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Birth Pool From East Yorkshire HypnoBirthing┬«         Practical issues, Installing & filling etc.

Benefits for baby & mother - Why use water                  What is included in rental fee

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Practical Issues, Installing, Filling and Maintaining the Pool

Is your floor strong enough?

Lots of people worry about this, and to cover their backs, the pool hire companies may advise you to get a report from a structural engineer. In real life, I doubt if anyone ever bothers with this! I have never yet heard of anyone having problems with a collapsing pool! Even the heaviest birth pool, when full of water and labouring woman, weighs only the same as 10-12 adults; would you have a party with that number of people standing in the place you are considering putting the pool?

Some parts of your floors are stronger than others. Floors on ground level are of course generally very strong. If you have a solid floor on a concrete base then you have no worries. If you have a suspended timber floor, where there are joists and floorboards, then downstairs floors may still have problems. Note that sometimes a tiled floor is laid over a suspended wooden floor. The strongest areas are in a corner, in a bay window, or above a supporting wall. It is certainly worth investigating all your options for the best place to site a pool, before discounting it on the grounds that you think it might be too heavy for the floor.

Will I have enough hot water?

This can be a real concern... The information below comes courtesy of a plumber

First, some basic plumbing terms. The 'traditional' arrangement in the UK is that you have a separate boiler and hot water storage tank. The boiler heats water and it's then stored in the tank until needed. Your boiler can heat water as you need it, but having a tank full of water ready to go will make the process much quicker. The hot water storage tank normally will also have an immersion heater in it (like the heating element in a kettle), so that if your boiler fails, you can still get hot water. However, this is usually much slower than getting water heated by the boiler, and it's also expensive.

Before labour - check that your boiler is working, and that it is set to provide hot water on demand throughout the day (ie water switched to 'always on' rather than on a timer). Check that the pilot light is lit, and that your birth partner knows how to relight it if it goes out. Yes, maybe it's never failed before, but you don't want the first time to be when you're in labour!

A hot water storage tank with an immersion heater should have a temperature setting on it - often this is either on the front of the cylinder about halfway up, or occasionally near the top where the copper pipes come out. Set it to the highest temperature but beware when you put your taps on. If you have any kids in the house, be very careful. Most immersion heaters take 30 - 60 mins. to fill up a tank full. You can fill the pool with the heater and then leave the hot taps all turned off to allow the immersion to recharge. If you want to use the pool in this time, add cold water to suit.

Combi Boilers

A combi boiler provides hot water on demand, but it generally provides it more slowly than a traditional arrangement. This is because the combi boiler has to heat the water as it's needed. Some homes have both a combi boiler and an immersion heater/water storage tank, but this is unusual as one of the main pluses of a combi is that you don't need the space for a separate hot water storage tank.

A combi boiler should have a temperature control on it, and this may have been set to a low temperature as a safety precaution. A lower temperature means that the boiler can provide warm water faster. However, for the purpose of filling a birth pool, it will be faster to turn the combi boiler to its maximum temperature, and add cold water separately - either by separate hose or bucket.


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