How to Pack Up a Birth Pool

How to Setup a Birth Pool - Emptying
You’ve had your baby – Congratulations! And whether or not you used your birth pool in labour you will need to pack it away. So you may be asking how to pack up a birth pool! This article is designed to assist you in navigating your way through emptying, cleaning, deflating and storing your birth pool.

What You’ll Need

Emptying Your Pool
Your pool can be drained in a variety of ways including a siphon or electric submersible water pump. If disaster strikes and it is absolutely necessary, your pool can also be emptied the really hard way, using a bucket. However we don’t recommend this as anything other than a last resort.

The hose you used to fill your pool can be used as a siphon to empty it. If you choose a submersible pump, ensure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before use. However to get you on your way, here are some general instructions.

Method A – Electric Submersible Water Pump

  • Use your debris scoop to remove and discard any debris
  • Attach your pump’s smallest adapter onto the top of the Submersible Water Pump
  • Push one end of Filling Hose onto the adaptor nozzle. If necessary the hose can be softened in some hot (not boiling) water to aid attachment
  • Lower the pump to the bottom of pool at one end. If your pump has suction cups face these down to the floor of the pool. These will not work on a liner.
  • Place the other end of the hose in a toilet or outside drain. Make sure that there is enough of the hose in the drain/toilet to ensure it can’t slip out when the flow starts
  • Ensure any water on the floor has been mopped up and then plug the pump into the power and switch it on
  • Monitor the progress of the pump and the placement of the hose in drain/toilet
  • When the pump starts to suck air, remove the liner from one end of the pool and pull it towards the pump to increase the water depth
  • Once the water stops flowing, unplug the pump
  • Now go to Disposing of the Liner and Equipment below

Method B – Siphon

Emptying the pool
  • Use your debris scoop to remove and discard any debris
  • Place the entire hose in the pool and ensure it is filled with water. Giving it a good jiggle can help. Air bubbles will stop rising to the service when the hose is full
  • Leave one end of the hose under the water, place your thumb over the other end and take it to a drain this is lower than the pool floor. Your siphon needs gravity to work
  • Release thumb and wait for water flow
  • If the water flow doesn’t start there is likely still air in the hose. Take the hose back to the pool and try again!
  • Monitor the siphon closing as the water level gets low and remove the liner from one end of the pool and pull it towards the siphon end to increase the water depth.
  • Remember if air gets in the siphon it will stop and is hard to restart in shallow water

Disposing of the Liner and Equipment
Once the bulk of the water has been emptied out of your pool, the liner can be used to discard all non-reusable items. This will include:

Reusing the Electric Submersible Water Pump
Re-using electric submersible water pumps is not recommended and may void your pumps’ warranty. If you plan to use your pump again do the following:

  • Empty a bucket of fresh water using pump and hose
  • Refill bucket and add sterilising fluid or tablets
  • Place open end of hose in bucket and plug pump in to cycle the fluid around.
  • Leave to stand for 30 minutes
  • Drain pump and hose and stand/hang to dry

Cleaning Your Pool
Before storing your pool it needs to be cleaned.

  • Wipe pool with a cloth soaked in detergent. In the process check your pool for leaks by watching for any air bubbles being produced.
  • Soak a cloth in sterilising solution and wipe the pool over again
  • Leave to dry completely
  • If you found a repairable leak, now is the time to fix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions

Deflating Your Pool
It’s important to refer to the instructions that came with your pool to ensure you deflate it correctly. Generally speaking though, if you open all the valves your pool can be left to deflate naturally. Alternatively, if you wish to speed up the process:

Packup birth pool - using pump
  • Using your electric pump on its reverse cycle, deflate the floor of the pool (if applicable) followed by the lower chamber
  • Working your way from the bottom chamber to the top of the pool wall, deflate each chamber in turn

Once the bulk of the air is removed, fold your pool to fit into its bag or box. Any remaining air will be expelled as you fold

Reusing Your Pool
Provided you have used a liner, and your pool is undamaged, it can be reused. Just remember the warranty that comes with personal use pools only covers one use. Reusing a pool when a liner has not been used is not recommended. Given the nature of construction, the risk of residual bacteria being trapped in the pool’s many seams and folds is too great.

Packed up birth pool
Whether or not a liner is available for the pool you select is therefore a major consideration if you would like to reuse your pool or offer it to friends or family.

Birth International stocks Australia’s largest range of birth pools and a comprehensive range of accessories.

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