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What should I do to plan for water birth and labour?

Yay, you want a water birth! We love that more women are drawn to water birth, because it supports natural birth and gentle transitions into the world for baby.

Every birth is different, and every childbirth in water is different. From our years of experience providing birth pools to support women to birth and labour in water, we’ve gathered a few ideas and want to share them with you.

(Plus, we staff members at Birth Afloat have a few wonderful water births between us!)

  1. Choose a reliable birth pool. You might have a bathtub at home that you can use, but often bathtubs aren’t the most suitable for labour and birth. They can be tricky to climb in and out of, they may not be accessible for your birth support team, and they are often too small and difficult to change positions in. We recommend a birth pool, because they are specifically designed to support natural childbirth in water. There are many birth pools on the market, and you’ll want to look for something tried and trusted. We love the Birth Pool in a Box brand because they are sturdy, super easy to use, and designed with birthing women’s needs in mind.
  2. Practice your birth pool setup. You don’t want to be rushing when labour kicks in! You’ll want to check things like the positioning of the birth pool, making sure you have enough space and that taps are accessible. You also want to make sure you have all the accessories you could need, such as tap adapters, a thermometer, and a way of draining your birth pool. You might want to go for a a birth pool kit, because these include everything you could possibly need. It’s likely that your birth support team will feel much more comfortable setting up the pool the second time around, especially if they haven’t had much exposure to birth pools before. Our birth pools are super easy to setup, but we still recommend trialling your setup in advance so that you know what to expect.
  3. Do your birth prep. As much as the body has innate wisdom for natural childbirth, it’s important to prepare the body and mind for birth. There are so many ways you can do this: birth courses like Calmbirth and Hypnobirthing, reading and podcasts, prenatal yoga, meditation, and more. To support natural birth in water, many women find it helpful to use techniques like breathing, affirmations, and meditation. It’s a great idea to practice tools and techniques in advance so that things come more naturally when you’re in labour.
  4. Think about your birth support team. Who do you want present at your birth? If you’re choosing a midwife or doula, do they have experience with and openness to water birth? You’ll want people at your birth who make you feel safe, supported, and able to relax. You’ll also want people who understand what makes water birth unique, and what considerations there are for a safe water birth. If you have a small birth support team or are having an unassisted birth, you might like to education yourself too.

It is impossible to completely plan for birth, because unexpected things can happen. Even if you are planning for a water birth, you may feel differently in the moment which is perfectly alright!

If you are planning water birth, reach out to chat to us about our birth pools for sale and hire. We’re passionate about bringing the benefits and joys of natural childbirth in water to more women!