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Choosing a Birth Pool



Whether you're actually planning to give birth at home in the water or just want to labour in the water a bit, birth pools can offer some incredible pain relief. There are several choices on the market. Here is a guide to help you decide which one to get. (Please note that all prices are Canadian).

The Aquarium Pool

This is the cheapest way to go. One of these will set you back about $30.00 from most big box stores.



-Holds less water, so less taxing on the hot water tank.


-Many women find them too shallow. Deeper pools allow for more buoyancy, and this allows for greater pain relief.

-They are not phthalate or cadmium free. Keep in mind, you are filling this pool with hot water. When the plastic is heated it can leech these chemicals which have been shown to be unhealthy.

-Some of these pools have drain plugs on the bottom. This is a good feature if you're playing in the back yard. It's a really bad feature if the pool is set up in your living room and you accidentally kick the plug open in labour.

-The quality of material on these is variable. They also do not come with liners, which can act as an extra barrier against leaks and prevent punctures while in use.

-These can be difficult to find in the winter, as they are a seasonal product.

La Bassine (Made in Water) Birth Pool $195


-Designed for birth and use inside the home

-2 handles on the inside of the pool for extra support

-Holds less water than other birth pools, so less taxing on a hot water tank, and faster fill time.

-Takes up less space than a larger birth pool


-Darker blue colour (or purple for the pro model) do not allow for the same visibility as a white bottomed pool

-Not height adjustable

-Some taller women may not get full immersion of their belly (or will have to fill it too full to do so and risk water tipping over the edge).

-Depending on size, sometime there is not enough room for the partner to get in.

-No top or outside handles

-No lid option available for keeping the heat in

-Liners are sold separately (it's worth the extra $$ to buy a liner though. That's another blog post in and of itself).

The Aquaborn Eco Birth Pool - $199

Okay, I'll admit, I'm not completely impartial. Even though I sell all three birth pools, I am the Canadian distributor for Aquaborn. However, I wouldn't be the distributor if I didn't think these pools were the Bees Knees. I also definitely plan to give birth to my next child in one of these.


-Green colour with a white bottom allows for maximum visibility (actually I find the difference quite remarkable).

-Height adjustable

-Designed so the midwife/support people will not strain their backs

-Comes with a lid and liner included

-Thickest padded floor

-6 handles for maximum versatility

-Opaque sides allow for privacy

-Large enough to accommodate both partners with room to move

-The deepest birth pool on the market

-The thickest eco-vinyl available for durability (all birth pools and their liners are phthalate and cadmium free).


-Larger, deeper pool, so may be taxing on a small hot water tank and take a bit longer to fill

-No seat (though submersible spa seats can be bought separately for about $25 if this is important).

Birth Pool in a Box -$295 + $65 for lid


-Egg shape make some women feel more cocooned.

-Has a seat (regular model only)

-Mini option available for smaller spaces/hot water tanks (but these have no seat)

-Comes with a liner included

-White bottom

-Height adjustable

-Regular model is large enough for both partners


-More expensive

-Regular model has larger water volume, so takes longer to fill and drain than La Bassine and Aquaborn

-Lid is sold separately.

Aqua Doula - Usually available just for rental. A purchase would set you back about $1200.00

I rented one of these for the birth of my daughter.


-Heater. You should NEVER use a heater with an inflatable pool, so if you really want a heater, this is the way to go.

-Very sturdy and large, allowing for good movement and buoyancy.

-A rental usually will come with a lid and all the accessories.


-Not as cushy as inflatables. Many women prefer inflatables for the comfort factor.

-Much harder to set up and take down, particularly if you have never done it before.

-No handles

-Can be taxing on smaller hot water tanks

The Inflatable Birth Pool Comparison Chart

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Birth Pool in a Box Regular - $295

La Bassine - $195

Aquaborn Regular $199.99

Material Thickness




Internal maximum dimensions

142cm x 114cm

125 cm x 95cm

130 x 105 cm

Internal Depth




Internal Handles




Side Handles




Top Handles




Inflated Floor Thickness





Yes (Regular size only)



Liner included




Filling Time

40+ minutes

25 minutes

35+ minutes

Weight when filled

650 kg

520 kg

560 kg

Heat Retaining Lid

Extra- $65



White Bottom (best visibility)




Professional Option Available

Yes - $500

1 liner incl.

Yes - $280

no liner incl.

Yes - $410.00

3 liners incl.

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  • Jill and Paul Colpitts