When did “natural childbirth” start involving inflatable wading pools?

I am old.  This is what the new batch of our babies have to look forward to.  They have an old mom.  And she’s way behind the times. They will to go school with kids that were birthed into swimming pools… In their living rooms!  Am I new?  I am just hearing about this.  I saw the Duggars doing “natural” deliveries in a bath tub… I still say that is a stretch. Probably the least natural occurrence that has happened to my body was childbirth. The most beautiful gift of life I have experienced? Adoption. I highly recommend it. In all fairness, I think the only women that can declare they “naturally” delivered their children are the woman that do it in a hut or rice paddy… and the occasional delivery in an elevator or taxi cab.  So the other day I was at Target, buying diapers, and this VERY pregnant young woman says, “Ma’am, do you know where they keep the inflatable birthing pools?”

Not only do I not know where these are, I am not entirely sure what she’s talking about.

“Um,  I am sorry?  Maybe, lawn and garden?”

This gets me laughed at and pitied.  “Oh!  You don’t know what I mean?” Eye roll, giggle, arm pat and an implied ‘you stupid old lady.’ “An inflatable birthing pool is a pool you blow up so you can birth your baby naturally in your home.  The baby simply floats from the birthing canal into the water.”  

There’s a number of comments I would LOVE to make at this point… starting with “simply floats from the birthing canal?” and ending with “do you blow up the pool? Like with your Lamaze breathing?” Instead I say, “try pushing that red button for an associate.”  I say associate instead of worker so I don’t look so stupid.  This is wasted on her.  She waddles over and pushes the button and I decide to loiter. Target has everything, but this, I gotta see.

So the rest of the conversation went like this:

Associate:  Can I help you?

Preggo:  I am looking for a pink inflatable birthing pool.

Associate:  We don’t carry those in the store.  I think you’d have to go online.

Preggo:  Well I am due any day?  I don’t know if I have time to order one.

Associate:  (blank stare) Okay… did you look in sporting goods?  We may have some inflatable wading pools back there, let me run back there and look…

Preggo:  (to me) Well, I am surprised they don’t carry these, everyone is moving toward natural childbirth.  Do you have children?

I pray,  Jesus, allow me to find out this woman’s name and social security number so I can make sure my child is never in the same school district as this woman’s spawn.

Me:  Yes, six.

Preggo:  What!?! SIX? Did you deliver naturally?

Me:  Naturally?  Into an inflatable pool?  No.

Preggo:  You didn’t use drugs did you?!?!

Me:  Recreationally?  No.  But I had an epidural.

Preggo:  OH MY GOSH!  That’s not good for babies!  Are your children okay?

Me:  Define okay?

I get the eye roll again.

Associate returns…

Associate:  Ma’am, we have an inflatable Elmo pool?

Preggo:  Pink?

Associate: No, just Elmo.

Preggo:  Grrrr!  I need pink.  I had a dream I gave birth in a pink birthing pool!

Associate:  I am sorry ma’am that is all we have.

Preggo:  Ridiculous!

She storms/waddles off.  Associate and I are left staring at each other. We have no words for this encounter.

Me:  Clearly, her mother had an epidural when she delivered her.

Associate:  Can you come with me to the break room?  Cause no one is going to believe me.

They didn’t believe me either.

About jamiamerine

I am a wife, mom, & seeker of joy! I love to share funny and inspirational tales with my fellow moms. I fully believe that God intended laughter to be a form of rest and worship. I have a few kids. I have a few years on me. I have a great husband. And I love to laugh. I studied home economics in college, I can cook just about anything, but do not ask me to sew. In my graduate work I studied education and human development, I consider my life continuing education, my children are my ongoing thesis. If they survive that, I will let you know! I write non-fiction for laughter, respite, and inspiration. I also am in the process of submitting my first fiction mystery and have two more in the works! Mom life is hard work. My prayer for my readers is that, even if it you just have five minutes, you can be inspired and encouraged today. Keep it short and sweet... rest in Jesus girlfriend.
This entry was posted in adoption, babies, comedy, humor, natural childbirth, old mom, parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to When did “natural childbirth” start involving inflatable wading pools?

  1. Karen says:

    Ya know, I had a baby in water. 3 times. It was a lot better than having a baby in stirrups like that one time. I don’t think that makes me a better mom. I didn’t care what color the pool was either, and at the point where I had another human’s head hanging out of my vagina all I could think was, “I did it! This is awesome!” And I knew better than to try to find my birth pool at Target. I bought it online because the one with handles and a seat was awesome and it had something to hold onto while I pushed. Which I barely had to do. And ya know what? I liked giving birth (except that one time, but that’s another story.) Glad you enjoyed your births too.


  2. Dede says:

    As a labor and delivery nurse, mom of two, epidural for one, spinal for another (choose to have a c/section with the second…gasp!) you are my new best friend. Sharing this with my labor and delivery co-workers. And note to others: We LOVE three page birth plans as well as pink birthing pools. 😉


  3. Hahahaha..Wow, I needed this post. I can’t believe that you actually had that conversation. A pink inflatable birthing pool from target? I think I’ll stick to hospitals (call me close minded). This was a great post 🙂


  4. Noelle Griggs says:

    I find your post rude. And divisive. I have been a childbirth educator and a doula for 14 years. I’ve supported women in all different environments and choices. I am beyond exhausted by the “epidural camp” insulting the “natural birth camp.” The bottle feeders throw insults at the breastfeeding Moms and the adoptive Mama’s spend time calling out how they are tired of people talking about birthing. It has ALL got to stop. Does any of this sound like Christ? Is ANY of it beneficial? Honestly, it breaks my heart. When we laugh at each other, make snide remarks…making sure your children don’t go to school with her spawn? That’s shameful. The comment about the 3 page birthing plan? Doesn’t that just show that those young parents care? That they want a big part in their birth? Not amusing. In the past month, I’ve heard about 3 young families that have either lost a Mommy or a Daddy. One family adopted. One has a 3 month old. Let’s focus on using our words to love. Not tear down. This world is too sad and too dark without kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy says:

      Yes. Exactly. Very well stated.


    • Honour says:

      As a sixth-time expectant mother (of “advanced maternal age” bless me) I find your comment rude. The story shared in this post is a humorous anecdote, told in a self-deprecating tone. I do not think the author is trying to cause division, and I have a little experience regarding births as well.
      I was born at home, a long time ago, but not so long ago that a kindly, black-bag carrying doctor arrived by rounded-fender jalopy to deliver me. My own entrance into this world was so natural that I’m not sure the midwife even made it on time. My parents were wonderfully courageous, opting for a controversial “birth plan” long before that phrase was coined and when their parents’ generation associated birthing at home with a higher maternal and infant mortality. My parents also forgot to file a record of my arrival for two years, but I don’t know if that was courage or merely a preoccupation with their large family.
      As much as my mother loved her home births, I (and all of my sisters) have chosen to have our babies in hospitals or birthing centers. Drugs, no drugs; vaginal, cesarean; Doctors, midwives; between the five of us we’ve made every possible combination of choices. Sometimes the births have gone the way we thought they would, and sometimes difficult and quick decisions had to be made. Some of us (cough cough) have faced utterly embarrassing situations during the birthing process. But throughout the processes, we have supported one another and laughed at one another (and ourselves). Finding humor in our differences doesn’t need to cause division. The young mother bursting with pride in her [natural] choices and willing to insult an older mother over her [traditional] choices is not the main funny here. Here’s the main funny: She was looking in a BIG BOX store for an inflatable tub to be temporarily placed in her living room because she had a DREAM about it. Oh never mind… if I have to explain it, it’s not going to help you.
      This world IS too sad and too dark to not find laughter.


    • Dede says:

      I think everyone is actually missing the point of this blog. It’s humor and I didn’t take offense to anything the writer was saying nor did I think she was not Christlike. As far as my comments, I agree with you in that people need to stop shaming each other for what they choose to do or not do. Your job as an educator is extremely important. The more information a patient has, the better decisions they can make. However, as I’m sure you see as well, people sometimes lose sight that they are having a baby not planning a party. The goal of everyone involved is a healthy mom and baby. I think patients sometimes focus more on that “pink birthing pool” than the fact that something could be wrong. I’m all for providing anything so my patients have an excellent experience. But if they choose to go to a hospital, I have to practice according to policy and procedure. Can rules be bent? Sure. I advocate for my parents all the time. Patients forget that if you are coming to a hospital to deliver your baby, I am now liable for you and your baby. Sometimes, as in life in general, we focus so much on planning the way things are going to be and plan for that perfect experience. Then our patients are horribly disappointed when things on their very specific birth plan did not happen. I usually tell my patients that their birth experience is going to be a lot like parenting. You can have this idea in your head or plan about how your child is going to be, but life happens and a child usually has a mind of their own. That’s when you have to say, “well, let’s go to plan B.” And that’s our job as caregivers. Offer education and support along the way and offer a plan B when that pretty pink birthing tub can’t be used or isn’t available. I just find this kind of back and forth banter exhausting about epidurals, breastfeeding, waterbirths, etc. I just took care of a mom that lost her beautiful baby girl at 32 weeks last week. I’m planning a memorial service at our hospital for anyone that has suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth. I’m sure that any one of those mom’s would not care a bit how their child came into world as long as they were actually here.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. pamallcorn says:

    And Target is left wondering why the increase in searches for “pink birthing pool” on their website. (Let me save you the trouble, they don’t carry them online either.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tina says:

      I find it kinda funny that you saved us the work by doing the search yourself!! Haha! But here’s what else I find funny about the situation: she’s like, practically due any day, and she’s just now on the hunt for a (pink) birthing tub?

      Liked by 1 person

      • jamiamerine says:

        I know. That was actually the funny part to me too… But some people didn’t find it all that humorous. 😁 my water broke and was gushing from my body and I was in total denial. I wanted no part of what was going to happen to me. I didn’t have what it took to look for materials to aid in the process.


  6. Sarah says:

    While the woman sounds a little entitled, I also agree that complaining about women in birthing pools may not be the most Christ-like thing to do. I really wish I had access to a birthing pool. It sounds like women are much less likely to tear when they use them. Do you know in the nineteenth-century some doctors didn’t want to give women anesthetic because they claimed Genesis 3 meant women were cursed to bring forth children in pain? (See Mary Poovey’s work.) What is normal now was not always normal in the past, and what was normal lately may not be normal in the future. Why not support women? Can you use your blog posts to build people up instead? This is only the second post I read, and the first one was also a complaint (about entitled families at a recital). It’s good to raise children who know they are just normal and that they should love others and do the best they can, but I was troubled that both pieces seemed to be pointing out other people’s flaws (people who won’t read the blog and don’t know they are being judged). But blessings to you. It’s hard to publish online and easy to write quickly, and I find that I often need to get feedback before I know whether I judged correctly in writing something.


    • Tracy says:



    • We all do things that are not the most Christ-like choice we could make. But you sound judgmental when you bring it up. I did not have any drugs during any of my births and only a little novacaine after to stitch up the episiotomy but I don’t think I would want to give birth in a pool (though I love swimming) because I would feel like I needed a shower if I had been in a pool with all the “natural” things that get expelled during childbirth and I prefer to spend the next several hours with my baby instead.


  7. Pingback: And Then a Riot Broke Out in Target! | sacredgroundstickyfloors

  8. Timothy Dunn says:

    I went with my daughter to a big box home improvement store for a tarpaulin to protect the bed for her planned home birth. All three of us [including the clerk] shared a laugh when the clerk asked “what are you going to use this for?”. This was a first time request for her, and the first time for my daughter to ask. By the fourth child at home, an inflatable pool was used. We gathered around it, after the birth, to welcome the first daughter, with three brothers eating cookies around the edge. We all laughed for joy and incongruity.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Melissa S. says:

    I love the Lord. I enjoy humor and can be very sarcastic with my close friends and family, as they are with me too. I have had 6 pregnancies, with 5 children birthed in various circumstances, blah, blah, blah. This story was HYSTERICAL and I cracked up. People need to quit being so thin-skinned and hurt by anything and everything they find offensive. The author is trying to share humor with her words. She has brightened my days, and for that I am thankful:)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • carmengoldstein says:

      Amen! I found this post hilarious! And all 4 of my births were all natural, drug free. 3 of my babies were born at home, 2 of them in the water. I am a former childbirth educator and have supported birthing mamas for a long time. I even used to rent out an inflatable birthing pool to new parents! Water birth is amazing, natural birth is incredible and empowering. But yet, this post is hilariously funny to me. I don’t understand why people get offended so easily. Laughter is good medicine!


    • Liz says:

      As a “homebirther” myself, I found the post very funny! Especially picturing that whole conversation with the last minute planning mommy. Lol Too funny!


      • jamiamerine says:

        Thanks for commenting and for input. It truly was all in fun. My favorite was the ‘simply floats from the birth canal.” But I appreciate good dialogue​. God bless.


  10. Jyn says:

    I really had a good chuckle at this! I’ve personally had almost 4 water births- two were in those fun blow up pools, another was only laboring in one before having to come out and be induced and the other was in a normal tub where they dragged me out and down the hall to a cold hospital room because they didn’t “do water births”. I would have had him right there and then, too, it felt so good only took me 45 minutes to dilate to full !
    But I’ve birthed 8 kids, I don’t take a whole lot of things personally anymore. Especially when people ask, “Have you figured out how that happens, yet?”.
    I love my natural births and I haven’t had the money to have one at home yet (yep, it’s a money issue too. Most of the cost needs to be paid in full before you birth). I’ve experienced the alternative, too. The induced births with an epidural, the induced births without an epidural- only thing I can’t say I’ve done is had a c-section. I have to say I value my non epidural births the most. Was it for the accomplishment? Nope! It really was how the labor went, what I was able to do and not do, the wonderful high I had afterwards, and what I felt I was putting my baby through.
    I researched a whole lot about it and realized when I’m in pain, I’m making endorphins (natural pain meds) that help that baby with the pain of being squeezed so hard the fluids are pushed out of their body and their HEAD shapes into a cone. That has got to be uncomfortable! With an epidural I stop making those endorphins, and the baby doesn’t get any of that yummy numbness.
    So I guess that kind of burned itself into my very being. Also, its a lot better for my body to feel whats going on because when I get the epidural I, personally, hurt myself more (I have a separated pubic bone). But anyway- that’s probably one reason us natural birthers get all birthing-nazi. The tubs really are comfy, though!
    If you heard half my conversations with store clerks during my pregnancies it could be a book in itself. Like the time I walked into a bikini shop looking for the right bathing suit to birth in.
    That clerk had NO CLUE that was coming! HAHAHAHA! She seriously had no clue how to help me. Or when I called the non-emergency paramedic’s number to ask what would happen to my kids if I went into labor and my husband wasn’t home. They had no words for me either. Hey, a mom’s gotta’ plan! Life is fleeting- we have to find humor in it where we can, lest we lose our sense of humor and resolve to trolling poor people’s blogs. 😉 Cheers and God bless! -Jyn


  11. Handsfullmom says:

    SO SO funny! Thanks for the laugh. I think even my natural birth pool friends would enjoy the humor (though there’s always that ONE, you know?)

    So happy to have stumbled on your blog today.


  12. Christie says:

    Somehow stumbled upon your blog today and have enjoyed each post I’ve read so far while nursing and snuggling my 4 month old. While my 3 year old daughter was at her very first day of preschool. Thanks for making my belly hurt from laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brea says:

    I am getting ready to have my 3rd home waterbirth in about 2 weeks. My first two babies were born in the hospital. Homebirth is so much better for so many reasons, but I was not offended by your post. I thought it was funny, though the pregnant woman wanting a birth tub at target days before her delivery, was obviously ill prepared and completely clueless and rude…We homebirthers are not all that way 😉 Oh and get this, my midwives supply a stock tank for water births. My first homebirth in another state with other midwives was in a special inflatable birth pool, but my 2 yr old and was born in a horse/cattle water tank in my dinning room! and the big ugly stock tank is now sitting in my laundry room ready for this next arrival, practical, useful and just the right size, though a bit unconventional!


  14. Valarie says:

    I came to your site from a friend posting an article. Have read several- love this! Was definitely comic relief for me!


  15. Liz says:

    My mother is a midwife (RN and midwife who practiced midwifery for the last 35 years). In no way am I dissing hospitals and modern medicine when I say these things, as they definitely have their need and can save lives! 🙂 However, I do believe a woman’s body is designed to give birth and has it’s own “mind” on how to do it…our own mind can complicate and slow down what should be happening naturally. My first born was planned to be born at home, but due to some complications and 17 hours of hard labor exhausting me we went to the hospital where an epidural allowed me to get rest before they let the epidural wear off and I gave birth vaginally. It was the only way I got through that one. During my pregnancy with my daughter I researched hypnobirthing, participated in classes and practiced the techniques for several weeks prior to her due date. (Don’t make a judgment based of off the name.. 🙂 Do your own research). As before we planned to have the baby at home in water. We actually had an inflatable professional birthing tub, but didn’t get it set up in time. The labor was only 3 1/2 hours long from start of active labor to birth of my daughter. She really was born in the bathtub in our bathroom since the birthing tub didn’t get set up …no time! 🙂 With practicing the relaxation techniques, it was in my mind the most natural way I could have given birth. Not in a hut! 😉 But thanks to modern technology we had a bathtub with running water. Hypnobirthing taught me to remove any preexisting conceptions I had to how labor should be going and allowed my body’s systems, “energies”, muscles and ligaments to do what they needed to do with each contraction. I actually had to visualize NOT pushing the entire labor so she wouldn’t come too fast. So for me, my “Natural” birth was with my second child. At home, using the best relaxing technique for me, in a setting that I was comfortable with and only attended by my husband and mother (who was my midwife). I don’t believe it would be the best for everyone and I think it is wrong for that one “pink wadding pool” person to judge another just because their ideal is not being followed. Right to an opinion? Sure. Right to judge? Heck no. Bad karma in my book. 😉 lol I’m due again in April of 2016 with our third little babe, and hope to successfully use hypnobirthing with a water birth again! (This time I’ll just have them set up the tub early!) 🙂
    So to any momma that has the courage and voice to make happen what they need and want for when that precious child decides to make it’s grand entrance, here’s a toast to that courage and all the best hopes for your dream of your own “natural” birth.


  16. My big question about birthing pools is: How do you empty the birthing pool? I do not want that “stuff” on my carpet…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn says:

        You either use a watering trough instead of an inflatable pool, in which case you can run a garden hose from the trough drain into your yard, or you use a submersible jacuzzi pump hooked to a length of hose to shoot it out. My ex husband forgot how much force the pump would have and just dropped the other end of the hose into the kitchen sink. It shot backward and sprayed birthy water all over the kitchen until he grabbed it and pointed it out the window.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jamiamerine says:

        No. Way. I must ask? Is that how he became your X? My hubby stood in a corner with his eyes covered for our births…. 😂 he’s queasy.


      • Lynn says:

        That’s not why he became my ex specifically, but he did sleep through most of that long hard labor and then had the nerve to tell me that *he* was exhausted and he wasn’t sure if he could go through it again. Just not a good guy.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Rachel says:

    I laughed till I cried. Thank you for poking fun at all of us, on both sides. You made fun of yourself alongside the other mom. You wrote with humor. We all need a good dose of “Everyone’s different, and we’re all a little ridiculous at times too.” This blog is not a generalization; it is a singlely funny anecdote. Thank you for the laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ashley says:

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time! I wish i was there to see it go down! Super post!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Nicki says:

    I’m an old mom too, but it’s because I married late in life. I had one baby with the assistance of an epidural! I would like to try it again without drugs, but the birthing pool is not for this chic!
    Sadly, more babies is not looking like God’s plan for me (2 miscarriages and 3 unsuccessful IVF attempts).
    I will gladly be accepting babies birthed by other mothers, and I suspect that none of them will be birthed in a pool either. Children of foster care generally don’t enter the world that way.
    Thanks for your humor. You have no idea how much I needed it today!

    Liked by 1 person

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