What do I wear for my water birth?First up, I have to tell you that doulas, midwives (and OBs!) do NOT care or judge or even notice what you're wearing or not wearing! I know, it's so hard to wrap your mind around that. It certainly was for me, before I t
What do I wear to birth in water?
It may sound like a simple thing and it may sound like a hugely worrying and mind-boggling thing, in my experience most women consider this question and come up short of an easy answer. What will people think of me? That’s another question that comes up again and again. Mamas, I feel you.
Before my first water birth I struggled with what to wear both on my body and, as a religious jew, my head. (spoiler, I ended up wearing a tank top with a skirt – the skirt came off as I entered the water, and a bandana on my head)
Here is a great article I found that I think will help you make the right choices for you. NB. There is no right or wrong answer!
What did you wear for your waterbirths? I’d love to know, you can leave a comment below
Oh, and here’s a link to the original article that’s pasted below:
First up, I have to tell you that, as midwives (and OBs!) we do NOT care or judge or even notice what you're wearing or not wearing. I know, it's so hard to wrap your mind around that. It certainly was for me, before I tumbled into the birth world. But it's true, I promise. Clothes, no clothes, pubic hair, no pubic hair. We don't care, we don't notice. We've seen hundreds of women in their birthday suits (ha! kinda a pun?!), and the only time I take notice is when I think “gosh, she's so beautifully strong!”. True story!
But of course, we still all agree that YOU as the birthing mom have to be comfortable and confident. So what to wear?? Here are some of the most common options.
2. Bikini Top
Very similar to a sports bra, but usually a bit less supportive and usually just a little bit less coverage.
3. Large Shirt
This is often combined with a sports bra, but not always. It can be preferred if you don't feel comfortable exposing your belly and cleavage. Otherwise, the same things apply as to the sports bra. You can use a towel on your lower half as you get into the pool and if you labor on your hands and knees if you prefer to limit exposure to that area.
Absolutely an option! Some women do this naturally in labor and can't imagine wearing anything at all, others would sooner die than labor in the buff. Either one is completely okay, and completely acceptable. But if you're comfortable in your birthday suit (okay, this pun is probably getting old).. go for it!
You also may think now that you would never labor naked, but transition has a way of making us lose all natural inhibitions. You might just surprise yourself!
5. Tank top
A bit of a halfway point between a sports bra and a shirt. It gives you more coverage, but you can pull it up over your belly if you feel too warm. Depending on the material it's made of, it also may not be as drippy and wet when you get out of the water. Pros:
6. Short Dress
This seems to be especially popular with moms who hire a birth photographer or videographer. I'm not knocking it, this is what I wore for my third baby because I had a videographer! Well, not JUST because of the videographer. I also had my children and sisters there for the birth, so I wanted something that would cover my bottom. Just personal preference, certainly not required just because your kids will be there.
Wearing a short dress is probably the top choice if modesty is a chief concern. It keeps everything covered as you get into the pool, if you labor on your hands and knees, etc. You will have to remember, though, that your midwife will likely want to listen to the baby's heartbeat at least every 30 minutes. This means lifting up the skirt of your dress (and not wearing underwear.. because… babies can't come out that way.. teehee!)
It's also pretty soggy. I had to take my dress off as I stood up out of the pool. It's not a big deal, most midwives are pretty good about juggling towels around you so you don't feel like the entire room is staring at your nekkid body as blood runs down your thighs
This one can be combined with a sports bra, bikini top, shirt, or tank top depending on your preference. It's very similar to having a dress, but you will only have to move your shirt up for heart tone checks.
Water Birth Israel is so happy to announce new options for hospital water birthing in Israel! Maayanei Hayeshua in Bnei Brak recently opened their water birthing service and Shaarei Tzedek and Bikur Holim hospitals in Jerusalem are soon to join the growing list of Israeli hospitals who are opening to a more natural, gentle and holistic approach to birth by providing natural birth suites and water birthing services.
I was speaking to a lovely mama the other day about her recent birth experience and she was talking at length about the surprisingly chilled out labour she experienced, so chilled that transition came and went almost undetected! "I was relaxed, calm, almost meditative in the warm pool, my mix tape playing and husband lightly massaging my shoulders, it felt like a day at the spa!"
She also had a great time using the pool in the days leading up to established labour. As many women have found, utilizing the buoyancy of the water to ease a near full term pregnant mama's muscles and joints is a wonderful treat and helps promote wellbeing and stress reduction which can encourage labour to begin on time and run more smoothly.
Post birth water chilling can relieve tired mamas and aid the healing process from multiple angles - The simple act of immersing in deep warm/hot water soothes sleepy but stressed women who are short on time and without having to leave the house. Stretches and even small tears respond very well to a deep soak too and back/neck aches from those many hours of staring down at your beauteous new baby or establishing breast/bottle feeding melt away in the pool.
Chilling out in a pool at any point during pregnancy is wonderful and mamas who rent one of our pools can take full advantage of their four weeks with the Birth Pool in a Box before, during and even after birth.
Mamas! and people who love them... with a number of hospitals on the verge of allowing birthing (not just laboring) IN the water and I urge expecting mothers all over the country to help change the way hospitals work by simply asking for what they want.
If enough women request a water birth from their hospital then the decision makers will have an easy choice to make.
My current mission is to get permanent pools into every maternity ward in Israel, they are safer, more comfortable and easier for the midwives backs too! If we work together and keep asking our local hospitals we can make these changes happen.
The alternative is expensive private birthing centers and whilst this is great and there is always space for high cost, exclusive care, surely we owe it to the women birthing the next generations to provide affordable, if not free, access to natural and holistic birthing options such as water labour and birthing.
Lets make this happen!
Speak to your hospital midwives, obstetric drs and nurses, maternity ward managers, write emails and letters. We are asking for:
1. Water birthing to be allowed in hospital maternity wards
2. Water birthing pools provided for mothers who want - either an inflatable Birth Pool in a Box or a permanently plumbed in ActiveBirth pool.
If you have any other ideas please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just make them happen!
Wishing everyone a gorgeous day
I moved here, to this beautiful, crazy land, 3 1/2 years ago.
We arrived in a fog of missing beds, a broken fridge, two bored and over-excited little girls and me, 6 months pregnant, yup, it was fun. Actually it was fun, lots to do, lots to create and make my own.
A birth to look forward to and plan for... Here's where I really had something to get stuck in to.
When I started to research water birthing in Israel I assumed it would be a case of choosing where to go as Israel is filled with holistically minded people and most Israelis that I know outside of Israel identify somewhere in the spectrum of Natural Medicine. Imagine my surprise (read horror) at finding no professional water birth pools, no official water birthing suites in any hospitals and a "no birthing into the water" rule at all hospitals!
The pool I chose was the most highly recommended I could find all all of the inflatable pools available worldwide. It has gloriously strong sides that I leaned into with all of my might as Suri came into the world, it has handles to pull on and a cup holder! An exquisitely placed seat that I rested on during labour and sat triumphantly on holding my seconds old newborn as we first properly met each other, soft inflated floor to protect my knees, there's more but I'll stop...The pool was designed by midwives and birthing professionals and with the suggestions of mothers who have birthed in water themselves. It is a thing of marvelousness.
When I was ordering my "Birth Pool In A Box" TM my midwife made a fabulous suggestion, "why not buy a few and start a business?"
Indeed, so I did.
Water Birth Israel started just before Suri Liel was born and has been running ever since. I love working with women in the sacred space of pregnancy and birth, it is such an honour to provide them with something that will help them birth the way they want to and I am always left inspired every time I talk with a mama on the phone, listening to her hopes, worries, dreams and joy.
Ok, so far so good, but it wasn't good enough.
Many times mamas have asked me which hospitals they can go to with a birthing pool, they want to know that if any complications were to arise they could transfer easily and quickly to the doctor run labour ward. As I mentioned earlier, Israeli hospitals have almost uniformly stated that women may not birth into the water, at best some hospitals have, at times, allowed labouring in a pool (that the women must bring herself) or in a hospital bath tub (not particularly conducive to birth as you can't squat or be immersed in the water with ease, you can't really move around much either).
Luckily I've never been one to stop at a NO
First step: I found out that the Israeli Ministry of Health actually have NO policy on Water Birth. Now this was great news because the rules had yet to be written...
Step Two: I was contacted by the wonderful staff at St Joseph's Hospital in Jerusalem. Wasim Kamal, a Biomedical Engineer and generally helpful and super sweet guy at the hospital asked me if they could rent a pool for their newly refurbished birthing unit which is dedicated to educating women about the widely over-looked values and advantages of natural birth and so I jumped on a train (well I was pregnant again so I carefully stepped onto it to be more precise) and went to meet him. I also met Sister Valentina, an Italian nurse and midwife, a huge hearted, deeply motivated birth professional, and the rest of the team at St Josephs. They bought a Birth Pool In A Box for themselves - Which all mamas in Israel are invited to come and use! - and are considering having a permanent one installed - watch this space...
Step Three: I sat with Sister Valentina et al and discussed the issues surrounding women having to be 'pulled out of the water' at 10cm just so as to not break hospital policy (aka "fear of the unknown") of birthing into the water.
What if the midwives, nurses and doulas became certified in Water Birthing?
What if they could they could then go to the big hospital bosses and say "we know what we are doing, we have been trained, this is safe"?
So we set about finding someone to train and certify Israel's midwives.
In April 2017 the course was held!
Over 2 days nearly 100 of Israel's midwives and birthing professionals trained and gained certification in Water Birthing, result!
I am ashamed to say I wasn't even there, I was home with my 8 month old new son and my 3 other little girls being a mama, my full time position, but the point is it happened!
Fast forward to last week.
A mama calls me to ask if there's any hospitals she can go to with a pool - outside of Jerusalem
I say no, at the moment there's Laniado that has space for a pool but not enough space for a Birth Pool In A Box.
I ask myself the question I never bothered asking before, why is there no room?
Phone calls ensue
And then it all changes.
The Natural Birth Unit at Laniado agree to allow Birth Pool In A Box into the birthing rooms - before they were only allowing pools into the bathroom, which means there's almost no space as the room also houses a bath a toilet... and there's more!
The lady I am speaking with explains that whilst birthing into the water has been against hospital policy she i happy to say that the policy is hopefully about to change and full water birthing will soon be allowed. "I went to course earlier this year so now we are able to provide qualified water birthing assistance" Penina from Laniado explains.
"Oh! I set up that course!" I blurt out, surprising myself.
And so it begins.
The more these services are used the more they will become available.
Next step? Getting permanent pools into all major birth units in hospitals all over israel... I have the pools, we're nearly there ;)
Excellent question! and thus here's the answer...
Things to know about your Water Birth Israel pool
What kind of pools do you rent out?
Water Birth Israel uses Birth Pool in a Box professional and world renowned pools and liners. You can read all about them on their website here: https://www.birthpoolinabox.com
How is the pool packaged?
Your pool will arrive rolled up in a black backpack with the disposable liner, hose pipe, thermometer, plastic strainer, inflate/deflate pump and water removal pump in there too.
When do I inflate my pool?
The when is up to you, you can always use the pool for relaxation before the birth day, it’s your choice whether to use the liner for non-labour use or save until you are close to birth.
Filling when in labour for the labour is recommended after 4cm dilation.
If you choose to keep the liner until later please know that the pool is sterilised after each use so it’s perfectly clean. The extra precaution of the liner is really only to keep the baby safe.
You may fill the pool with water whenever you like, before, during or after birth.
NB: Water must be changed every 24 hours. After 24 hours water remaining in the pool can start to be at risk of bacteria growth. To avoid this water must be emptied out, the pool wiped dry and then the pool refilled either straight away or when you are ready.
How do I prepare the room for the pool?
• Turn on your water heater if it needs time to heat up!
• Sweep and clean the floor to ensure there’s nothing big or small that could damage the pool
• Place a plastic sheet on the floor (if you are using one under the pool).
• Lay the pool out, unfold it fully.
• Using the inflate/deflate pump fill the pools 3 chambers with air until almost full. Please do not overfill the pool as it could stretch the material and make the pool unsafe, the pool is perfectly safe and ready for use even at 90%-99% filled with air! Inflation takes around 5 minutes.
• Check the pool is where you want to it be, after the water is in the pool must not be moved as this could damage the pool’s material.
• Attach the hose to your tap, place the end of the hose into the pool and start to fill the pool with water. It will take on average 40 minutes
• Place a plastic sheet (table cloth is great) over the pool in between uses if you wish to keep the temperature higher for longer. You can always raise the temperature by taking some water out with a bucket/bowl/wtre remover pump and adding heated water.
How long does it take to inflate the pool and fill with water?
Inflation: Around 5 - 10 minutes.
Fill with water: Varies! A high pressure jet: 30 minutes, a slow tap: about 2 hours.... on average: 40 mins.
What is the recommended temperature?
It is generally accepted now that the correct temperature is “whatever the woman finds most comfortable”. The guidelines state 91 - 98 degrees fahrenheit.
For birthing in the water the temperature must be the same as that of the mother -
96 - 98 degrees fahrenheit.
How do I get out of the pool?
The are two ways, either sit on the side and swing your legs around or step over the side - stepping over can be good for helping baby position and progression in labour! If the sides are too high you can deflate the top chamber a little which will lower the height of the pool.
What if things get into the pool?
During the pushing part of labour it is normal for women to sometimes pass stools and sometimes there can also be some blood/clotted blood in the pool. If this happens you can simply remove these things with the strainer.
If there is at any point a lot of debris and/or if it stays there a while you should empty all the water from the pool, clean lightly with very very diluted bleach in water or disinfectant in water and then re-fill with fresh water.
What do I do with the pool after the birth?
• Use a strainer to remove all solids that may be in the pool.
• Check that you are holding the water remover pump and NOT the inflate/deflate pump
• Attach hose to the water remover pump & place the other end of it into sink/garden/toilet etc.
• Place the black box pump into the water and sit it on the bottom of the pool. Put the plug into a wall socket and watch the water being sucked out your pool stress free!
• Wipe around the pool with a clean towel to remove any blood and to dry the last bits of water.
• Once the pool is COMPLETELY DRY fold it up and place back in the bag.
• Throw out the liner and hose. Place pool, pump and water remover back in box and tape up.
• Contact Water Birth Israel and we will send someone to pick up your Pool and 2 pumps
• All done, enjoy your new baby, mazal tov!
• Please remember to buy hose connectors (hardware stores have them). It may be an idea to take photos of the tap/taps you might use. Then CHECK it fits at home!
• Please make sure you have towels!
• Also keep a towel ready for baby if they are born in the water.
Anything other than that?
Please feel free to email me at: email@example.com
or call on: 053 432 0848 with any questions and I will do my best to answer
Delia Bueno de Mesquita
Owner: Water Birth Israel, Hamidrashya 3B/21, Pardes Hanna
There is an FAQ page on the Birth Pool in a Box website that might be useful to you. www.birthpoolinabox.com
so some updates to what we are offering you here at
Water Birth Israel…
Firstly an update on POOL DELIVERY AND PICK UP SERVICES -
Having spent the last month and a half calling, googling and generally annoying everyone I know in Israel trying to find a reasonably priced option for getting your pool to your door and collecting FROM your door when you are all done… I nearly gave up! Then last week I was sending a package to an eagerly awaiting mama and was called into the post office, arm, office… A home meeting was organized and...
Birthing Kits for all water-birthing, home birthing and hospital birthing mamas!
There is a list, you see, a list of things that home-birthers and home water-birthers are asked to buy, and it's time consuming, it's expensive, you often end up with a whole box of something you only need 2 of!
...AND that's only after the internet researching, Facebook asking, friend whatsapp-ing and shop/shuk haggling (haggling when pregnant can get ugly, I've been there, I had to say lots of sorries, it was a mess, we're all on speaking terms now though) *plus taxis, buses, car gas and parking meters, that go into finding the cheapest and best brands as well as the best store to purchase them. long long long, I did it, it wasn't fun...
meditate and joyfully await your baby's welcome into the world. There will be a few options to choose from including a Basic Kit, a Super Kit and a Gold Deluxe Kit. Also available soon are a Hospital Birth Essentials Kit, Breastfeeding Basics and Welcome Baby Kit.
Wishing you all a wonderful day
Most wondrously we are now offering you an affordable delivery service! We moved base from Jerusalem to the very pretty Pardes Hanna a few months back and so suddenly really need to find a viable delivery option… IsraelPost! Oh yes, they are marvelous x
We can now deliver your Pool TO YOUR DOOR for just 50nis!
The return journey is also only 50nis and simply requires you to take the pool to your local post office x
The special SUPER DELUXE luxury option is a courier service which collects the pool from your home and brings it back to us for 180nis.
In other news:
Mamas, We want to give you more! So we want to know what makes you happy :)
Which of these sound like something you'd like to buy/receive or buy for someone else?
Please comment on this blog to let me know your answers x
Have a look through the different oils we have in store and pick and mix whichever ones you like. There's also a bump to birthing & beyond hamper which gives you over 50nis discount on all the oils you'll need in your pregnancy x
info about what each of the oils we currently offer can do for you and your family is HERE
Please let us know if there's an oil you'd like but don't see listed and we will find it for you :)