So you’ve decided to have a homebirth, or maybe you are just curious as to what is needed to give birth at home. There are numerous things that you will be advised to get for a homebirth, but you may not use all of them. Your midwife will probably give you a list of things she requires you to have aside from what she will bring in her birth bag, and this can differ between midwives. Many of these things are right at home, all you have to do is get them all together in a box or basket and put them somewhere that they will be handy when the time comes. Here, I broke into three categories what can be used at a home birth:
RECOMMENDED DURING LABOR:
*Sheet set – to labor and/or deliver on
*Bedcovering such as a painters plastic drop cloth to protect mattress (under sheets)
*Crock pot for keeping compresses warm.
*4-6 Wash cloths for a variety of purposes, including compresses
*Chux pads – These pads also protect surfaces from staining and act like diapers, soaking up moisture.
Things to use for pain relief – Heating pads, exercise/birth ball, *essential oils, ~a sound machine.
A list, for birth partner, of people to call to announce labor, invite over, or announce the birth to.
~Flashlight – on-hand for the midwife
*~Light snacks – fruits, vegetables, nuts, sandwich fixings, bagels, yogurt, etc.
*~Drinks for you – I sucked down Vitamin Water during my second labor
~Camera and/or video camera
FOR AFTER LABOR:
*~Clean clothes for baby, including diapers and hats, in a bag to keep dust-free
*~Cookie sheet or similar pan for putting the placenta on (to be examined by the midwife)
*~Herbal baths – these are heaven for an after-bath with baby, and promote healing as well. I made sure I had enough for a full week of baths as well as bottom-cleaning with peri bottle.
*~Sheet set – a clean set for after delivery. You can put this right under the mattress protector.
*Sanitary pads for you
Digital thermometer (for mom and baby)
~1 Gallon size Ziploc plastic bag to store placenta in freezer or to dispose of
*~1 Large bottle of hydrogen peroxide to use for clean-up
*~Arnica pellets – to help the uterus shrink down to normal size and control bleeding
Nose bulb – for baby in case there is fluid in the nose. At the hospital they always use
these, but it’s not always necessary (my daughter didn’t need suction at all)
Gauze 4X4s soaked in herbal bath and then frozen individually for perineum care
*~Peri bottle – for cleaning your bottom over the toilet
Calendula, *~goldenseal, or whatever you plan to use for cord care.
YOU MAY ALSO CONSIDER:
Having a hospital bag ready just in case an emergency does arise.
Having pediatrician’s or family physician’s phone number on hand for consultation.
*~Clothes for mother to wear following birth – I found a nice nursing robe set so that I was decent for the inevitable visitors.
~Large meal at the ready for afterward. We ordered out, and got enough to feed the midwives and family.
~Incontinence underwear – For postpartum bleeding (easier and better for heavy postpartum flow than regular pads).
~X-large bath towels for you after your herbal bath.
*Buying a “donut” for your bottom, in case it is sore
The items with a * next to them are those that I used during my first homebirth. The items with a ~ next to them are those that I used during my second homebirth-waterbirth. You can see how little is needed during a waterbirth! Also, keep in mind that many people who have accidental homebirths end up using next to nothing and still have successful births, so almost none of this is truly needed. The most important homebirth supply you can have is a helpful partner, and the rest is an added bonus!
For more about Homebirth, see also: