Birth Pool Hire FAQs

Before you book pool hire with us, have a read through our FAQs. Hopefully this page has all the information you need to know about birth pool hire by Greater Manchester Doulas CIC.

1. How can I hire a pool from you?

If you would like to hire a pool from us the first step is to read through these FAQs then complete our booking form. Once we have received your request we will check our availability and get back to you as soon as possible. We aim to respond to all requests within 5 working days.  

2. How many pools do you have?

Currently we have four Birth Pool in a Box pools, one regular sized pool and three mini sized pools. We also have a La Bassine pool available if needed. The number of pools available varies as they don’t last forever and we are reliant on donations to repair and replace them. Every donation we received will go towards growing the scheme so it is accessible to as many women as possible. We appreciate every single donation including unused liners and other birthing resources.

3. When should I book my pool?

As soon as possible! If there is even a 1% chance that you would like to loan one of our pools we would recommend completing our booking form. If for any reason you situation changes just get in touch and we can amend or cancel your booking. 

4. Which size should I get?

Both pools are the same depth, so the choice comes down to length/width. For women over 5’8″ the Mini pool may feel too small to comfortably assume positions conducive to labour and birth, such as leaning on the sides facing out with legs extended out behind. If your partner wants to join you in the pool, then whatever your height, the Regular pool is more comfortable. On the other hand, if you have limited space in the room you plan to use, you may be better off with the Mini pool even if you are over 5’8″. The buoyancy of water will be in effect no matter your height or which pool you choose. It is simply the amount of space you may have around you that will differ with which pool you choose.

Have a look here for more sizing information.

5. Do I really need to use a liner?

Yes! There are a number of reasons we ask that everyone uses a liner, including hygiene, ease of use and longevity of the pools. As the pools are loaned out several times, each person using a liner extends the life of the pool. The liners act as an extra layer of waterproof protection should the pool leak, and also protect the seals of the pool which are the weakest part. The liner also makes cleaning up after the birth a much easier task!

Please return the pool as you would expect to find it: clean, dry and in good working order. We rely on people treating the scheme with respect. Please pay special attention to the ‘exit point’ after you’ve birthed and make sure the outer rings are clean there.

6. What if I no longer need the pool?

We understand that circumstances can change, we just ask that you let us know as soon as possible so that your pool can be made available to someone else.

7. How long can I use the pool for?

Our standard loan period is for 6 weeks, approximately from 37 weeks of pregnancy to 43 weeks. This hopefully will allow you enough time to feel prepared before you and not feel too pressured to get it back to us! We do understand though that some babies need a little longer before they are ready to come earthside. If your baby is content to wait then so are we – please just let us know so we can adjust bookings accordingly.

8. How much does it cost?

Our hire scheme is free to use. However we do ask a suggested donation for anyone who is able to contribute.

A standard grade pool is only designed for a single use but can often be used for around five times before it begins to show signs of wear and damage. This works out at around £25 per birth and a donation of this amount allows us to cover this cost of a pool and replace it when it can no longer be used.

Below are our suggested donations depending on your situation:

Financial situation

Suggested donation

No income (including those who do not have access to their household income)

N/A

Receiving means tested benefits e.g. Universal Credit, Income Support

£5

Receiving tax credits

£10

Everyone else

£25 +

 The aim of this service is to make water birth an option available to everyone, regardless of their situation. If your circumstances would make it difficult to make a donation, for any reason, we understand and there is no expectation to donate!

For those who can comfortably contribute, it would go directly to supporting more families and allow the scheme to remain accessible to all.
Every donation is much appreciated, be it a monetary donation, an unused liner or other accessories that can be used by others.

9. How can I get the pool?

As your hire period approaches we will contact you to arrange collection from one of our community groups in South Manchester or from our homes in Burnage and Whalley Range. If you have any mobility or travel issues that could make it difficult to collect your pool please let us know and we will do our best to arrange drop off and pick up if we can.

10. Do I need to buy anything else?

You will need a pool liner, hose and a tap adapter as these cannot easily be sterilised after use. Universal liners and non-toxic hoses can be purchased directly from ourselves when available.

Each pool is loaned with an air pump for blowing up the pool and a water pump (non-sterile) for emptying after you have given birth. 

11. Is there anything I need to do before returning the pool?

When you have finished with the pool please get in touch with us to arrange a day and time to return it. Please ensure that the pool is returned clean and dry and that both pumps are returned with all valve adapters in a clean, dry and useable condition. 

The running of this scheme relies on pools being cared for and returned in a good condition. We understand that on occasion accidents happen, please just be honest with us! 

It’s really easy to care for a pool, inside and out, please ask if you need any advice on doing this.

12. Can I pass the pool on to a friend when I’m finished?

No, as we may need to pool for another booking. If your friend requires a pool please ask them to complete our booking form.