Each of my births was very different: different locations, different providers, different challenges. One common thread connected all three of them – using water in pregnancy and labor as a comfort measure. There are many different ways to use water for comfort during pregnancy and birth: the sharp spray of the shower against the small of your back or the rise of your belly, the weightless feeling of floating in a swimming pool, the comforting cocoon of a filled-to-overflowing bathtub.
Another option for using water during labor is a birth pool. You will often find a dedicated pool for use at a birth center and there are also portable birth pools available for use at home or in the hospital. These pools fill with air, then with water from the tap, and are deep enough to provide some buoyancy and feeling of weightlessness during labor.
While none of my children were born in the water, I have labored in the bathtub, the shower and in the birth pool and have enjoyed having all of the options available at different points during labor. As you are considering your options for labor and birth, you might consider adding a birth pool to your list of comfort measures.
Maryn Taylor lives with her husband Steve, their three children, four chickens and a bunch of birth pools. The Taylors own Buoyant Birth, a birth pool rental company providing simple, all-inclusive birth pool rentals for use at home, in birth centers or hospitals. They are delighted to be first-time participants in the Natural Birth and Baby Expo. Please visit their website or Facebook Page for more information about their services.