The pool itself – you may like to partially inflate or set up the pool, and then finish it off once labour has commenced.
You can put soft mats underneath the pool and pillows under waterproof layers, for extra softness and padding
You may like to have other materials for waterproofing floor and furniture, such as picnic blankets, tarpaulins, drop sheets, shower curtains, etc. Note: tarpaulins and plastic drop sheets are slippery – you can tape them to the floor with masking/painters tape and then optionally cover them with a sheet or blanket (heavier works better).
A spare electric jug – handy to have 2 on the go for topping up pool or for hot towels. You may consider running these from different circuits to avoid an electrical overload. Pots of water on the stove also works well. Or:
You may choose to hire a califont for instant hot water. Note: these can only be used outside so you will need a way to run a hose to the califont outside and another to bring hot water inside to the pool. Some consider them more trouble than they are worth and others swear by them.
Clothing: bra, T-shirt, bikini top, sarong, or something you find comfortable to wear in the pool if you don’t want to be naked.
Plenty of towels. Woollen blankets are also good as they are very absorbent.
Sieve or net or similar for collecting debris from the pool
A water thermometer to check the pool heat is optimal or near to
An insulated cover for the pool will help keep in warm when not in use (emergency blankets from dollar shops work well for this)
A small mirror if you want to see crowning
A small torch if lighting is low
Do a practise run a couple of weeks ahead to check for leaks and your hot water capacity.
You may need to turn off your smoke alarms if there is a lot of steam
Check the strength of the floor where you plan to locate the pool. Ground floor rooms are more likely to be strong, as are corners, in a bay window, or above a supporting wall. A full pool with a labouring woman is no heavier than 10-12 adults. If you would have a gathering in the room, you can probably rest assured about having a birth pool in the room.
Think about how you plan to empty and fill the pool, so you aren’t worrying about it at the time.
If you are planning to take photos, consider what these will look like in relation to the colour/patterns on the pool. An alternative liner or sheet can be used to customise the pool for your labour and birth pictures.