While the importance of designing water birth pools for mothers is evident, the importance of designing for midwives is paramount.
Mothers may use the pools a few times but midwives use them continually.
Midwives tell us that our water birth pools are the most comfortable and easy-to-use.
They appreciate the fact that they are safeguarded from risk of injury and benefit from the unparalleled level of comfort and support they receive.
Midwives report better results, and say that our pools are fabulous and a pleasure to use.
And that is why given a choice, midwives prefer Active Birth Pools.
In 1995 we worked with Health Service Ergonomist Sue Hignett and the midwives at Nottingham City Hospital to look at ways in which the design of our water birth pools could be improved.
We discovered that our pools could be made dramatically safer, more comfortable and user-friendly.
The results appear in this article, “Improving Birthing Pool Design” published in the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors.
If you look at our birthing pools from the early 1990’s (above) you’ll immediately notice the vertical skirting panels and narrow rims.
The problem is that midwives cannot sit in comfort, close to the mother.
The pool becomes and obstacle between the mother and the midwife.
Midwives are forced to sit away from the pool with their legs splayed apart to make room and then lean forward.
This creates the ideal physical dynamic that causes lower back pain (a common complaint from midwives attending water births).
To make matters worse, the narrow rims are not comfortable for resting on as pressure is concentrated in a small area of the forearm.
The photos above show how with our water birth pools midwives can sit close to the mother in complete comfort.
The concave skirting panel is contoured to the shape of the pool which gives midwives plenty of room under rim for their legs.
She sits with her arms resting on the extra-wide bull-nosed shape rim just like you would at a desk or table.
Furthermore – the rim is not obstructed with taps and fittings which enables midwives to easily move around the circumference of the pool as need be.
Partners play a important role in labour and birth.
Our pools allow couples to get close and be intimate without the need for the partner to get in the water.
This support (both physical and psychological) can make all the difference in helping mothers experience a physiological labour and natural birth.
Active Birth Pools give midwives safe, practical options for facilitating emergency evacuations – with or without a hoist.
Monitoring can be easily performed without the mother having to leave the pool
Mothers can easily get into our pools without climbing up large, cumbersome step units which put both mothers and midwives at risk.