When I had Zari, we had an oversized Jacuzzi tub in our master bathroom, so I didn't have to worry about buying or renting a birth pool. This time, though, we don't have a single bathtub in our whole house! So now I am faced with a huge array of choices, from a cheap fishy pool to a rented birth pool with a heater and jets. I want something big and deep enough that I can move about freely, stretch out, and be fully immersed up to my chest. But if I get one that is too big, it might take too long to fill, since our water heater is only 30 gallons.
We've been wanting to install a tankless water heater, probably a Rinnai. If we do that, then we'll have limitless hot water so the tub size will be less of an issue. I'd also love a tankless heater so that I can stay in the shower for hours and hours if I feel like it.
Here are my possible choices from cheapest to most expensive:
1) $22 fishy pool (60 x 22" exterior, 106 gallons)
2) $35 Sevylor round I-beam pool (60 x 22" exterior, 72 gallons)
3) $67 Sevylor oval I-beam pool (100 x 68 x 21" exterior, 186 gallons)
I actually think this oval one would be too big--it's bigger even than the large Birth Pool in a Box (see below). It's more like a swimming pool than a tub. See how big it is with adults inside:
4) $110 La Bassine birthing pool: I-beam construction, oval rather than round, has inside handles (65 x 53 x 25" exterior, 53" x 41" x 22" interior, 100 gallons)
5) $190 Birth Pool In A Box: this is a really large inflatable pool, with a built-in seat. It's large enough to comfortably fit two adults, unlike the other pools. (76 x 65" x 28" exterior, 56 x 45 x 26" interior, 172 gallons). There's also a mini version that's roughly the same size as La Bassine--a bit shorter and deeper. (65 x 57 x 28" exterior, 45 x 37 x 26" interior, 127 gallons).
Then, of course, you can get into the rental birth pools such as the AquaDoula ($250 to rent). I've attended lots of AquaDoula births and while I like that it has a heater, I don't like the narrow rim. Often women want to drape themselves over the edge or rest their head, and an inflatable pool is much more comfortable than the AquaDoula for that.
Although I love the price of the round Sevylor, I am leaning more towards La Bassine because it is a bit bigger and longer. I still wonder if even La Bassine would be big enough for me. I am 5'8"--not extraordinarily tall but not petite either. I like I-beam construction far more than stacked rings. On an aesthetic note, I love the deep transparent blue of the Sevylor and La Bassine.
So, your advice is very much needed, especially if you've actually used one of these many options (or something else I haven't thought of yet!).