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Using the birthing pool

The benefits of using water during labour and birth

Research has shown that the advantages of using water during labour an birth include:

  • Increased relaxation.
  • Increased comfort and mobility.
  • A secure, warm, private, quiet environment.
  • Reduced pain and reduced use of other forms of pain relief including epidural.
  • Increased perceptions of a positive birth

Who can use the birthing pool?

The use of the birthing pool is recommended for women with:

  • An uncomplicated pregnancy and medical history.
  • Established labour and a dilated cervix of 4cm or more.
  • less than 24 hours following any rupture of the membranes with clear fluid.
  • A single baby in a head down position.
  • No signs of infection.
  • No use of opioid pain relief (pethidine, morphine, diamorphine or meptid) within two hours of entering the pool.
  • A fetal heart rate within normal limits.
  • Blood pressure within normal limits
  • BMI of maximum 35

If you would like to use the pool but do not meet all the above criteria you should still discuss this with your midwife. They will be able to advise you of any risks, taking account of your own individual circumstances.