I am a big fan of using water to relax in labor, it relaxes clients when nothing else will, can speed up the labor process, allow the birther movement with less gravity, and is a gentle emergence for the baby.
Each of our local hospitals have at least one tub available for patients to use during their labor, but prohibit water births. The hospitals ask that you specifically request a room with a pool or that can house an inflatable pool when you are on your way so that the staff can prep it for you. From that point you can labor in the pool as you would like, making sure to get out if the water is slowing labor down and to change positions every hour to keep labor going. The babies heart rate can even be monitored in the pool with wireless monitors or a doppler so you can stay in the pool. Once you begin to push, the hospital staff will ask you to leave the pool so you can birth your baby outside of the water.
If this process of leaving the pool when you are ready to push sounds disruptive to you, your pregnancy is low risk and you want a waterbirth then there are a two options, both involving midwives!
First you can have your baby at Atrium Birth Center. Check out my blog post linked here to find out more about how to get involved with them. With Atrium you would have your baby in a birth center, connected to a hospital, under the care of Nurse Midwives.
Second you can find a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and have your baby in a borrowed pool in the comfort of your own home. A CPM is educated in low risk birth, brings the same types of tools available at a birth center and is well trained to handle any complication. If you are someone who wholeheartedly trusts the labor process, your bodies, and your midwife then homebirth may be for you. Reach out to me if you would like to be connected with a CPM, I know they can be hard to find.