Here are the most common questions we are asked.
1. How much does it cost to hire a Birthing Pool, Tens Machine, Birthing Ball or CUB from Mermaid at Heart?
The price of all of our hire equipment is shown on the home page of this website. Prices include up to 5 weeks hire*, delivery, collection and all the accessories you need to work the equipment.
*For hygiene reasons we ask that you make contact with us within 3 days of giving birth to your baby to organise collection of the birthing pool and accessories.
2. What Accessories will come with the Birthing Pool/CUB/Tens Machine/Birth Ball?
For ease, all of the accessories are listed in each product decription.
3. How soon should I fill out a Reservation Form?
To guarantee availability you need to make a reservation before 36 weeks in your pregnancy. We use our forms week by week to ensure we have enough stock to fulfil all of our orders and pre-order any additional stock we might need. If you leave it until after 36 weeks to make a reservation, we can only offer you what we have left.
No payment is necessary when making a reservation, you are simply registering an interest. Mermaid at Heart take pride in being a responsible hirer. We therefore only discuss delivery and payment for equipment with you once you have had your final antenatal checks at 36 weeks and you are sure that there is no medical reason that would prevent you from using the equipment before you take delivery.
4. How can I pay?
Payment can be made at the time at the booking. However, you may wish to pay over the phone using a debit or credit card at 36 weeks.
Please note that we cannot accept American Express.
5. How quickly will I receive my equipment after making payment?
All equipment is dispatched on a next day courier service Monday to Friday. Anything dispatched on a Monday will arrive Tuesday, anything dispatched on a Tuesday will arrive on Wednesday and so on. The only exception is that anything dispatched on a Friday will arrive on Monday. We do NOT charge you for delivery or collection ,unless you live in a restricted postcode as specified by our courier:
AB36-38, AB55-56 (Aberdeen)
IV1-39, IV52-54, IV63 (Inverness)
KW1-14 (Kirkwall and Caithness)
PH19-26, PH30-41, PH49-50 (Perth)
There is a £15 charge to these postcodes (which covers both delivery and collection).
We are unable to send our equipment to Southern Ireland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands (GY1-9, JE1-3), Isle of Scilly (TR21-25), Isle of Man (1M1-99), Scottish Islands (HS1-9, IV40-51, IV55-56, KA27-28, KW15-17, PA20, PA41-49, PA60-78, PH42-44, ZE1-3).
6. What time will my equipment arrive?
You will receive a text message on the morning of delivery giving you a one hour delivery window.
7. What time are collections made?
Once baby has been born, give us a call to organise collection. On the day of collection, you will receive a text message from our courier company containing as short a time slot for collection as possible. DPD do not guarantee a 1 hour window for collections.
8. I have received my pool and want to have a trial run, can I fill the pool without a liner for this?
No. Our pools must never be filled with water without the use of a liner.
9. Why does the birthing pool come with a disposable liner?
Every person is supplied with a brand new liner. The liner keeps the birthing pool clean and dry. The pool is not to be used without a liner as this may cause the growth of nasty water borne bacteria in our pool. We need to keep our pools in a safe condition for all customers.
10. How big is The Birth Pool in a Box/La Bassine pool?
All dimensions of the Birth Pool in a Box and La Bassine pools are specified in the product description.
Please allow a working space around the pool to compensate for the inflated sides.
11. Will my floor support the weight of the birthing pool?
We have never, ever had a birthing pool fall through a floor. You need to be sure how your floor is supported. Concrete floors are perfect.
Older properties may have wooden joists supporting the floors. You need to ensure that these joists are rot free. Damaged joists may not be capable of supporting the weight of a birthing pool.
Modern properties tend to be supported by metal RSJ’s. This is a much more preferable.
If you do not know what supports your floor or you have any concerns about your floor then you may want to get a free inspection from a wood preservation company, builder etc.
12. Is the birthing pool deep enough for a safe birth?
There is no recommended depth for water birth. However, we only use birthing pools with a depth of 45cms (18 inches) or over so that baby remains submerged during the entire birth.
13. How do I get in and out of the pool?
There are two methods of getting in and out of the pool: Sit on the side and swing legs over or step in/out of pool. Taking a big stride over the side of the pool can help open up the pelvis and speed up labour.
For either method the handles can be used for support.
14. Can I use a water heater in the pool?
No. These pools should be filled at the onset of labour.
Public Health England do not recommend the use of heaters with birthing pools after a baby is believed to have contracted Legionnaires’ Disease from a heated birthing pool.
15. How do I keep the water warm?
The Birth Pool in a Box Regular and Mini are very good at maintaining their heat. They only lose approx. 1 degree every 3 hours. The recommended temperature for women in labour is a “tempertaure that mum finds comfortable”. As baby is born, the water needs to be between 36-37 degrees. Midwives can be very strict about this and a thermometer is included to help you achieve this.
We suggest you fill the birthing pool to the minimum mark on the liner. Keep the hose connected to your taps after filling the pool so that you can top the pool up with warm water quickly and easily when needed.
16. How do I empty the pool?
Simply use the submersible pump provided to empty the water in to the garden, down the toilet or drain. Full instructions are supplied.
17. What happens if my baby has not been born by 42 weeks/I am in hospital at the end of my hire period?
If you reach 42 weeks in your pregnancy (the end of your hire period) and baby has not been born yet or there is a medical situation which prevents you from returning the equipment please let us know within 72 hours. We will offer you an additional weeks hire free of charge to support you.
If we do not hear from you, or someone on your behalf, you will be charged £5 a day per day that your hire period over runs. This must be settled when arranging collection.
18. How is the equipment cleaned after use?
For hygiene reasons, many of the items supplied in our kits are single use. We ask you to dispose of these after use. These include the liner, hose, sieve, thermometer, two tap connectors and ground sheet.
The pools, Tens Machines, CUBs and Birth Balls are cleaned using Clinell wipes which are developed by professionals for the use of surface disinfection and cleaning of non-invasive medical devices. They are effective against MRSA, Acinetobacter, VRE, TB, Norovirus, Hepatitis B & C and many more. We use the same to clean the boxes that we send the equipment in.
Submersible emptying pumps are cleaned in a neutral detergent called Hospec, as advised by the NHS, prior to disinfection with Actichlor.