Birth Pool Hire

Why hire a pool from us?


Our main aim is to provide affordable pools, locally to enable parents-to-be to have the choice of birth they want.

Local charity

Edinburgh AIMS and the PPC (both small charities) jointly offer the pools for hire. All money from the hire of these pools goes directly to supporting the work of the PPC and AIMS and to maintain the pools.  We continue to promote accessible, affordable pools for use at home but if you are unable to afford our prices, please contact us as we are sometimes able to offer our pools for a reduced price and we would like women to be able to use them whatever their income.

Environmentally friendly

As we hire out our pools from central Edinburgh, there are no long journeys to be made to transport the pools.  Because all except the new sealed liner is re-used, there is less to end up in landfill than if you opt to buy a one-time-use pool.  There are less resources used to keep making new, disposable pools.  We believe that our pools are therefore better for the environment.  In addition, you can reuse your own liner as a pond liner, or any other good use (ideas welcome!).


What you can expect.

When you hire a pool from us, you can expect a safe, clean pool with everything in working order.  Along with the pool, we include all that you will need to operate the pool.  We also include a journal of birth stories from the pool’s history which you are welcome to add to and a Birth and Beyond magazine which also includes birth stories.


We have 2 options of pools available to hire: Rigid sided pool and Inflatable pool.

Each hire includes:

  • Pool
  • Permanent pool liner (if rigid sided pool)
  • Sealed, disposable liner
  • Hose pipe
  • Pool emptying pump and circuit breaker plug
  • Floor pads and heat retention cover
  • Tap adaptors, washers, jubilee clips, thermometer
  • Chemisan disinfectant for cleaning the pool
  • Our insurance (you are responsible for taking out your own insurance)
  • A contribution towards the upkeep and eventual replacement cost of the pool

Our pools are hired out for approximately four weeks, usually two weeks either side of the time you expect your baby to be born.


Pool dimensions

Oval pool

length – 180 cm     width –  130 cam     height – 26″ / 66 cm


Preparation for birth with a pool

Positioning the pool

We have been assured by pool manufacturers and engineers that the pools can be safely used in the majority of houses and flats. If you are in doubt about your own home, it is advisable to get a structural engineer to advise you (they can be found in the telephone directory) or, if possible, contact the builders of the property as they should be able to help. It is not necessary for the pool to be on the ground floor but it must be on the same level or below the water supply. The pump will not be able to empty the pool if it has to raise the water by over 5 metres (16 feet).

When deciding where to have your pool, choose the strongest part of the floor, such as a corner or bay window or over a load-bearing wall on the floor below.


Trying out the pool

We recommend that you try out the pool before your labour and birth, so that you have a good idea about how long it takes to set up and fill. It is also a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the feeling of weightlessness, which can be a great feeling in later pregnancy. You can use your sealed, disposable liner, and then make sure that it is wiped with Chemisan, rinsed, dried and ready for when you are in labour.

The disinfectant we provide “Chemisan” has been specifically recommended for this use, and is used in hospitals

Or if you prefer you can buy a second, sealed, disposable liner from us at an extra cost of £34.  If this second liner has not been used and is returned unopened, we will refund you the £34.

A disposable liner (provided) must be used on top of the permanent liner at all times. Please never use the permanent liner on its own, as this introduces the risk of infection and reduces the life of the permanent liners.


Essential and useful equipment

  • An efficient portable room heater, which can heat up the birth room rapidly
  • A large strainer or sieve and bucket for removing debris from the pool if necessary
  • A large plastic sheet or shower curtain and/or bath mats to place beside the pool – a large non-slip bath mat is ideal and can be used later when bathing your baby
  • Plenty of towels and one extra kept warm for the baby
  • A towelling bathrobe
  • A low stool or two to assist you getting in and out of the pool and for birth partners/midwives to sit on. The plastic variety can be used both in and out of the pool
  • A space on the floor for use if you prefer to leave the pool.
  • A comfortable chair and a beanbag or pile of cushions
  • Protective gloves for using with the disinfectant


Other information

Both the Pregnancy and Parents Centre and AIMS offer positive support to women and their families during pregnancy, and both have published women’s stories about water labour and birth in their Journals, Birth and Beyond and the AIMS Quarterly Journal. AIMS provides a range of booklets on many aspects of pregnancy and birth, including waterbirth and there is a free library at the PPC, from which a wide range of books can be borrowed. See our leaflets and have a look at our websites at and We wish you a wonderful birth experience, please do not hesitate to contact us direct for any further information, as we are always happy to help and offer support wherever possible.


You’re convinced…now what?

In summary…

  • Call the Pregnancy and Parents Centre on 0131 229 3667 to book.
  • Send your refundable deposit cheque (£30)
  • Arrange collection date with the Centre
  • Pay full amount two weeks prior to pick up of pool (£120)
  • Return, cleaned and with all parts within 4 weeks
  • Collect your deposit


Payment and deposit

When booking a pool, a deposit of £30.00 is required to confirm the booking. Please send a cheque payable to the Pregnancy and Parents Centre, 10 Lower Gilmore Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9NY

The full payment of £120.00 is due a fortnight before you collect a pool.

Your £30.00 will be refunded when the pool is returned and has been checked over. We may retain all or part of the deposit if the pool or its accessories are missing, damaged (beyond normal wear and tear), or require extra cleaning. In the case of excessive damage or losses we reserve the right to make an additional charge.

Please make all cheques payable to PREGNANCY AND PARENTS CENTRE


Collecting and returning our pools

To keep costs to a minimum, we ask you to collect and return your pool.  All the pools will fit into an average size car (the back seats may need to be folded down), but they can be awkward and heavy. We therefore recommend that you ensure that whoever is picking up the pool is prepared for this, either by being able to carry it themselves or enlisting the help of someone else, as we are unable to help with this. The pools must be returned within the specified dates.

All pools are collected from and returned to the Pregnancy and Parents Centre.  The Centre is usually open between 9.30am-5pm Monday to Friday and on some days later than this.   There is only 1 full-time person at the Centre  so please telephone the PPC at least one week before the pool is due to be picked up to arrange a mutually convenient time.

Looking after our pools

As the Pregnancy and Parents Centre is not a commercial hire company and relies on volunteers, it is essential that the pool is returned in a clean and dry condition ready for the next person to use. Full cleaning instructions are provided with the pool.  As the hirer, you are responsible for cleaning, disinfecting (disinfectant is provided) and drying the pool and its accessories according to these instructions prior to returning it to us. Please read and follow these instructions carefully.


Your deposit/full fee will be refunded provided we are able to rehire the pool to someone else for the same period.


Although the Pregnancy and Parents Centre has insured its pools, it is your responsibility to ensure that your own insurance will cover the unlikely possibility of the pool being stolen, becoming damaged, or of any other property being damaged while the pool is in use. This is particularly important if the pool is going to be stored/used in hospital. We recommend that only pool panels be stored in the hospital prior to your labour, and that the pump and its circuit breaker plug, hoses, liners, heat retention cover and any other accessories be brought in when the pool is going to be used.

If you have any questions, please contact the PPC who will be happy to discuss any issues or who will be able to provide you with details of resources where you can read up.

Donating pools

If you have an unused pool which you would like to donate to the Pregnancy and Parents Centre, we would be glad to receive it, as long as it is safe and in good condition.