An option for those birthing at home, at a freestanding Birth Center, or at some hospitals in Wisconsin
For relieving the physical stress of pregnancy, laboring at home, or birthing your baby at home Studies have shown that labors are faster in deep immersion pools.
Our spa has been strictly designed to facilitate easy movement in labor, support multiple and varied positions, and offer women deep immersion. You (and your partner) can spend many hours of your labor relaxing and enjoying complete freedom of movement. The heater keeps the spa at your chosen temperature, allowing your support people to spend time attending you, not trying to keep the water warm enough for you to stay comfortable.
Why not just use a “Kiddie pool”?
You must fill a birth pool to at least 20” of water, no matter the design, so the woman benefits from the physiologic responses to buoyancy and immersion. The body secretes hormones in response to immersion which help to release oxytocin (the hormone responsible for labor contractions).
The birth pool will be delivered to your home, set up, completely sanitized, tested and inspected, approximately 3 weeks before your “due date”.
Your spa will include:
The pool is deep- which is perfect for allowing the mother to become fully immersed in soothing warm water. The spa is built with thermostatically controlled re-circulating heating system (jets), turned on or off at any time. The walls of the spa are thick enough to allow a mother or a birth attendant to sit on the rim. The spa also comes with its own locking cover, which makes it ideal for use in homes with small children.
Following the birth of your baby, the spa will be emptied, cleaned, taken down, and removed from your home.
If ordered elsewhere, the spa kit rents for $550 (including shipping) and sells for $1595 with no services for set-up, cleaning, or assistance and no supplies (filters, pool supplies, etc.).
Arrangements may be made with us to keep the spa for longer, if you desire to use it therapeutically during pregnancy or postpartum recovery.
This spa is recommended by Waterbirth International & Barbara Harper, author of Gentle Birth Choices, and meets hospital infection control requirements.
Benefits of Water
The use of warm water during labor can be a wonderful comfort measure; it is safe, widely available, inexpensive, and effective.
Warm water immersion in labor, hydrotherapy, can diminish stress hormones (called catecholamines), which increase pain and slow labor; it also directly reduces pain by increasing the body's production of natural pain relievers (endorphins), can ease involuntary muscular tension, and enhance relaxation during and between contractions. It can also lower blood pressure within minutes and decrease edema (swelling), and the buoyancy can promote better circulation and increase efficiency of uterine contractions. In addition, use of a large tub increases mobility so that it is easier to change positions to aid the progress of labor, especially when a woman is becoming tired. Birth into water can reduce the incidence and severity of perineal tearing; the water encourages relaxation of the pelvic floor and provides natural support to the perineum.
Waterbirth may have benefits for the baby as well, and often provides a gentler transition to life outside the womb. Many pregnant women are drawn to water, especially during labor, and women all over the world give birth in labor tubs, tide pools, or natural springs.
The advantage of tubs specifically designed for birth is that they are portable, heated, and large enough to accommodate movement and a variety of labor positions. Rented tubs can be used in the hospital or at home. Some women choosing hospital birth use rented labor tubs at home, often with the services of a doula, to help them stay home longer. This enables them to enter the hospital when labor is well-established, which can help them avoid unwanted interventions.
For most women, the question of safety needs to be addressed. There are no known hazards to laboring in water, whether or not the bag of waters has broken. Waterbirth is completely safe as well, as long as some precautions are followed. First, there are several factors that prevent the baby from beginning to breathe underwater after birth. The water temperature is close to that of the amniotic fluid in the womb, so there is no shock of a temperature change. The baby is also receiving oxygen from the umbilical cord, just as it has for the previous nine months. In addition, the baby has an autonomic reflex, called the dive reflex, which prevents it from inhaling any substance that is in the throat and causes it instead to swallow (this reflex disappears after about six months). There is a complex chain reaction of hormones and chemicals that cause the breathing process to begin; just know that it is impossible for a newborn to breathe until up in the air. However, the baby should not be left under water for an extended period of time. There are several waterbirth films that show babies under water longer than this, and the babies do fine because the placenta is still supplying oxygen, but it can't be predicted when the placenta will begin to separate and stop the flow of oxygen. The safest approach is to remove the baby unhurriedly, face down so water drains from the nose and mouth.
A note about waterbirth: the use of water during labor always works best when there is no expectation that the birth will happen in the tub. Although the water can be a valuable tool, some women need more assistance from gravity and find that contractions slow down in the tub. The best approach is to be flexible. Michael Odent, French waterbirth expert and author of Birth Reborn, says that "the baby can be born underwater when there are suddenly irresistible powerful contractions and the mother does not feel like getting out of the pool: it should not be the objective. Often women need to get out of the pool for the very last contractions, at a phase when paradoxically a short rush of adrenaline can help. Women who are prisoners of the project of giving birth under water may be tempted to stay too long in the bath."
There are several ways to use pools during labor. Many homebirth midwives are experienced with and enthusiastic about waterbirth. They may bring a tub as part of their homebirth assistance service, although typically these do not have their own heat source or jets. They often require water to be added and emptied and can be difficult to maintain comfortable consistent temperatures. They usually are not set up until the midwife comes on the scene, later in labor. Our tub has its own heater and can be set up prior to the onset of labor.