It's such an exciting, and sometimes intimidating, event. The pain, the adrenaline, the uncertainty, the euphoria...and the preparation!
I had an absolutely incredible first home birth experience, and am now preparing for my second!
Last time we rented a home* to birth in, whereas this time it will take place where we live. The birth space rental included all the home birthing necessities, like a birthing tub, blankets, wash cloths, ect. This time, we are responsible for collecting it all ourselves, and it made me realize how many little details go into birthing at home!
While most midwives will provide you with an amazingly comprehensive list of needs (the items here are based off of recommendations from our midwife), I thought it might be helpful to write up an outline of the exact items we purchased and how we've prepared for our home birth experience!
You can also check out this hospital bag checklist if you're looking to have a baby at the hospital or birth center!
*The first time around my husband and I were in the middle of trying to move to a new city and didn't know exactly where we'd be living at the time of baby's birth. Although we ended up settling on a place to live two weeks before baby was due, we decided to play it safe months ahead by renting out a condo-like space owned by my midwives. It had no more or less than a home would (kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom) but we had to drive mid-labor!
Home Birth Checklist:
Birth Tub Prep:
- We are using the Passages Pool which is on the smaller side. The Birth Pool in a Box is a bit larger. You may also just need a pool liner (be sure you check with your midwife about the correct size needed)
- Shower water filter (to be able to fill the tub & welcome baby with filtered water!)
- Lead Free Garden Hose
- Lead Free Shower-to-garden-hose adapter
- Waterproof drop cloth to protect your floors
Birth Bed Prep:
- TWO waterproof mattress cover/pads
- A clean/fresh pair of organic sheets
- An older set of organic sheets (as in you don't mind if they get ruined)
- TWO lightweight but warm blankets
- Chux Pads
How to prepare the bed in early labor (directions provided by my sweet midwife, Heather):
Make the bed by first placing a waterproof pad on top of the mattress, covering it with the freshly washed new/nicer set of sheets and a warm but lightweight blanket.
Use the second waterproof pad to cover the clean bedding. Place the freshly washed "older" bottom sheet on top of the second waterproof cover. You may want to take out and unfold a few chux pads and lay them out in preparation.
Keep your second top sheet, second blanket, and set of chux pads nearby for immediate use if needed later in labor. Once baby is born and the birth space is cleared you can have birth attendants or family members remove the second waterproof cover and all of the soiled sheets, leaving a fresh and clean bed to snuggle up for post-labor recovery. <3
Non-Medical Pain Management:
- Hot water bottle for muscle relief
- Epsom salt for muscle relaxing bath during early labor
- Grounding music (this one is my favorite)
- Mama Natural Birth Affirmation Recordings
- The double-hip squeeze (heart eyes) & counter pressure
- 4 cotton receiving blankets (that may get dirty/need to be disposed of)
- Newborn organic cloth or disposable diapers
- 2 organic cotton baby sleepers
- 2 organic baby shirts/kimonos
- 2 organic baby hats
- 2 pairs of organic baby socks
Baby needs prep:
Be sure to wash any and all items that will be in contact with baby's delicate new skin (maybe even twice!). Our midwife also suggests setting the baby clothes aside in a sealed container until they are ready for use. Two of everything is suggested since that first day can be...messy!
Cleanup needs (will vary, these are just some basics):
- Chux pads
- Paper towels
- One or two large stainless steel bowls (for holding the placenta and other needs)
- Clean wash cloths
- Large clean bath towels
Other odds + ends:
- Coconuts/fresh coconut water (you can also make labor-aid!) to keep your electrolytes up during labor
- Sage to clear the space, allowing for new baby's energy
- Ingredients for a large pot of soup or chili for yourself, partner, and birth attendants (you can start cooking in slow-cooker during early labor)
- Quick-grab snacks/meals: grass fed yogurt, berries, pastured eggs, bone broth, grass fed beef sticks, etc.
- Postpartum healing goodies
NOTE: Your midwife will also likely have a list or kit of things that she needs you to purchase in order for her to deliver your baby (think gloves, gauze, alcohol prep pads, etc.) we purchased our kit through Radiant Belly.
Where to store everything:
As I started to collect the necessities, I stored them away in my closet to keep the place tidy. By 38-39 weeks (probably best around 37 weeks) I started to take everything out in the open in prep for "the big day". My midwife suggesting having everything she needs in plain view so that she could easily access it without having to ask me where it was.
We have placed all the makings of our bed, baby blankets, and clothing into the baby's bassinet in our room. The shower filter and hose are connected to the shower faucet, and the tub is in the corner, ready to be inflated! We also have the gloves, towels, all other checklist items out and organized. EEEEKKKK I'm so excited!
To being as prepared as possible (whatever that means ;] ),