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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2008, 13:09 GMT
Birthing pool for city hospital
Pregnant woman
Women will be given the option of using the birthing pool
Expectant mothers in the Forth Valley will soon have the option of giving birth in a pool.

NHS Forth Valley said the new facility would be installed in Stirling Royal Infirmary in the Spring.

Until now pregnant women in the area wishing to use a birthing pool during labour have had to hire their own.

The health authority said the pool, which cost 8,000 and is said to ease the labour process, was being introduced to give woman more choice.

Research into the use of birthing pools during labour have found they can reduce pain for some women.

'Labour pain'

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said six woman in the area had hired birthing pools in the last year for use during labour.

She added: "Water is a natural form of pain relief due to its soothing effects.

"This leads to an increase in the body's endorphin production and can help reduce the need for pain relieving drugs.

"We also know that the more relaxed, secure and in control woman feel and the more able they are to move about freely can reduce the intensity of labour pain and may result in a shorter labour; water encourages normal and natural labour."

The pool, which is 180cm long and 110cm wide, is 59cm deep.

Student midwives across the area also took part in a recent campaign to raise 2,000 to buy an ultrasound and other accessories for the pool.

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