A Sheffield mum who has felt first-hand the labour boosting power of water, is backing a major hospital birth pool appeal as she prepares to have her third child.

Emma Powell, aged 28, has already given birth to two children at the city's Jessop Wing- including son Ethan who was born in the hospital’s birth pool five years ago. 

Emma, who is eight months pregnant, says water played a big role in helping her to have a natural labour with limited need for pain relief and is hoping to use the pool with her third child, at the end of February. 

To help give other mums-to-be more opportunity of a water birth, she is supporting Sheffield Hospitals Charity’s £300,000 appeal, which will fund the development of three new cutting edge birthing pool rooms for the city’s renowned Jessop Wing.

She said: “Having a pool birth was in my birthing plan for both of my previous pregnancies, and is for my upcoming one. From the minute I found out about water births from attending a local antenatal class, I set my heart on it. 

“I’ve always enjoyed baths and always found comfort from warmth so I knew this would be the most beneficial to me. I didn’t birth my first child, Molly (8) in the pool, but spent much of my labour in the water, which helped to manage my pain. 

“During Ethan’s birth, I used the pool as soon as I could. I accessed the pool at 5cm dilated, around 7.30am. Just two hours later, at 9:36am little Ethan entered the world at a bonny 8lb 9.5oz. 

“Emotionally the pool gave me a sense of security and dignity. I found the warm water helped keep me calm and soothed out the pain. The water took the weight of my body easing pressure from joints and muscles.

“Also, because I was under water I felt that I wasn’t too exposed, which helped me as I had grown self-conscious of my weight gain – which is normal of course. The whole water birth experience was that good for me that I now intend of having my third baby, who we are calling Felicity, at the end of February.  

“All mums to be, no matter what number baby will feel somewhat nervous or worried, which are all normal feelings. I would highly recommend the birthing pool to all mums to be. I cannot express enough just how much the water can benefit you and your baby.” 

Sheffield Hospitals Charity has kicked started the £300,000 appeal in response to a growing number of mums-to-be who are choosing water as their primary pain relief when giving birth.

Instigated in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the appeal aims to fund the development of three new cutting edge birthing pool rooms, made complete with fully accessible ergonomic pools, sympathetic décor and dimmable LED lighting to help give parents the most relaxing experience possible.

The appeal will help to  enhance the Jessop Wing, by supporting areas that are beyond the scope of existing NHS funding.

To donate to the Jessop Wing Appeal, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/jessopsappeal or Text ‘Jessops1’ to 70660 to donate £3. To find out more about fundraising for the appeal, please email [email protected] or phone 0114 226 7351.