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A Photo Journal of How to Fill a Birth Pool

One of things that initially stood between me and a homebirth was how difficult everything seemed. How in the world did you get one of those pools? How did you fill it? How did you empty it? I am a very detail-oriented person and it just seemed overwhelming to me. Like I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out. Like the people who do figure it out are better than me and I was not homebirth material.

Well, I am here to tell you all that it is quite simple. I want to show you in detail how we set it up in our home so that you can see it is really easy and do not have to let any of those minor details stand between you and homebirth if you choose to have one.


The benefit of working with homebirthing midwives is that they pretty much walk you through the steps. But even with all of the information I still felt like I wasn’t going to be able to get it all done. When you decide to homebirth you really do take on the tasks of getting things prepared. This simple list seemed too hard to understand as someone who had never done this before. But once we got to the point of actually doing it I was relieved that it was so simple.


You are going to go into your bathroom and locate the showerhead.


Unscrew said showerhead.


Have some plumber’s tape ready for anytime you screw something on. For us it was easier to use it rather than leave it off and then have to go back and redo it if there was a leak.


Plumber’s tape applied.


You’ll likely need one of these. This is available at any hardware store. It is an adapter to connect the hose to the showerhead. I just went up to one of the employees and asked for a hose adapter for the shower and he handed it to me. No searching.


Hose adapter connected.


Screw on the hose.


I let the hose hang down into the tub before pulling it out so that if there was any slow leak it would go down the drain and not onto the floor.


Have towels around so you can easily soak up water. There shouldn’t be much but it’s better than getting a puddle and then searching for a towel while you are trying to relax.


Snake the hose down the hallway or to wherever you are setting up your pool. Measure this distance before hand so you can get the right length hose.


Get a birth pool! Our midwives rent them out. You can also use kiddie pools or even your bathtub if you have room, but birth pools have seats, handles for hard labor, a padded bottom for comfort and even a cup holder!


Spread the pool out.


Get out your pump. We are using the one that came with a blow-up mattress.


And then blow up the pool! When day comes we will use a new liner provided by the midwives so that we are in a sterile environment. After the birth the midwives will use their own pump to get the water out and down our sink drain. Some people use their own pumps and even water their yards with the leftover water! We did not fill the pool on our practice run because we don’t have a pump and feel comfortable with how this practice run went.


If you’d like you can use your other child to demonstrate what will happen during the birth. We have talked a lot about this birth and felt it was important for Jack to know exactly what is going to happen. I highly recommend going through all of these steps before the day. There are bound to be wrinkles to iron out and it’s much less stressful to do so before hand.

Abby Theuring, MSW