Active Birth Pools News

March 2022

New midwifery research and studies

Water birth in Sweden – a comparative study

Waterbirth in low-risk pregnancy: An exploration of women’s experiences

Water birth: a national retrospective cohort study of factors associated with its use among women in England

A systematic meta-thematic synthesis to examine the views and experiences of women following water immersion during labour and waterbirth

The perceptions and experiences of women who achieved and did not achieve a water birth

Midwives’ experience of their education, knowledge and practice around immersion in water for labour or birth

Factors influencing water immersion during labour: qualitative case studies of six maternity units in the United Kingdom

Labouring women who used a birthing pool in obsteric units in Italy: prospective observational study

An economic evaluation of water birth

February 2022

The Active II Water Birth Pool – innovative design makes our pools safer and more user-friendly 

Launch of the revolutionary Venus II Water Birth Pool

These pools are the same width as the original models but slightly longer and marginally more expensive.

Space and budget permitting I suggest you consider the Active and Venus II Water Birth Pools as your first choice.

They are game changers that make a real difference to the experience of all concerned.

January 2022

Launch of Resource and Educational Centre

A comprehensive collection of publications covering all aspects of water birth, design, build and setting up of a water birth facilities. A one of a kind resource that is the product of our 35 years of dedication to serving the needs of mothers and midwives.

Categories:

Alternatively  – use the search field in the top right of the page to find the information you’re looking for.

December 2021

Active Birth Pool installed to create water birth facility in the Midriff Hospital in Dubai.

November 2021

“Freedom of Movement” now has over 11,000,000 views on YouTube

The simple, short video shows how mothers instinctively relate to our pools and move naturally to find the most comfortable, supportive and beneficial positions. Watch on YouTube

 

 

WHY US?

We like to think that after 35 years of dedication to the development of highly specialised pools for labour and birth that we’ve got it right.

Our driving passion for design, quality and performance has resulted in today’s award winning range of water birth pools.

Mothers and midwives love our pools because they are comfortable, practical and easy to use.

Buyers like the fact that they’re the safest on the market, built to last for decades and guaranteed for life.

Active Birth Pools are arguably the finest water birth pools on the market.

Click here to find out why

We know that our water birth pools offer unbeatable safety, value and performance and that mothers and midwives find them beautiful, tactile and incredibly easy to use.

But, please don’t just listen to us:

See what our clients and associates say.

Educational Centre – for mothers, midwives, healthcare professionals, planners and builders

Right from the start we have made education an important part of who we are and what we do.

Browse through the categories below or use the search engine to find the information you’re looking for.

Features that set our pools apart

Over the past 35 years we have supplied 1,000’s of water birth pools to hospitals world-wide.

We have worked closely with end users and industry experts to continually develop and improve our capabilities.

This unrivalled wealth of experience enables us to design water birth pools of superior quality that are acknowledged as the industry standard.

Our approach is fuelled by a passion for optimising safety and performance.

As a result of advances in design, materials and manufacture our water birth pools have evolved to the point where they are in a class all their own.

Our innovative approach to design results in pools that are highly functional and appealing from both a psychological and physical perspective.

The curvaceous forms allow midwives and mothers to interact intuitively with each other and the pool.

Thanks to the unique properties of Ficore® – we have been able to realise highly durable pools with sophisticated designs that place us at the top of the market.

A defining feature and key to our success is the extra-wide, round rim that flows around our pools.

The bullnose shape rim flows over and down hugging the form of the pool  to the floor in one seamless piece of ultra-high grade composite resin.

Distinctive features set our pools apart and make them most comfortable, practical, safe and user-friendly available.

Superior long term value and economy

Our water birth pools outperform all others.

Though more expensive than other offerings on the market, we deliver superior value, better results and greater long term satisfaction.

Active Birth Pools are built to last for decades.

Pools we supplied in the early 90’s are still in active use today.

Our new Ficore composite pools are even better!

Below: the new Venus II Water Birth Pool 

Other birthing pools have a life span of 7-10 years and are not guaranteed for life.

Though competitors pools are 30% – 50% less then ours, over time they’ll cost far more as you’ll end up replacing them 3 – 4 times before you need to think about replacing an Active Birth Pool.

This yields significant savings  – up to £20,000 over the life of the pool!

And, you’ll also not have to experience the disruption, disturbance and additional cost that refurbishment brings.

Below: midwives celebrate the 25th anniversary of their water birth facility. This early iteration of the Venus Pool was supplied in 1992 and is still going strong.

hospital birth pools client list

Maternity units, both public and private must keep their numbers up to maintain budgets and revenue streams.

Active Birth Pools attract clients as they are highly appealing from both an aesthetic and psychological perspective.

The cost of an Active Birth Pool is soon recouped through increased revenue, and savings achieved by reduced use of medical methods of pain relief, interventions and shorter hospital stays.

Environmental considerations

Our water birth pools are made by hand in the England in a clean, modern, well ventilated factory that conforms to all relevant industrial laws.

Our waste disposal practices are in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act of 1990.

Our policy is to always first consider reusing and recycling followed by disposal with a licensed industrial waste management company.

A cornerstone of our business practices has always been a fundamental commitment to sustainability.

We employ bespoke manufacturing methods and specialised materials that minimise our carbon footprint, save energy and reduce waste.

Our pools are easier to maintain (less chemicals) and more energy efficient with heat loss at just .7 degree per hour (less hot water).

Waste disposal affects the environment in multiple ways.

Our birthing pools have a life span thats measured in decades rather then years.

Which means that during the life time of an Active Birth Pool you will have to replace other manufacturers pools 3 – 4 times.

We need to consider the disposal of these pools together the waste and disturbance that’s associated with refurbishments.

We also need to think about the impact that our water birth pools have on the birthing environment.

Active Birth Pools are not only the most beautiful, practical and safe, but the most conducive in helping mothers have an easier, more comfortable birth.

Mothers who use our pools spend less time in hospital which results in economies on resources and carbon footprint.

 

Our new birthing pools are a game changer

If you look at our new Active II and Venus II water birth pools you’ll notice a distinctive “keyhole” shaped channel cut out of the rim.

Over the past 7 years this proprietary feature has been trialed in the Princess Pool and has proved such a success that we’ve upgraded the Active and Venus pools to incorporate it.

The “keyhole” shaped channel contains the plumbing.

The spout is positioned centrally above the cut out and the drain is fixed at the bottom of the channel.

The mother is protected from the risk of hitting her head on the spout (a common occurrence) or coming in contact with hot water.

The interior of the pool is opened up giving mothers 360 degrees of unobstructed movement.

They can now use the whole pool any way they want to and will find comfort and support wherever they are.

The bull-nose shaped rim and integral grab rails provide firm hand holds for added support all around the pool.

The flange meeting the wall has been narrowed to give midwives greater access to mothers.

In fact, these pools give midwives the same amount of access as a freestanding pool (which has plumbing that obstructs a section of the rim).

Our Active and Venus Model II birthing pools make much more sense then freestanding pools.

You can run plumbing and electrical services through the wall (more economical) and use it to contain ancillary services, and for storage of equipment and personnel items.

Both models now feature extra wide rims around the back that are more appealing from an aesthetic perspective and more functional from a utilitarian standpoint.

These pools are easier to work with and give midwives more options.

They will be able to sit more comfortably with their legs underneath the rim and have more room to manoeuvre.

These pools are the same width as the original models but slightly longer and marginally more expensive.

Space and budget permitting I suggest you consider the Active and Venus II Water Birth Pools as your first choice.

They are game changers that make a real difference to the experience of all concerned.

 

Mothers and midwives love our water birth pools

Midwives tell us that our pools are by far the most comfortable and user friendly available.

They say that they are ‘fab’ and pleasure to use.

Mothers simply tell us that, ‘they love our pools’.

They benefit from complete freedom of movement and unparalleled safety and support.

And, therefore have better births.

We’ve spent decades observing the way that mothers and midwives move in and around the pool and considered how to best serve their needs.

Our passion for excellence has led us to study ergonomic design theory and work closely with midwives, health and safety and manual handling experts.

This has enabled us to design water birth pools that are are incredibly comfortable, practical and easy-to-use.

Key to the success and comfort of our pools is the material we use.

Active Birth Pools are made from a unique material called FICORE®. It’s ultra-smooth, highly polished finish is tactile, warm to the touch and less slippery.

The superior properties of Ficore allow us to sculpt complex, sensuous forms making our pools incredibly comfortable, appealing, practical and easy to use.

Notice how comfortable the midwife is in the above photo?

She is fully supported, safeguarded and at ease.

Her feet are grounded, her body upright and aligned and her arms are resting comfortably on the wide round rim.

 

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Winner – Building Better Healthcare Awards

At the ‘Building Better Healthcare’ awards ceremony the Active Birth Pool was highly commended in the award for best internal building product.

In their comments the judges praised the quality of  our design and manufacturing process and went on to say that they found the Active Birth Pool very appealing.

active-birth-pool-award
All aspects of design, engineering and manufacture were focused on develop a water birth pool of unparalleled beauty, quality, functionality and durability that is backed by an extraordinary life-time year guarantee.

Foremost consideration was given to how mothers and midwives relate to and interact with the pool employing ergonomic principles to design for the interaction and dynamic at play.

Mothers have the space to move freely and comfortably and are supported in the postures natural to a physiological labour and birth.

The “signature” extra-wide rims with broad “bull-nosed” shaped edges flowing into the skirting panel and down to the floor are an important feature of the Active Birth Pool that sets it apart.

The wide flat rim allows mothers to lean forward, resting on their forearms in comfort – one of the most natural and effective positions during labour.

It provides secure, safe, stable support for women to enter and leave the pool and for midwives and partners to lean or rest on while attending the mother.

The handrails, which are set into the profile of the rim, provide perfect support for the mother in upright positions.

The critical issue of emergency evacuation has been resolved by incorporating features into the pool to give midwives several options for evacuating the mother that are in compliance with Health & Safety and Manual Handling regulations.

The Labour Support and Safety Seats are distinguishing features of the Active Birth Pool

1) This physiologically designed labour support seat has proven to help the mother’s pelvis and birth canal open in preparation for a natural, physiological birth.

2) The distinctive rim level safety seat provides a wide comfortable platform for the mother to lean on, a safe means for emergency evacuation and is ideal for midwives to monitor the mother without her having to stand up or leave the pool.

The unique seamless one-piece construction incorporates a deeply sculpted concave skirting panel to allow midwives to work in comfort with their legs well under the pool.

The new Active Birth Pool is fabricated in Ficore® composite, a proprietary material that was specially developed for baths and designed to negate the risk of problems associated with other materials.

Ficore is 50% harder than acrylic and fibreglass (which other birth pools are made from) and highly resistant to chemicals.

Despite the rigidity and hardness of the surface it is extremely smooth, tactile and warm to the touch.

Its high insulation factor enables the Active Birth Pool to maintain its temperature up to six times longer than standard acrylic or fibreglass birth pools.

To help mothers control, define and personalise the delivery room, the Active Birth Pool is equipped with multi-colour chromotherapy LED lighting and integral bluetooth sound.

Our ingenious Integral Bluetooth Sound System allows the mother to wirelessly connect her phone and listen to the music of her choice.

Two integral speakers turn the birth pool into a highly refined audio loudspeaker.

When you examine the new Active Birth Pool you’ll immediately notice the superior finish and signature design elements.

Look a little closer and the quality of the components such as the drainage system, the support structure that underpins the pool, the fittings on the access panel, the lighting system, handrails and metal work becomes apparent.

If you are looking for a water birth pool to install in a maternity unit the incomparable new Active Birth Pool should be your first choice.

Handmade and custom built to order by a team who together have over 85 years experience in the design and production of high-end baths the new Active Birth Pool will provide decades of service and be an invaluable aid to mothers who want to have a natural birth.

The Active Birth Pool conforms to regulations issued by the Department of Health and the guidelines set forth in the Water Birth Safety Initiative.


(The new Active II Water Birth Pool takes the original design to new levels of comfort and performance)

Note: this article taken from “Building Better Healthcare” magazine – November 2015

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The pinnacle of water birth pool design

Design is based upon the dynamics of mothers and midwives as they interact with the pool and each other.

Form is based on function and pared down to the essence of aesthetic utility.

There is a reason for every shape, every curve and every form.

Active Birth Pools encourage mothers to move freely and naturally.

They instinctively interact with the pool and find comfort and support wherever they are.

Freedom of movement combined with the relaxing effects of warm water and release of oxytocin significantly increases the possibility of physiological labour and birth.

It’s that simple!

We are pioneers, innovators and trend setters.

Our water birth pools have continuously evolved over the past 35 years.

We’re able to achieve our latest designs because of the highly specialised material we use.

Ficore, a composite resin with unique properties enables us to create incredibly curvaceous pools that mothers and midwives find exceptionally comfortable, practical and easy to use.

As Steve Jobs said…

“It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.”

In mid-90’s we met with a design specialist to discuss ways our water birth pools could be improved to better serve the needs of mothers and midwives.

This lead to the ground-breaking innovations in birth pool design that have culminated in todays range of award winning water birth pools.

Below a copy of article that appeared in the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors charting the paradigm shift in birth pool design that occurred in the mid-90’s:

 

From this foundation we have gone on to innovate the design of our water birth pools as we learn from our experience.

We like to think that after more then 35 years we’ve got it right!

 

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We’re uniquely qualified to be of service

If you’re looking for a water birth pool we’re uniquely qualified to be of service.

We’ve been dedicated to providing top quality water birth pools since 1987.

We helped pioneer the use of water for labour and birth by providing the pools that made this revolution in maternity care possible.

1990 John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

We’ve achieved success by keeping things simple and focusing on our core principles of Safety, Value & Performance.

A passion for excellence and commitment to supporting midwives and helping mothers have a better experience of labour and birth defines our approach.

Mothers and midwives love our water birth pools.

Mothers benefit from complete freedom of movement and unparalleled comfort & support .

Midwives report better results, and say that our pools are fabulous and a pleasure to use.

We’ve supplied 1,000’s of pools over the past 33 years and worked with end-users, specialists and manufacturers to develop and improve our capabilities.

Our unrivalled knowledge and wealth of experience enable us to provide water birth pools that minimise risk, optimise results and maximise value.

We have achieved success by caring about every detail and keeping things simple.

The combination of highly specialised design and superior materials make Active Birth Pools the No.1 choice world-wide.

“I can’t tell you how much your pools have revolutionised birth. ”

C. Wilson Midwife Dewsbury District Hospital

“Brilliant, like the wide rim so mums can sit on the side and swivel their legs around to get in and out, much safer. ” 

A. Bentley NHS Midwife

“When asked about the history of birthing pools in hospitals I mention the day when Keith Brainin realised that special bath tubs might be designed and commercialised to meet the needs of labouring women.”

Michel Odent – author, obstetrician and water birth pioneer

 “The pool met all of my expectations. I’m convinced that the water helps you stay in control in the final stages.”

S. Stone – Maida Vale, W. London

 “Your birth pool made my labour so much easier I’d recommend it to every pregnant mother for her birth.”

Jill Ireland – Bristol

“You clearly have a tub that is far superior to all the tubs we have found in the US -not only for patient comfort, but also for provider convenience.”

Karen Werrbach Director, Women’s Health Institute Rush-Copley Medical Center

“Thank you for the awesome pools. My one regret is not trying out one myself before we opened the birth centre! Many thanks!”

Consultant Midwife Greenwich Birth Centre

We love your active birth pools, so much so we have one in every room on our birth centre ”

Jo Talbot Chorley & Preston Birth Centre Manager

Have used Active Birth Pools a lot in my career. They allow flexibility for women to change position. Watched the company grow over the years. Amazing what they have facilitated for women. Successful company too. Waterbirth anyone?”

H. Young Midwife Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust

“Thank you Keith… our new Venus Pool looks stunning!”

Jan Butler Consultant Midwife Rosie Hospital, Cambridge

“ The water birth pool was extremely comfortable and supportive and made such a difference – I don’t know what I would have done without it”

Sarah Copeland, Birmingham

“Let me introduce you to Keith Brainin who provided us with our Princess Pools in both of our birth centres. His pools are brilliant and the service that he provides is excellent.”

 Dr Tracey Cooper Consultant Midwife Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

“The new Venus Birth Pools have become the focal point of our birthing suites and are helping attract clients. Midwives and nurses have overwhelmingly applauded the birth pool’s design and safety.

They report the knee space, water depth, light, the wide rim and the seat in the pool as outstanding improvements over the original tubs, enhancing their ability to effectively provide care and drastically improve the clients experience.”

Amy Johnson-Grass,  Midwife, Nutritionist, Naturopathic Doctor, President of the American Association of Birth Centers

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It’s safe and easy for mothers to get in and out of our pools

In a wet environment there is increased risk of slipping.

Issues relating to Health and Safety, Manual Handling and plain common sense must be considered.

Manual handling experts strongly advise against the use of step units 

Multi-step units are commonly used but, they present critical safety risks, even if they have a handrail.

To have mothers in strong labour climb up, step over the rim and down into the pool is not safe or practical.

These step units take up too much space, obstruct movement around the pool and are a trip hazard.

The Active Birth Pools way

The extra-wide rim and step unit make easy and safe for mothers to get in and out of our water birth pools.

Provision of a compact, single step gives the mother a height advantage.

She can step up – sit on the extra-wide rim and swivel into the water.

There is no climbing – she is grounded at all times and safeguarded from risk.

A simple, safe and economical solution.

The maths: 

When we looked at the dynamics at play we considered short women specially as taller women don’t even need the step!
A women 150cm (4’11”) tall has an inseam of about 68cm (27″).
The step is 15cm (6″)high. The rim is 75cm (29.5″)
Standing on the step she is has inner leg height of 83cm (33″) and can easily sit down on the rim and swivel in.

We’ve posted a short video on YouTube showing  just how easy it is for mothers to get into our water birth pools –please have a look

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Superior material results in superior performance

Choice of material is fundamental to the success of a water birth pool.

Active Birth Pools are fabricated in Ficore® composite, a proprietary material of extra-ordinary properties that was developed to minimise problems associated with other materials.

ficore

A cross section of FICORE® composite

If you compare Ficore with Acrylic or Fibreglass you’ll notice the difference.

Ficore is a composite of eight different elements chemically fused during manufacturing, then heat cured at high temperature to create a material that is light in weight but ‘heavy’ in performance.

 Ficore® composite has many advantages:

  1. Superior heat retention
  2. Much higher degree of strength and durability
  3. Less slippery
  4. More tactile
  5. Warm to the touch
  6. Easily repaired if damaged
  7. More resistant to bacteria

Warm to the touch

You’ll notice a significant difference in temperature between Ficore  and the other materials.

Ficore is warmer due to the fact that it is composite resin that is much denser than acrylic and fibreglass.

Due to Ficore’s high insulation factor and double-wall construction Active Birth Pools maintain water temperature up to 7 x longer.

Structural and engineering advantages

If you hold two equivalent size samples of commonly used material in your hands and compared them you’d notice that the sample of Ficore is heavier, harder and much more rigid.

The surface of Ficore is isophthalic neo-pentyl-glycol that is 50% harder (stronger) than the materials other birth pools are made from.

Active Birth Pools fabricated in Ficore have an extremely high degree of structural integrity and will not flex, buckle, bow, or change shape under pressure.

Ficore’s unique qualities allow us to manufacture intricately shaped pools that fully serve the needs of mothers and midwives.

Extremely smooth and tactile 

The finish of our pools is highly polished, ultra-smooth, tactile and very pleasant to touch.

This makes them more appealing physically and approachable psychologically which  helps mothers relax and feel more at ease.

Incredibly high adhesion factor

When we talk about adhesion factor we are referring to slip resistance.

Run your fingers across the surface of an Active Birth Pool and you’ll immediately be impressed with how ‘sticky’ it is.

Compared to other materials Ficore® has a significantly higher adhesion factor.

Given the circumstances and environment this gives our water birth pools a crucial advantage.

Durability

Ficore is more impervious to damage than other bath materials.

However, if it is damaged, it can be completely repaired as new – unlike many alternative materials.

Ficore is able to withstand both continuous heat or hot water and thermal shock of alternating hot and cold water.

An Active Birth Pool manufactured in Ficore meets or exceeds all relevant regulations and will withstand the rigours of heavy hospital use and disinfection with caustic chemicals.

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Educational Videos

“Freedom of Movement”

The simple, short video has garnered over 11,000,000 views on YouTube.

It shows how mothers instinctively relate to our pools and move naturally to find the most comfortable, supportive and beneficial positions.

Entering the pool  – the Active Birth Pools approach

The extra-wide rim and step unit make simple and safe for mothers to get in and out of our water birth pools.

Educational videos for midwives

Active Birth Pools sponsored these educational videos for All4 Maternity to help midwives gain knowledge and understanding about the use of water for labour and birth.

Emersion in water in labour and birth – Part One
Emersion in water in labour and birth – Part Two
For more videos + foreign language productions visit our YouTube Channel

Dealing with emergencies

Active Birth Pools give midwives safe, practical options for dealing with emergencies.

The evacuation a collapsed woman is potentially hazardous and poses risk of injury to mother and midwife.

If the need for an emergency evacuation arises the midwife should:

  1. summon help
  2. stabilise the mother
  3. turn the taps on to raise the water to rim level.

The buoyancy of the water reduces the relative weight of the mother by approximately 33% making it easier to move her and effect safe evacuation.

Midwives should float/move the mother onto a seat or support and hold her safely until help arrives.

Basics:

  1. The mother should be screened to ensure that she meets the inclusion criteria prior to entering the birth pool.
  2. Continuous risk assessment is essential to reduce the incidence of emergencies in the pool.
  3. At the first sign of a contraindication the mother should be asked to get out of the water and assisted from the pool for monitoring and care.
  4. If the mother is unable to leave the pool under her own power or has collapsed an emergency evacuation will need to be conducted.
  5. A trolley should be available
  6. for the mother to be moved onto.
  7. Care must be taken that proper lifting techniques are employed to avert strain & injury.

Example 1: Emergency evacuation utilising the labour support seat

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The mother has been moved onto and held on the labour support seat

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The midwives guide the mother onto rim by sliding her up the side of the pool

Once on the rim she can be easily transferred onto a trolley

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Example 2) Emergency evacuation utilising the safety seat

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The mother is moved into position under the safety seat

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The midwives glide her up the side of the pool

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Onto the safety seat,

and then onto the rim for transfer onto the trolley

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Active Birth Pools are portable hoist compatible

Manual Handling advisors may insist that women are evacuated from the birth pool with a hoist and that this facility is provided for.

Active Birth Pools are designed to accommodate a portable hoist should the need arise.

Clinical Guidelines – Royal Cornwall Hospital

Clinical Guidelines – Royal Worcester Hospital

Guideline for the Management of Women Requesting Immersion in Water  – Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals

Operational Policy and Clinical Guidelines – Abbey Birth Centre

Birthspace: An evidence-based guide to birth environment design – Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies

Use of water for labour and birth – Hywel DDA Local health Board

Guidelines for use of pool during labour and delivery – East Cheshire NHS Trust

Guiding principles for midwifery care during normal labour – Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust

Waterbirth care during labour for low risk women – Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals

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Photos and plans

We’ve utilised evidence-based, user-centred design to develop highly specialised pools for labour and birth.

Every shape, every curve, every varying degree of rounded corner…

there’s a reason for them.

Active Birth Pool

Active II Water Birth Pool

Venus Water Birth Pool

 

Venus II Water Birth Pool

 

Princess Water Birth Pool

 

CAD and 3D modelling plans available upon request

Related information:

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Delivery and Installation

Delivery, Moving and Handling

Mainland UK Deliveries

Active Birth Pools delivered within the mainland UK are wrapped in protective packaging and placed in double walled boxes with corrugated sides.

The pools are delivered by our dedicated carrier on a week commencing basis.

If you require delivery on a specific date or at a specific time please contact us for a quote.

Box Size and Weight

  • Active Birth Pool:  1880 x 1690 x 790mm 100 kg
  • Venus Birth Pool: 1960 x 1390 x 790mm 90 kg
  • Princess Birth Pool: 1640 x 1140 x 790mm 80 kg

The carrier will deliver your birth pool to the receipt and distribution point.

You’ll be responsible for moving it to the room where it will be installed.

The pool should be moved from the delivery point in its cardboard box by turning it gently on its side onto a movers dolly or two.

This will enable it to be easily moved along corridors and through doorways.  Once the pool is in the room where it will be installed carefully open the cardboard box and remove the protective packaging.

Outside Mainland UK and International Deliveries

Active Birth Pools that are delivered outside the mainland UK are wrapped in protective packaging and placed in timber framed crates with plywood sides that conform to ISPM15 and are stamped accordingly.

Crate Size and Weight

  • Active Birth Pool:  1910 x 1720 x 890mm 200 kg
  • Active II Water Birth Pool: 2050 x 1810 x 970mm 220kg
  • Venus Birth Pool: 1950 x 1420 x 890mm 185 kg
  • Venus II Water Birth Pool: 2050 x 1420 x 890mm 205kg
  • Princess Birth Pool: 1670 x 1170 x 890mm 145 kg

The birth pool should be unpacked from the timber crate but left in its protective packaging for moving from the delivery point to the room where it will be installed.

The pool should be gently turned on its side onto a padded movers dolly or two to  enable it to be easily moved along corridors and through doorways. It’s best to handle the pool by the rim as this is the strongest point.

Installation

Prior to moving the birth pool into position against the wall the plumbing (taps and drainage) and electrical services should be in place ready for final connection to the pool.

Taps

Fix a 3/4″ thermostatically controlled mixer tap with a 150mm spout on an IPS panel 25 cm above the rim of the pool (rim height 75cm).

We suggest that you consider the Rada Sense Bath T3 (or similar) as it is a digital tap that not only enables you to programme the http://activebirthpools.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Rada-1.pdfwater temperature but also the fill time.

A filling time of 20 – 25 minutes is acceptable.

Drainage

The pool is supplied with a bespoke brass 40mm pop up waste that is operated by a control that is fixed to the rim.

The waste is connected to a P Trap  and a McAlpine T25 adaptor

Height from the floor to the centre of the T25 adaptor is 11cm

From the T25 adaptor you can utilise of a wide variety of commonly available parts to connect to the pipework of the buildings drainage system.

When electrical and plumbing services are in place and ready for the final connection to the pool’s systems the pool should be moved into position and fixed to the floor.

Final connection of services can be carried out through the access panel when the pool is secured in place.

Fixing the birth pool to the floor

All feet MUST be in solid contact with the floor.

If the floor is not level or smooth be sure to adjust the feet or level the floor so that all of the feet are in firm contact with the floor and there is no rocking or movement.

The bottom flange of the outer panel should be in contact with the floor but is not the primary support structure of the pool and must not bear the full weight of the filled birth pool.

The water birth pool is supplied with 3 x 100 mm x 30 mm fixing brackets.

You’ll find the brackets taped to the pool just inside the access panel that can be opened with a 10mm Allen Key.

It is essential these brackets are securely fixed to the floor with suitable hardware to immobilise the pool and prevent it from moving when empty.

Failure to secure the pool to the floor with the fixing brackets will endanger the end user and VOID the guarantee.

Locating and fixing the brackets

Step 1: All Models:

Mark the central position of the water birth pool on the wall that it is being fitted on.

Step 2:  Active Birth Pool – front fixing bracket

Measure 1220 mm from the centre point on the wall and mark this as the point to locate the bracket so that the long flat piece is projecting away from the wall and the raised short section faces forward into the room.

Fix the bracket to the floor using suitable hardware.

Front bracket right centre – Back bracket lower left

Step 2:  Active II Water Birth Pool – front fixing bracket

Measure 1330 mm from the centre point on the wall and mark this as the point to locate the bracket so that the long flat piece is projecting away from the wall and the raised short section faces forward into the room.

Fix the bracket to the floor using suitable hardware.

Front bracket right centre – Back bracket lower left and right

Step 2: Venus Birth Pool – front fixing bracket

Measure 1070 mm from the centre point on the wall and mark this as the point to locate the bracket so that the long flat piece is projecting away from the wall and raised short section faces forward into the room.

Fix the bracket to the floor using suitable hardware.

Front bracket right centre – Back bracket lower left

Step 2: Venus II Water Birth Pool

– front fixing bracket

Measure 1330 mm from the centre point on the wall and mark this as the point to locate the bracket so that the long flat piece is projecting away from the wall and the raised short section faces forward into the room.

Fix the bracket to the floor using suitable hardware.

Front bracket right centre – Back bracket lower left and rightt

Step 2: Princess Birth Pool Pool – front fixing bracket

Measure 1020 mm from the centre point on the wall and mark this as the point to locate the bracket so that the long flat piece is projecting away from the wall and raised short section faces forward into the room.

Fix the bracket to the floor using suitable hardware.

Front bracket right centre – Back bracket upper left

Step 3: All Models

Place the birth pool at least 60 mm away from the rear wall before moving it onto the bracket and flush against the wall.

Push the birth pool towards the wall so that the flange of the pool slides under the bracket.

This secures the front of the pool to the floor.

Step 4: All Models – back fixing bracket

The 2nd fixing bracket should be fixed in position on the bottom flange of the pool below the access panel as indicated in the images above.

You will see that a hole has been drilled in the flange. Line the bracket up with this hole. You can fix the pool to the floor with a raw plug and suitable hardware to guarantee that it is secure.

The long flat piece should be fixed to the floor with suitable hardware so that the short section is holding the flange securely to the floor.

Step 5: All Models

Seal the water birth pool to the floor and wall using a suitable sealant to prevent ingress of water and dirt.

Multi-Colour LED Lighting

Installation

Connect the light to a circuit breaker, then to the power supply.

The system should be protected by a 6 AMP RCD with 30 -32 MA Sensitivity.

The LED is transformed down to 12 volts and has a power rating of 2.5 watts.

A separate means of Isolation should be provided for future maintenance.

Operating voltage 220/230 volts – 50/60 hertz

Operating instructions

The system is operated by the control pad on the rim of the pool.

To activate the system press the button once.

The white light will come on.

To choose another colour continue to press the button and the system will cycle through the range of colours – light blue, blue, purple, magenta, red, pink, orange, yellow, apple green and green.

To turn the system off press and hold the button down for 2 seconds.

The light should be switched off when the pool is not in use.

Bluetooth Sound System

Connect the factory fitted bluetooth sound system to a circuit breaker and then to the power supply.

The system is always on standby waiting for users to pair and connect.

It’s operated directly from the users mobile phone or bluetooth enabled device and has no controls of its own.

N.B. If there is more than one birth pool with bluetooth sound being installed in the same unit you will need to fit a remote switch to enable the users to turn the system on and off.

This is to prevent people accidentally activating the system instead of the one in their room.

Transducer speaker

  • Frequency Range 20Hz-20KHz.
  • Maximum Power Output 50W at 4 Ohm.

Bluetooth Amplifier

  • Transmission Range 5m to 10m.
  • Maximum Power Output 2ch X 20W.
  • Operating voltage 220/230 volts – 50/60 hertz
  • Transformed Voltage 12 Volt DC / 3 amp.
  • Waterproof Rating IP67.

Cleaning and Care:

Safety comes 1st!

Active Birth Pools  are Rated No.1 for water safety and infection control standards.

This is because the material we use (Ficore) is 5 x harder than other materials and is immune to the effects of disinfection with 10,000ppm hypo-chlorite.

Seamless one-piece construction and the absence of surface mounted metal work deny micro-organisms the environment they need to propagate.

Active Birth Pools Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines

This is a two-step procedure – first cleaning of the pool and surround, then disinfection of the pool and surround.

  1. Prior to emptying the pool remove debris and larger particles from the water with a sieve to prevent it from blocking or obstructing the outlet.
  1. Use the standard infection control precautions (plastic apron, disposable gloves and eye protection) when cleaning the pool. Ensure the area is well ventilated.
  1. Cleaning – use a non-abrasive detergeant with non-abrasive sponge or cloth to thoroughly clean the pool. Ensure the tap is cleaned first, so as not to transfer micro-organisms from the “dirty” pool area to the cleaner tap region. Rinse well with warm water.
  1. Disinfecting – use chlorclean or similar hypochlorite disinfectant following the directions on the packet for mixing the solution to the correct concentration for disinfecting the birth pool and surround.  Do not use bleach as it is highly corrosive and could cause damage to the fittings.
  1. Apply the solution to the tap and spout prior to disinfecting the pool.
  1. There are 3 methods for disinfecting the pool that are commonly used in hospitals:

1) Fill the pool with cold water and add the requisite amount of disinfectant – leave for ten minutes.

The advantage of this method is that it is 100% effective but wasteful of water, time consuming and uses a large amount of disinfectant

2) Make up 2-3 litres of solution and pour it around the inside of the rim. Then use a new disposable mop or cloth to spread the disinfectant over the surface of the pool. Leave for ten minutes.

The advantage of this method is that it is economic in terms of time and cost but relies upon the person carrying out the task to ensure that 100% of the pools surface is disinfected.

3) Fill a spray bottle with disinfectant and thoroughly spray the surface of the pool and surround. Then use a new disposable mop or cloth to spread the disinfectant over the surface of the pool. Leave for ten minutes.

The advantage of this method is that it is economic in terms of time and cost but relies upon the person carrying out the task to ensure that 100% of the pools surface is disinfected

  1. Open the drain outlet and empty the pool of the disinfectant.
  1. Using cold water, rinse the tap then the pool to remove all traces of the disinfectant, to prevent any residue being left on the pool surface.
  1. Dry the entire surface of the pool using a new cloth or disposable mop head.
  1. Keep the drain outlet closed when not in use.

If you are duty flushing the taps with hot water/steam add a few inches of cold water to the pool first.

Damage resulting from higher water temperatures, steam cleaning or use of products not approved by Active Birth Pools will not be covered by our guarantee.

Protocols from hospitals using Active Birth Pools.

How to restore your old birth pool to pristine condition:

We’ve been supplying water birth pools to hospitals since 1989.

Many of the pools we supplied in the 90’s are still in active service!

We occasionally receive reports that the pools are not looking as clean and bright as they originally were.

Not to worry.

There is a product called tide mark cleaner that was developed for spas and swimming pools.

You can either use it to remove stains or brighten up the appearance of the pool when necessary.

It will restore your pool to pristine condition.

Here’s a link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Waterline-Cleaning-removes-lines-cleaner/dp/B006DFD7VK

Related information:

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Cleaning and Care

Safety comes 1st!

Active Birth Pools  are Rated No.1 for water safety and infection control standards.

This is because the material we use (Ficore) is 5 x harder than other materials and is immune to the effects of disinfection with 10,000ppm hypo-chlorite.

Seamless one-piece construction and the absence of surface mounted metal work deny micro-organisms the environment they need to propagate.

Active Birth Pools Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines

This is a two-step procedure – first cleaning of the pool and surround, then disinfection of the pool and surround.

  1. Prior to emptying the pool remove debris and larger particles from the water with a sieve to prevent it from blocking or obstructing the outlet.
  1. Use the standard infection control precautions (plastic apron, disposable gloves and eye protection) when cleaning the pool. Ensure the area is well ventilated.
  1. Cleaning – use a non-abrasive detergeant with non-abrasive sponge or cloth to thoroughly clean the pool. Ensure the tap is cleaned first, so as not to transfer micro-organisms from the “dirty” pool area to the cleaner tap region. Rinse well with warm water.
  1. Disinfecting – use chlorclean or similar hypochlorite disinfectant following the directions on the packet for mixing the solution to the correct concentration for disinfecting the birth pool and surround.Do not use bleach as it is highly corrosive and could cause damage to the fittings.
  1. Apply the solution to the tap and spout prior to disinfecting the pool.
  1. There are 3 methods for disinfecting the pool that are commonly used in hospitals:

1) Fill the pool with cold water and add the requisite amount of disinfectant – leave for ten minutes.

The advantage of this method is that it is 100% effective but wasteful of water, time consuming and uses a large amount of disinfectant

2) Make up 2-3 litres of solution and pour it around the inside of the rim. Then use a new disposable mop or cloth to spread the disinfectant over the surface of the pool. Leave for ten minutes.

The advantage of this method is that it is economic in terms of time and cost but relies upon the person carrying out the task to ensure that 100% of the pools surface is disinfected.

3) Fill a spray bottle with disinfectant and thoroughly spray the surface of the pool and surround. Then use a new disposable mop or cloth to spread the disinfectant over the surface of the pool. Leave for ten minutes.

The advantage of this method is that it is economic in terms of time and cost but relies upon the person carrying out the task to ensure that 100% of the pools surface is disinfected

  1. Open the drain outlet and empty the pool of the disinfectant.
  1. Using cold water, rinse the tap then the pool to remove all traces of the disinfectant, to prevent any residue being left on the pool surface.
  1. Dry the entire surface of the pool using a new cloth or disposable mop head.
  1. Keep the drain outlet closed when not in use.

Please note: If you want to use a product that is not chloride based please contact us for approval.

Damage resulting from higher water temperatures, steam cleaning or use of products not approved by Active Birth Pools will not be covered by our guarantee.

If you are duty flushing the taps with hot water/steam add 10cm of cold water to the pool first.

Protocols from hospitals using Active Birth Pools.

 

How to restore your old birth pool to pristine condition

We’ve been supplying water birth pools to hospitals since 1989.

Many of the pools we supplied in the 90’s are still in active service!

We occasionally receive reports that the pools are not looking as clean and bright as they originally were.

Not to worry.

There is a product called tide mark cleaner that was developed for spas and swimming pools.

You can either use it to remove stains or brighten up the appearance of the pool when necessary.

It will restore your pool to pristine condition.

Here’s a link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Waterline-Cleaning-removes-lines-cleaner/dp/B006DFD7VK

Related information:

 

Improved Water Birth Pool Design

In mid-90’s we met with health service ergonomist Sue Hignett to discuss ways our water birth pools could be improved to better serve the needs of mothers and midwives.

This lead to the ground-breaking innovations in design, materials and manufacture that have culminated in todays range of award winning Active Birth Pools.

Design is based upon the dynamics of mothers and midwives as they interact with the pool and each other. Every shape, every curve, every varying degree of rounded corner – there is a reason behind them.

Our new water birth pools take the 5 points outlined on Pg. 2 of the article (below) to new levels of sophistication thanks to the properties of the unique material (Ficore® composite) we now use.

We longer advocate the use of multi-step units as this has proven to present manual handling risks. The pools are now lower and have wider rims which gives mothers better options for getting in and out of the pool.

The new range of water birth pools is not only much more beautiful, but more comfortable, safer and easy to use.

Click here for a PDF of this article

Based upon the design principles we originated in the mid-90’s the new Active II Water Birth Pool in Ficore composite takes them to a new level

Health and safety concerns

Many water birth pools on the market are equipped with features that at first might seem safe or even an advantage, but in reality present risks.

(We’re not showing images of other birth pools to illustrate the points below as this could be contentious.)

Re-circulating water systems

Re-circulating or pumped systems with jets such as whirlpools and  jacuzzi present the perfect conditions for the growth of micro-organisms.

Water systems like these present the highest levels of risk as they produce aerosols.

Aerosols are generated when the water surface is broken – for example, by falling water droplets, splashing, or by bubbles breaking at the surface.

Once introduced to these systems, Legionella and Pseudomonas thrive and can become aerosolised and then inhaled.

Integral Plumbing Systems

Plumbing systems like these utilise flexible and non-flexible piping, overflow drains, handheld showers, pumps, hoses, heaters, surface mounted fittings and filters.

 These systems are impossible to clean, disinfect or monitor and therefore present an extremely high Infection Control Risk.

Stagnant water within the system is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

UK regulations state that water birth pools fitted with thermostatically controlled  mixer taps plumbed directly into the hospitals water supply.

2018: Active Birth Pool at the award winning Meadow Birth Centre, Worcester

Hand held showers

Handheld showers present a significant infection control risk.

If the shower head falls in the pool it may be contaminated with bacteria that could breed and be passed on next time the shower is used.

Department of Health regulations clearly stipulate that handheld showers and bath/shower mixers are not installed for use with water birth pools as they present a Fluid Category 5 risk to the mains water supply.

N.B. There are systems available that enable you to detach the hose and shower head from the tap. These are permissible as long as the shower fittings are detached when the pool is in use and only employed afterwards for cleaning.

Pumped heating systems

Heating systems for water birth pools are not necessary and present unacceptable infection control risks.

Water is pumped through a heat exchanger and then back into the pool creating the ideal environment for bacteria to breed.

These systems present one of the highest infection control risks and should not be utilised.

Bacteria filters and disinfection systems

Some water birth pools are equipped with these devices in an attempt to mitigate the risk of infection and bacteria infestation that are inherent in built-in plumbing systems.

Bacteria filters and disinfection systems can not be relied upon and will not guarantee adequate hygiene standards.

2019: Venus Water Birth Pool, Peterhead Hospital

Overflow drains

Overflow drains harbour bacteria and can serve as a conduit for cross infection.

Regulations are very clear on this point.

Overflow drains should not be fitted to water birth pools as they constitute a constant infection control risk.

Surface mounted metalwork

Metalwork such as grab rails, taps and handles are an obstacle that comes between mother and midwife.

These fittings ALL present a serious infection control risk as the space between the surface of the pool and the fitting are perfect for bacteria.

Remember – bacteria are microscopic – even though the fitting may appear flush to the surface of the pool there is space for bacteria!

The Active Birth pools approach:

Thanks to the amazing properties of Ficore composite (the material we make our pools from) we’re able to bind the hand rails directly into the fabric of our pools.

Our lighting and drainage fittings are of the highest quality and have been inspected and passed by infection control specialists world-wide.

Double step units

In breech of Manual Handling protocols.

Mothers must not climb up and step over the sides of the pool to enter the water.

When not in use these step units present an obstacle and trip hazard.

Doors

There is no reason for a water birth pool to have a door and many reasons why they should not.

Doors are mistakenly used for two reasons:

  1. To facilitate emergency evacuations
  2. To help mothers get in and out of the pool

Doors present an extremely high risk of infection and should be banned from use in water birth pools for this reason alone.

The door seal (typically foam or rubberised material) is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

From manual handling perspective doors are not practical or fit for purpose. They actually complicate emergency evacuations and put mothers and midwives at risk.

The Active Birth Pools approach:

Click here to find out how our birth pools give midwives safe, practical options for handling emergency evacuations.

Click here to find out how safe and simple it is for mothers to get into an Active Birth Pool.

Height adjustable pools

Manufacturers of these pools say that height adjustment makes midwives more comfortable and less likely to strain or injure themselves.

They are completely wrong!

Given the choice of standing or sitting comfortably in a stationary position for an extended period of time we all choose to be seated.

It’s that simple.

If you look at photos of midwives standing by elevated birth pools you’ll see that they are often uncomfortable.

If you look at photos of midwives sittingby the pools you’ll notice how the solid, vertical sidewall prevents them from getting their legs under the pool.

They are forced to sit with their legs and feet splayed wide  apart which  is not only uncomfortable but places considerable strain on her lower back.

If you’re considering a pool with one of these systems I suggest that you talk with midwives who’ve used them, look at photos and videos of them in action and then consider how much better off you’d be with an Active Birth Pool.

From a mothers standpoint I can’t imagine how she feels sitting in a big elevated bath tub in the middle of the room with people standing around her.

Mothers need to be grounded to give birth not hydraulically lifted.

The Active Birth Pools approach:

The crucial elements that make the difference are the rounded extra-wide rim and flowing concave skirting panel.

Look at the midwife in the photo above.

Notice how comfortable the she is?

Grounded with her feet forward, body upright, head aligned and arms resting comfortably on the wide round rim.

No other birthing pool on the market comes close to giving mothers and midwives this level of comfort and support.

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Built to last for decades – Guaranteed for life

Our water birth pools outperform all others on the market.

Active Birth Pools deliver superior value, better all-around results and greater end-user satisfaction.

Our customers receive extra-ordinary long-term life cycle value because our birthing pools are built to last for decades.

 

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And importantly, they are guaranteed for life.

Water Birth Pools that we supplied in the 1980’s are still in use today.

Below – the Venus Pool circa. 1992 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital

royal-berkshire-hospital

Though it’s 25 years old the pool still looks great with years of service ahead.

You can plainly see that this is the precursor to todays state-of-the art Venus Pool.

The overall shape and size are pretty much the same, but the design and manufacture are now much more sophisticated and refined.

Below – the Venus Pool circa. 2017 at Pinderfields Hospital

13909270_275681126149002_3391402121293429114_o-copy

A combination of advanced ergonomic design, superior materials and high-end manufacturing methods have resulted in todays Active Birth Pools – truly in a class of their own.

Below – the NEW Venus II Water Birth Pool 

Better births

The keyword that defines our approach to design is ‘Active’.

If we look up the definition of ‘Active Birth’  we get, “Childbirth during which the mother is encouraged to move around freely and assume any position which feels comfortable”.

Active Birth Pools provide mothers with the space and depth to move freely in the postures natural to labour and birth.

As she moves, she intuitively discovers features that provide support and make her more comfortable.

Other birth pools have elaborately moulded interiors that can be described as an “obstetric chair in a bath”.

These birth pools typically have very little floor space or room to move.

As Sheila Kitzinger wrote in her article ‘The clock, the bed, the chair’ published in 2003:

“Even a recent innovation, the birth pool, does not always permit free movement. In theory, a pool allows a woman, supported by water, to move unencumbered.

Or so it might be thought.

Though published research often refers to mobility as an advantage of being in a pool, some pools are elaborate constructions with seats, handgrips and foot-rests, and movement in them is restricted.”

The pool dictates the position the mother should be in by placing her in a semi-recumbent posture with hand holds and foot rests to fix the arms and legs.

Mothers are positioned in the classic lying back with legs wide-open position but happen to be immersed in water.

The seats in these water birth pools are typically tilted backwards. The mother is immobilised in a position with her pelvis tilted upwards resulting in her  pelvic outlet being up to 30% smaller.

This puts pressure on the sacrum which flexes upward, into a curved position that restricts the diameter of the pelvic outlet inhibiting the baby’s descent.

The birth canal is placed in an “uphill” orientation, forcing the mother to push upward against gravity to give birth to her  baby.

These seats and moulded fittings greatly reduce the space the mother has to move in and restricts her ability to use the positions most beneficial.

The benefits of labouring in water are largely negated. The possibility of a physiological labour and natural birth is greatly reduced.

By contrast the Active Birth Pool gives mothers plenty of room to move with an unobstructed floor area that measures 1200 x 800mm.

A water birth pool should have features and design elements that support the mother as she changes position rather than dictate the position she is in.

Mothers experience maximum advantage of the benefits that water offers to help increase the likelihood of a physiological labour and natural birth.

‘Freedom of Movement video’ 

To see how mothers benefit from complete freedom of movement click on the link above.

This short home made video shows how the mother relates to the pool and the natural flow of movement that ensues. It has been hugely popular on YouTube.

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