We have changed what we hire, and now only offer rigid Birthpools which are filled at the onset of labour. We know some expectant mothers would like to use a Heated Birthpool filled in advance of labour, but following recent recommendations from Public Heath England (PHE) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). We have decided to follow these recomendations and only offer Rigid Birth Pools which are filled when labour begins.

The recommendations state that Heated Birthpools which use a recirculation pump and are filled several days before the onset of labour do have a potential risk, and as a result of this risk identified by PHE, we have taken the decision to cease offering heated birthpools and focus solely on Rigid Birthpools which are filled at the onset of labour.

There are many reasons for our decision and these include:

  • Public Health England have provided the following guidance “pools heated before the onset of labour are not safe for mothers to use for labour and birth” and they have also stated that “they will not be reviewing their guidelines in the immediate future”.
  • All midwives have been instructed from Public Health England not to not allow mothers to use pools which are heated in advance of labour.
  • A final key point is that PHE have released advice stating that they are uncertain of the safety for babies when using the strength of chemicals required in a heated pool which may have been filled some time before labour.

We are passionate about home birth and want to ensure we continue to make birthpools available that meet the guidelines for homebirths. As Public Health England has stated that midwives are still encouraged to support mothers planning a water birth using the fill to use pools, which we now hire, we feel that making more of these pools available and accessible is the best way to continue to promote home birth and encourage the use of water as a safe, gentle method of pain management during labour.

Taking all this into consideration, we have made the decision to only hire rigid birthpools, which are filled at the onset of labour and meet the recommendations of Public Heath England and the Royal College of Midwives.

If you would like to find out more about our Rigid Fill to Use Birthpools please click here.