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Preparing For Your Waterbirth- A Checklist

A Waterbirth Checklist

Preparing for Your Waterbirth

Below is a checklist of items you may want or need. Some rental units will include many of these items. Some caregivers will be able to supply some items. Not all women will want or need every item.



 Plastic Shower Curtain


 Plastic Drop Cloth

A floor covering of some sort will protect your floor from splashes, drips and leaks. Be sure to use caution when stepping in and out of the tub, in case the floor covering gets slippery.

 A LOT of lung power


 a foot or hand air pump


 an electric air pump

If using an inflatable, you will need a way to inflate the pool. Any inflation tool that would be used to inflate an air mattress or the like will work. However, an electric pump is recommended for speed and ease.

*Use of an air compressor is NOT recommended, and will void the warranty. Use at your own risk!

 Disposable Liner

A liner may be used for a pool that will have multiple users. Or, some people choose to use one simply to simplify the cleaning process.



 Faucet Adapter & Hose*

While buckets will work to fill the pool, it will take a fair bit of time and labour, as well as more heat may be lost. Using a hose, and if needed, a faucet adapter to attach the hose to your household faucet, will allow for easier and efficient filling at the desired temperature. This also allows for easier ‘topping off’.


Floating thermometers make checking the water temperature easy.

 fish net



To keep the water clean and without debris, you will want something to use to scoop matter.

 waterproof mirror/flashlight

To aid in visibility

 waterproof flashlight

To aid in visibility

 shoulder length disposable gloves

These may be used by the caregivers or by the person cleaning the pool out after the birth.

 new plastic shower curtain

You can use this to cover the pool if it’s filled before use, to help hold in the heat, and to keep the water clean. May also be used after the birth to cover the pool until it can be emptied.



 Emptying Hose


 Submersible Pump and Emptying Hose

Again, buckets will work, but be labour intensive. If you are giving birth on an above ground floor, and emptying to a lower site, you can use a hose to siphon the water out. Get the suction started by sucking on the end, or totally submerging the hose in the water, removing all air and then covering the end to hold the suction while it is moved to the emptying site, at a lower level than the pool, where gravity can do its thing. Another option is to use a Submersible utility pump with the hose. This will allow you to attach the hose to the pump, sink the pump into the water, put the other end at the emptying site (at any level) and simply plug the pump in. This option allows you to empty into a nearby toilet with ease.

* When filling your pool, you will want to use a NEW hose. Recommendations are being made to not use garden hose for birth pools, as they are not designed to carry hot water. The concern is that hot water will cause chemicals to be released from the hose material. For this reason, many birth tub businesses are selling Drinking Water (or Potable) Hose. This hose is designed to carry drinking water, and is therefore, designed to keep the water safe for drinking. However, it has not been tested for carrying hot water, so it is unclear as to whether or not this concern is alleviated with the drinking water hose. It seems likely that it would be less of a problem than with garden hose. Food Grade Hose is designed to be able to carry hot water, however it is more expensive. Each mother needs to decide for herself how much of a concern this is, and which option suits her birth and her budget.


©With Child: Birthing & Parenting Services www.withchild.ca