is very safe for baby and mother and can be a great aid in pain management. WaterbirthSolutions.com was kind enough to let me try out their Aquaborn Eco Birth Pool.
WaterbirthSolutions.com is a great resource for women and care providers to purchase birth pools, birth pool kits and get information about water birth. You can visit their Waterbirth FAQ page for detailed information on waterbirth. They also have answers to questions you may have about home birth and their different birth pools and policies.
Set up was surprisingly easy! We did a trial run before I went into labor to make sure we new how to do it and things went smoothly when the time came. It took about 10 minutes to get everything unrolled, blown up, and the liner zipped in. Not bad at all! It was also completely doable for one person. When labor actually started I didn't have anything to do with it's set up and my husband was able to take care of it himself. If you are unsure of something, it comes with an instructional DVD that explains everything.
You will want to order one of their water birth kits which comes with a small net for "debris", a no toxic lead free hose for filling the pool, a thermometer, an air pump and a sink adapter. If you already have some of the items you need, you can also purchase the items al a cart. It was no problem at all for my husband to hook up the hose to our washer faucet and fill the pool. It took about 45 minutes to completely fill the pool, but it was deep enough for me to get in after about 25 minutes.
My full labor lasted about 6 hours so things moved rather quickly. After about 2 hours of labor I was desperate to get in the pool and my midwife gave me the ok. I was having back labor and experiencing a lot of back pressure during my contractions and was so relieved to feel that ease up as soon as I hit the water. It was like all the pressure had been removed. It didn't take away the pain or intensity of the contractions, it just removed the pressure in my back (which was intense!) in between contractions for nearly my entire labor. It was amazing! It kept me feeling relaxed and calm, I left it only once to try and go to the bathroom and spent the rest of the 4 hours in there.
The birth pool has handles on the sides which I found very helpful. During the most intense contractions they gave me something to brace myself with, I really appreciated this feature. Probably my favorite feature though is the padded bottom. There is 3 inches of air underneath you and it is extremely comfortable. I was worried that I would feel like I was sitting on the floor the whole time, this was not the case! Having the padding was especially nice because I spent almost my entire labor on my hands and knees.
I am fairly short so was concerned about easily being able to get in and out of the pool, especially during labor when you can "get stuck" during a contraction. There are 3 levels of air so you can simply deflate the top and get in if you need to and fill it back up in just a few moments.
The last 30 minutes of my labor were the absolute hardest. Not even the water could relieve the constant back labor. There was one point earlier in labor that I got out to use the bathroom and my contractions were incredibly difficult. That being said, I think I would have had a considerably harder time with this stage had I not been in the water. I can't even express how thankful I am to have been in the pool!
Hands down the biggest difference between my hospital birth and my home birth was how peaceful it was for my son when he was finally earth side. There was no panic, my midwife told me to reach down and pull him up. He wasn't screaming and scared, he was given a few minutes in the warm water to acclimate to his new surrounding. His sweet face was so peaceful! There is no doubt in my mind that this was the best way for my little one to enter the world, I wish my first son had been able to have such a gentle entry.
The quality of the Aquaborn Eco Birth Pool is great. I am sure I will get some more uses out of it! It was easy to use and invaluable to my birthing success. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to use it. Whether you want to actually birth in the water or you just want the option of laboring in the pool, I would highly recommend investing in a birth pool for your labor and/or birth.
Written By Happily Domestic Contributor: Brittney Thompson
Thank you to Waterbirth Solutions who provided me with the car birthing pool free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received to conduct this review.