Mellow Mummy: The Hydrant - Labour and Breastfeeding Hydration Aid : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 6 May 2012

The Hydrant - Labour and Breastfeeding Hydration Aid

During labour, Mr. B was very good at helping to ensure that I stayed fed and watered. It is an important lesson that we both learned the first time around - you need to stay hydrated and packed full of energy to make it through childbirth. In a birthing pool, hydration is particularly important because the warmth of the water causes you to dehydrate easily.. unfortunately when you are on all fours, struggling to raise your own head above water, it is also very difficult to drink from a cup or a bottle, even with a straw, because it is hard to position your drink anywhere other than under water! Thankfully, for Holly's birth we were well prepared with The Hydrant - a hydration aid we had been sent to review.

The Hydrant is a very simple concept. It is a drinking aid for people with limited mobility who can't necessarily reach for or lift a bottle. The bottle holds a litre of water (or, during labour, perhaps an isotonic drink) and has a clever shaped cap that acts as a handle or a clip. The bottle comes with a long flexible tube which acts as a siphon - you place one end of the tube in the bottle and suck from the other end. The tube is more than a long bendy straw because it has a clever bite-valve on the end which means that, when the bottle is well positioned slightly raised above you (like on the back of a chair or on the edge of a birthing pool) then all you need to do to get the drink is to gently bite the tube... you don't even need to suck!

Mr. B. made sure that I was sipping from the Hydrant regularly and occasionally disappeared to fill it up. It was the perfect solution for in the pool because he could just direct the tube towards me and even when I was mid-contraction I could get water with almost no effort.

the hydrant labour and breastfeeding drinking aid

Since Holly was born on Tuesday I have struggled to keep up my fluids to meet the demand on my own body - I just can't seem to drink enough water!!! On Thursday I suffered 3 migraine headaches in one day (I usually get about 1 per year) and the midwife suggested it could be to do with dehydration. Mr. B has become more strict on me, making sure he never sees me without a full pint of water next to me, especially when I am feeding Holly. Last night I lifted out the Hydrant again and attached it to the back of the chair in the nursery so that late at night, I had an on-demand water supply that didn't require me to use my hands (it also meant Mr. B didn't need to keep rushing downstairs to fill up my pint glass!). It worked really well. Having the bottle clipped just higher than my shoulders meant that the tube was in an ideal position.

The Hydrant can also be converted into a traditional drinking bottle with an alternative cap. There is also a clip which allows you to attach the tube to your clothing so that you don't have to keep reaching for it; in fact, you could attach the bottle to your belt and drink on the move or even clip it to your buggy or pram when out and about.

Mr only negative on the Hydrant so far is that because it was brand new, and I had only rinsed water through the tube a couple of times before I used it, the tube leaves a taste on the air and the first water in the tube. Mr. B is convinced that the whole bottle and tube taints the taste of the water but then it's not him drinking it - I think it tastes just fine after the first few sips through the tube.

The Hydrant can be bought from their own online shop, or from the NCT Shop, Boots, ASDA and Amazon for around £12 - £15.

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