Edel Immersys is a leading supplier of water birth pools that are designed to create an intimate and peaceful birthing experience. Subscribe to our blog and stay up-to-date with the latest news and updates from the water birth industry, and the Edel Immersys team.
We ensure that every mother is confident and happy that she will be using a birth pool that has been impeccably designed to provide a safe, secure and comfortable environment to give birth.
We’ve recently received another wonderful testimonial from a mother who recently gave birth in one of our Birth Pool in a Box Mini pools at home with her partner. She spoke about her experience with our Customer Care Team, her feelings about her birth pool and the birth of her baby girl. She very kindly also wrote to us.
“While pregnant with my second child my partner and I researched our options and we decided we really wanted a home birth. I was lucky enough to be gifted an unused new Birth Pool in a Box Regular Pool from a friend, however, there were still some items I needed to purchase. I contacted the Customer Care team at Edel Immersys (The Good Birth Company) and spoke with a very helpful person about everything I would need to help make my home water birth a success. They were so incredibly helpful, I ordered the items I needed, a new liner, a new hose and a kit for filling and emptying the Birth Pool in a Box, and they were sent out the same day and delivered the next day. The person I spoke explained exactly what I needed and how to use them. They also helped me by explaining how to empty the pool once I’d finished using it and made the whole experience so easy. It certainly was one less thing to worry about! The Birth Pool in a Box itself was easy to blow up, extremely comfortable and sturdy. It was a very good size even though it was the smaller (mini) version. My labor and birth was everything I hoped for and being in the Birth Pool made me feel safe and so comfortable; the floor was wonderfully padded. I particularly liked the sides being opaque on the outside because it gave me the privacy I wanted.
My baby girl Ava was born into a calm beautiful environment with my partner there to welcome his daughter and it also meant my toddler son Lucas could meet his baby sister without having to leave the home. Thank you so much to the team at Edel Immersys for all your help and making my birth the perfect, relaxed experience I always wanted!”
Maisie Rowsell and Baby Ava
If you’d like more information about the Birth Pool in a Box Maisie gave birth in, here or contact us .
Waterbirth has a long history spanning more than 200 years in written record. The earliest record of a waterbirth in the western world was in France in 1803 when a woman, after 48 hours of labor, was encouraged to enter a bath by her physician (Gondinet, 1804). Fifteen minutes after immersion, the woman delivered a healthy newborn into water without interventions or complications (Bertram, 2000; Gondinet, 1804). In the early 1960s, waterbirth became popular in the Soviet Union where Igor Charkovsky began experimenting with waterbirth and neonatal adaptations to water (Church, 1989). In the early 1980s, intrapartum hydrotherapy spread throughout Europe spearheaded by French obstetrician Michel Odent and Belgian obstetrician Herman Ponette (Bertram, 2000; Mackey, 2001; Odent, 1983; Ponette, 1996).
The earliest records of waterbirth and neonatal outcomes are from Odent and Ponette. Odent (1983) published observational data of the first 100 underwater births he attended and reported no neonatal infections or perinatal deaths. In 1996, Ponette detailed his direct experiences with 1,024 waterbirths from 1989-1995 reporting no neonatal complications in the neonates born into water (Ponette,1996). Over the course of 17 years, Ponette’s hospital in Belgium had 2,500 waterbirths, out of almost 8,000 total births, without a single incident of neonatal infection or death related to waterbirth (Turner & Turner, 2000). These positive outcomes highlight the safety and efficacy of Odent’s and Ponette’s experience with waterbirth.
Intrapartum hydrotherapy moved to the United States and steadily grew towards the end of the 20th century (Bertram, 2000). The first recorded waterbirth in the United States was in 1980 when a woman gave birth underwater to a healthy baby after only 90 minutes of labor (Garland, 2011). In 1989, Church published the first waterbirth article in the United States in the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery. Church (1989) reported the first 483 women to have a waterbirth at The Family Birthing Center in Upland, California between February 1985 and June 1989. There were no neonatal complications in the 483 waterbirths (Church, 1989).
Waterbirth continued to gain popularity around the world and in the United States throughout the end of the 20th century into the 21st century. In 1992, the British House of Commons (1992) Health Committee issued a report on maternity services that recommended all hospitals provide women with “the option of a birth pool where this is practicable” (p. 5). By 1997, 95% of maternity services in the United Kingdom had a birthing tub installed and were offering waterbirth (Burns, Boulton, Cluett, Cornelius, & Smith, 2012). In 2009, there were 229 hospitals in the United States offering waterbirth (Nutter, Meyer, Shaw-Battista, & Marowitz, 2014). While intrapartum hydrotherapy progressed in the United Kingdom under the support of the government and midwifery and medical associations, waterbirth progress in the United States stalled without full support of all of the professional bodies.
My professional experience with hydrotherapy began fourteen years ago in the United States as a labor and delivery nurse. As a registered nurse working with three certified nurse-midwives, I witnessed countless women who labored with ease in the water. Even though our tubs were standard household bathtubs affixed to the wall, women were still able to find pain relief and ease of movement in the water. Waterbirths were not allowed per hospital policy and they, unfortunately, are still not an option for women who birth at that hospital today.
I moved to Germany a few short years after becoming a labor and delivery nurse, and I had the pleasure of working in the Netherlands for a year as the New Parent Support RN for the American military triborder community of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. I provided pre- and postnatal education for women in their home along with labor and delivery support in the local hospitals. Most of the women I attended, delivered their babies in Städtisches Krakenhaus Heinsberg (Heinsberg Hospital) in Heinsberg, Germany. The German midwives were pivotal in my education about hydrotherapy and waterbirths. The Heinsberg Hospital has permanently installed, egg-shaped, spacious, and deep pools that allow for maternal choice of movement along with upright positioning and birth. These types of deep pools also provide safety and protection for the neonate as the newborn is fully immersed at birth and, thus, does not take their first breath until their respiratory reflexes are stimulated as they are brought out of the water (Johnson, 1996).
The Heinsberg Hospital’s pools afforded women a choice in how they labored and birthed, and the American clients I worked with enjoyed the option. For my multipara clients, the overall consensus was that their labors in Germany were far easier, less painful, less anxiety or fear ridden, and were quicker than their previous land births. As a healthcare professional, I witnessed the peace, calmness, and autonomy that water provided women during both their labors and births. After a year of working for a U.S. contractor as a New Parent Support RN, I decided I wanted to explore travel nursing in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Excited about the prospect of working within a different culture and healthcare system, I hopped aboard a train and went to work for the National Health Service (NHS).
In the United Kingdom, the RCOG and the RCM fully support a woman’s choice of using a birth tub during their labor and delivery if the woman is healthy and the pregnancy is uncomplicated (Alfirevic & Gould, 2006). Further, they endorse maternal choice in childbirth as a human right and believe that the use of waterbirth encourages a woman-centered approach (Harding, Munro & Jokinen, 2012).
My experience as St. Thomas’ Hospital in London was one of exponential growth and knowledge attainment. The midwifery and nursing models of care in the U.K. are quite different than in the U.S. Midwives are the main providers of low risk, normal maternity care and there are no labor and delivery nurses in the maternity units. Rather, the care for women in labor and birth is one-to-one midwifery care with midwifery assistants or midwifery students assisting. Women are able to labor and birth in the pools at St. Thomas’ Hospital. The pools used when I was there were permanently affixed in the middle of the room, oval in nature, and deep. Women reported that the pools provided them with a sense of privacy, security, and warmth during their labors and deliveries. Women using hydrotherapy during their labors and births were able to change position easily, had fewer interventions, and were easily monitored via handheld, waterproof dopplers.
Waterbirth is prevalent in the United Kingdom due in part to their national evidence-based campaign to normalize birth by reducing unnecessary interventions and increasing spontaneous vaginal birth rates (Burns et al., 2012). As part of the Normality for Labour and Births campaign, water immersion in labor and delivery is promoted as one of the top ten tips for women to use as an active birthing position that increases the chance of having a spontaneous vaginal birth while decreasing the chances of having interventions during birth (Royal College of Midwives, 2014). This was supported in Chaichian and colleagues’ (2009) RCT where they found that all of the women experiencing a waterbirth gave birth spontaneously, while only 79.2% of those who had a conventional birth had a normal spontaneous vaginal delivery.
Waterbirth was introduced in the United Kingdom, as well as the United States, in an effort to swing the pendulum back towards normal vaginal birth (Burns, 2001; Rosenthal, 1996). Waterbirth was utilized to reduce the rising, routine use of obstetric interventions; the rising costs of maternity care related to epidural anesthesia use and cesarean sections; and the increasing rates of instrumental and cesarean births (Chaichian, Akhlaghi, Rousta, & Safavi, 2009; Church, 1989; Cluett & Burns, 2009; Rosenthal, 1996). Waterbirth also provides a safe and private space for women to birth gently without invasive interventions (Akhlaghi et al., 2009; Maude & Foureur, 2007). Both the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) continue to support the use of water in labor and birth. The RCM and the RCOG published a joint statement in 2006 in support of autonomy, informed choice, and waterbirth (Alfirevic & Gould, 2006). The RCM and RCOG stated that while there is documentation of rare but serious neonatal complications, their review of the overall neonatal waterbirth data is reassuring, and that women “who make an informed choice to give birth in water should be given every opportunity and assistance to do so by attendants who have appropriate experience” (Alfirevic & Gould, 2006, p. 2).
Why Waterbirth is Important
Childbirth is a life-changing event that can have long lasting physical and emotional effects on a woman and her newborn (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014). Waterbirth has been shown to increase levels of satisfaction with childbirth and the overall birthing experience (Akhlaghi et al., 2009; Cluett & Burns, 2009). This higher rate of satisfaction has been attributed to women feeling more in control of their body and the birth process while in water (Aird, Luckas, Buckett, & Bousfield, 1997; Akhlaghi et al., 2009; Richmond, 2003). Women were also more satisfied with their birth experiences when their feelings and concerns were listened to, their autonomy was respected, and they had control of the decision making surrounding their birth choices (Akhlaghi et al., 2009; Wu & Chung, 2003). In Brown (1998), a birthing tub was installed within their maternity unit in England in response to women wanting to have a choice in how they birthed, and desiring control over their own birth process. Women who feel in control of their childbirth experience demonstrate long-term satisfaction beyond childbirth and mothering, including feelings of accomplishment and enhanced self-esteem (Green, Coupland, & Kitzinger, 1990; Simkin, 1991). Women also tend to have more positive psychological outcomes in the postpartum period when they feel in control of themselves and their environment (Green, Coupland, & Kitzinger, 1991). A woman’s satisfaction with her childbirth experience has the ability to contribute to long-term health and well-being and is a pivotal event that a woman will remember for the rest of her life (Ferguson, Browne, Taylor, & Davis, 2016; Simkin, 1991).
After working in London, I returned to the United States to complete my Master in Science in Nursing to become a nurse-midwife. Whilst my waterbirth knowledge and experience advanced in Europe, I returned to the U.S. after almost four years to find that no progress had been made at my hospital, or surrounding hospitals, to provide waterbirth as an option for women. In fact, the only option for a waterbirth where I lived was for a woman to have a homebirth. My passion for women centered care, women’s choice in labor, women’s autonomy, and shared decision making have propelled me to finish a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and to pursue a PhD exploring shared decision making in maternity care. In my research I have found that waterbirth is a safe and viable option for women to exercise control over their birthing experience and experience autonomous choice in mode of delivery. While there is a paucity of level two evidence or randomized controlled trials, large observational studies have shown that waterbirths in low risk women who are attended by trained and experienced professionals are as safe as conventional births with no increased risk to neonates (Bodner et al., 2002; Brown 1998; Davies et al., 2015; Demirel et al., 2013).
Laura J. Valle, DNP, APRN-CNM
Aird, I. A., Luckas, M. J., Buckett, W. M., & Bousfield, P. (1997). Effects of intrapartum hydrotherapy on labour related parameters. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol, 37(2), 137-142.
Akhlaghi, A., Kasiri, H., Nikzad, E. S., Chaichian, S., Fekrat, M., & Mehdizadeh, A. (2009). Comparison of waterbirth with conventional vaginal delivery: A non-randomized controlled trial from Iran. Paper presented at the European OB & GYN Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Alfirevic, Z., & Gould, D. (2006). Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologisits and the Royal College of Midwives Joint Statement No. 1: Immersion in water during labor and birth. Retrieved from https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/rcog_rcm_birth_in_water.pdf
Bertram, L. (2000). Choosing waterbirth: Reclaiming the sacred power of birth. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
Bodner, K., Bodner-Adler, B., Wierrani, F., Mayerhofer, K., Fousek, C., Niedermayr, A., & Grunberger, W. (2002). Effects of water birth on maternal and neonatal outcomes. Wien Klin Wochenschr, 114(10-11), 391-395.
British House of Commons. (1992). Health Committee. Maternity services. Second report. London: HMSO.
Brown, L. (1998). The tide has turned: Audit of water birth. British Journal of Midwifery, 6(4), 236-243.
Burns, E. (2001). Waterbirth. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 11(Supplement 2), S10-S13.
Burns, E. E., Boulton, M. G., Cluett, E., Cornelius, V. R., & Smith, L. A. (2012). Characteristics, interventions, and outcomes of women who used a birthing pool: a prospective observational study. Birth, 39(3), 192-202. doi:10.1111/j.1523-536X.2012.00548.x
Chaichian, S., Akhlaghi, A., Rousta, F., & Safavi, M. (2009). Experience of water birth delivery in Iran. Arch Iran Med, 12(5), 468-471.
Church, L. K. (1989). Water birth: one birthing center’s observations. J Nurse Midwifery, 34(4), 165-170.
Cluett, E. R., & Burns, E. (2009). Immersion in water in labour and birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev(2), CD000111. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000111.pub3
Davies, R., Davis, D., Pearce, M., & Wong, N. (2015). The effect of waterbirth on neonatal mortality and morbidity: a systematic review protocol. The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 13(10), 180-231. doi:10.11124/jbisrir-2015-2105
Demirel, G., Moraloglu, O., Celik, I. H., Erdeve, O., Mollamahmutoglu, L., Oguz, S. S., . . . Dilmen, U. (2013). The effects of water birth on neonatal outcomes: a five-year result of a referral tertiary centre. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 17(10), 1395-1398.
Gondinet, M. (1804). Convulsions epileptiques. In M. Baumes (Ed.), Annales de la société de médecine-pratique de Montpellier pour l’an XII. Montpellier, France: Jean-Germain Tournel.
Ferguson, S., Browne, J., Taylor, J., & Davis, D. (2016). Sense of coherence and womens birthing outcomes: A longitudinal survey. Midwifery, 34, 158-165. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2015.11.017
Green, J. M., Coupland, V. A., & Kitzinger, J. V. (1990). Expectations, experiences, and psychological outcomes of childbirth: a prospective study of 825 women. Birth, 17(1), 15-24.
Harding, C., Munro, J., & Jokinen, M. (2012). Evidence based guidelines for midwifery-led care in labour: Immersion in water for labour and birth The Royal College of Midwives. Retrieved from https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Immersion in Water for Labour and Birth_0.pdf.
Johnson, P. (1996). Birth under water–to breathe or not to breathe. Br J Obstet Gynaecol, 103(3), 202-208.
Mackey, M. M. (2001). Use of water in labor and birth. Clin Obstet Gynecol, 44(4), 733-749.
Maude, R. M., & Foureur, M. J. (2007). It’s beyond water: stories of women’s experience of using water for labour and birth. Women Birth, 20(1), 17-24. doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2006.10.005
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2014). Intrpartum care: Care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth. NICE clinical guideline 109. Retrieved from guidance.nice.org.uk/cg190.
Nutter, E., Meyer, S., Shaw-Battista, J., & Marowitz, A. (2014a). Waterbirth: An integrative analysis of peer-reviewed literature. J Midwifery Womens Health, 59(3), 286-319. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12194
Odent, M. (1983). Birth under water. Lancet, 2(8365-66), 1476-1477.
Ponette, H. (1996). Water-births: My experience of 1600 water-births, including breeches and twins. Issued from the study center for perinatal epidemiology. Acquarius, 1-9.
Richmond, H. (2003). Women’s experience of waterbirth. Pract Midwife, 6(3), 26-31.
Rosenthal, J. (1996). The use of water immersion in labour at the Family Birthing Center of Upland (California). In B. Beech (Ed.), Water birth unplugged: Proceedings of the first International Water Birth Conference (pp. 92-95). Cheshire, England: Books for Midwives Press.
Simkin, P. (1991). Just another day in a woman’s life? Women’s long-term perceptions of their first birth experience. Part I. Birth, 18(4), 203-210.
Turner, J. R., & Turner, T. G. (2000). Birth in the 21st century: Notes from a visit to the new aquatic maternity centre, Ostend, Belgium. Midwifery Today, 54, 19-20.
Wu, C. J., & Chung, U. L. (2003). The decision-making experience of mothers selecting waterbirth. J Nurs Res, 11(4), 261-268.
We are often asked by our customers about our single-use plug & chain for the FP3 Labor & Birth Pool and how and why we came to the decision to choose this option over others for plugging the drain.
Two of the long term trends driving birth pool design in the UK and USA markets are:
Increased awareness of the need to prevent of cross-infection
Increased awareness of the negative impact on both the birth outcomes and the mothers’ satisfaction when their choice of water for labor pain relief is not available
There was a time when most pools in the UK market had a large ball valve inside a near-horizontal drain pipe. This approach proved both difficult to decontaminate and a trap for items such as thermometers that entered the pipe unseen and caused a blockage.
The permanent birthing pools on the market today use one of two designs:
Cable-driven plug with a control on the rim or side of the pool
Plug and chain, either single-use or not
We have consulted with hospitals and birth centers on their experience with cable-driven plugs and discovered that this option was not as highly rated as may be initially expected. Some had broken mechanisms: either not being able to lift the plug, or the plug falling closed after the release of the control device. Given that water depth in waterbirth tubs is usually greater than for the bathtubs that these devices are designed for, it is perhaps unsurprising that their reliability is less than 100%. No midwife or nurse wants to be or should be fighting with a plug in 20+ inches of used water after the birth of a baby, even when gauntlets are on hand.
Cable-driven plugs require more structure inside the drain and are therefore also more prone to blockage.
We realised that a simple plug design was worth exploring. The issue with re-using a plug and chain is that the chain is exceedingly difficult to decontaminate. We could overcome both the infection prevention and reliability issues provided it was single use and the chain was long enough to be hooked up outside the pool.
The plug is simply pulled out with the chain and disposed of. The drain has a recessed grate to catch any larger items not sieved out of the grey water but there are no cables or other obstacles. Flushing fresh water down the drain then a chlorine solution will decontaminate it. In the video below, you can see the plug being used.
EdelImmersys FP3 US - YouTube
So far we have not received one report of problems with drains and plugs. This may not be the last word on plugs and drains for birthing pools, But it appears to be the best solution available today.
Our Single-Use Plug with chain is available for just £2 (US$3) each in boxes of 100.
We have always made time in our product development process to engage with midwives and in May we were fortunate to visit the beautiful city of Savannah GA, to attend the 63rd Annual General Meeting and Exhibition of ACNM. From the 20th – 24th May we had a booth where we were exhibiting our current FP3 Labor & Birth Pool and we were showcasing the prototype of the new FP7 Labor & Birth Pool.
The FP7 Labor & Birth Pool prototype has been developed over the last 9 months in close co-operation with experienced waterbirth midwives, including Dianne Garland, Jenna Shaw-Battista and Liz Nutter. We were joined on the booth by Jenna and Liz to talk to midwives and help us to get the valuable feedback we need to finalise the FP7 Pool design. As Jenna and Liz put it, “They asked us what our fantasy birth pool was and then they created it!”
During the conference we also had a small focus group session, where Liz, Jenna and Laura Valle discussed the size and shape of the pool and its features and benefits. We also had a small session on Shoulder Dystocia in the tub. See some of the fun photos of Liz pretending to birth a baby with Shoulder Dystocia in the pool with Jenna assisting.
Some tweaks have been made to the FP7 pool design following the event. Our second permanent birth tub will be available to order in the Fall for delivery in early 2019.
Thank you to all the amazing midwives we met and spoke to. We are so pleased so many of you have used our birth pools and so many are trying to introduce waterbirth and birthing pools in your hospitals.
Check out our previous bloghere for more information on Shoulder Dystocia.
As a midwife for the past 35 years and supporting women using water since 1989 I am well aware of the dramatic changes that are ignited if shoulder dystocia occurs during birth. A calm and relaxed environment alters to a full “all hands on deck” if the babies shoulders fail to rotate.
It is rightly seen as a medical emergency where time is of the essence for the safety and wellbeing of mother and baby. Whilst it is vital that we recognise risk factors and warning signs, many occur without warning and thus the skills of practitioners are vital. Waterbirth adds an extra element to this scenario – on the positive side water encourages freedom of movement, position change and buoyancy which may assist in actions to deal with shoulder dystocia. When the mother moves in the water she alters her hormones (more adrenaline produced in an emergency) movement alters the shape of her pelvic outlet and if standing up has gravity to also assist.
Water, on the other hand, means that a quiet calm relaxed environment, with a “quiet observer” practitioner needs to alter their tone and language during this emergency. I call it changing from Mrs Fluffy Bunny to Mrs Assertive, to ensure engagement with the women and break through the zoning out (deep relaxation) many women experience in water.
Another guiding principle I teach is that if I have never met the mother before, I explain that if I ask her to stand I mean it now not after a 15 minute conversation. As already said time is of the essence in shoulder dystocia. In all the years I have supported women in water I have never had a mother who would not nor could not stand for me.
The leaflet I have designed with Edel Immersys reminds us of the risk factors and warning signs, but I believe as a practising midwife the percentage is important to remember. UK stated figures 0.58 – 0.7% and USA 0.5-1.5%, higher figures in USA have never been fully explored. Type of labour and birth management, known care giver and place of birth are rarely mentioned as a rationale for difference.
So finally, whilst shoulder dystocia is concerning to colleagues one other way to support mothers when this occurs is to teach the 5 steps in the leaflet and as a skills drill as shown below.
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.
We know that plastic has been getting a lot of press recently, specifically the negative effect it is having on our oceans and planet. In this blog, we specifically discuss the plastic used for Birth Pool in a Box, poly-vinyl chloride (“PVC”).
Our Pools and liners are made from PVC
PVC takes less non-renewable fossil fuel to make than any other commodity plastic because unlike other thermoplastics which are entirely derived from oil, PVC is manufactured from two starting materials:
57% of the molecular weight derived from common salt
43% derived from hydrocarbon feedstocks While PVC is most frequently made from salt and oil, in some regions of the world PVC is made without using oil feedstock at all, substituting with bio-derived hydrocarbon feedstock. PVC is therefore far less oil-dependent than other thermoplastics. It is also highly durable and energy efficient across a range of applications, which makes for an extremely effective use of raw materials.
PVC consumes less primary energy during production than any of the other commodity plastics as illustrated below.
Source: Software GaBi 4 Database – PE Europe
PVC has a relatively small carbon footprint, the below infographic indicates the CO2 impact PVC compared to other commonly used products.
Source: Software GaBi 4 Database – PE Europe
Reusing or Recycling
When a plastic product has been used in a medical application where it could be in contact with blood, unfortunately they cannot be recycled. Once you have used your Birth Pool some of the choices you have with what to do with your pool next are:
Keep it for your next birth. Decontaminate using our decontamination instructions and thoroughly dry the pool and then store in a plastic container at room temperature. The container will keep the pool protected but the plastic can be damaged by low temperatures so do not put it in a garage or freezing loft space. Always be sure to check your pool well before your next due date to make sure it is ready to use again.
Relax in it. After a good clean, Birth Pool in a Box works well as as a Kiddie Pool in the garden in the warmer months.
Fill it with balls and make your own kiddie ball pit. Your kids will love it. Again, clean it thoroughly first.
Gift it. What better way to recycle than sharing with a friend, do remember that we do not guarantee personal pools for more than one use. Clean and test-inflate to make sure it is in sound condition and ensure your friend knows to buy a new “Birth Pool in a Box Pro Liner”.
Put it in the trash. This is the last resort. The pool will end up in landfill or incinerator.
The birth event is hugely important and products used to support a particular birth choice must be reliable for women and midwives to depend on them. In addition to designing for safety and reliability from the beginning, we have developed a stringent Quality Control process to ensure that Birth Pool in a Box is the most reliable and robust portable birthing pool available. In this article, we share the processes at production time that help ensure our products perform as you expect.
The supplier of PVC sheet has their own quality control processes that are completed before the rolls of sheet are delivered to the factory that manufactures Birth Pool in a Box pools and liners. Upon receipt of the batches of PVC sheet, our factory randomly tests some rolls of sheet material by feeding the sheet between a bright light and a light sensor. This picks up any “pinholes” in the material apparent before fabrication of the pool from sheet.
After manufacturing of pools, all of them are taken to a clean area – no shoes or tools or jewellery allowed – and inflated to a test pressure of 6kPa (0.87 Psi) and left for 8 hours. This is done by the factory employees. Any pools that do not remain at 6kPa – allowing a small tolerance – are removed. The remaining pools are packed as specified and await inspection along with the other items such as liners and Clear Fit covers.
In the inflatables industry, the standard acceptable failure rate is 1%. Given the importance of the birth event, this is not good enough for us. We use the “Acceptable Quality Level” methodology (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceptable_quality_limit) and apply a stringent definition of Critical, Major and Minor issues to achieve a failure rate well below 1%.
We commission one of the respected testing houses, usually Intertek, TUV or SGS to send inspectors into the factory. They randomly select a proportion of the production quantity of each item based on the AQL statistical model. If we have changed a product, or had reports of issues with a certain product, we increase the AQL level and a higher proportion are sampled. The inspectors then use our checklist of 75 specification items for pools and 44 specification items for liners and record and report on conformance with specification.
If the inspection uncovers more issues than we define as acceptable, then we work with the factory to specify a procedure to fix the issues and commission a second inspection. Only when we are satisfied is the production batch accepted and shipping commences.
There is always room to improve on quality control and we take seriously our responsibility to supply dependable products. If your experience with any of our products falls short, please contact us via the Support/Chat icon on the bottom right of the page so that we can address the issue with you *and* learn from it.