One of my very favorite things to talk about. Honestly, I love talking with people about all things motherhood, birth, & baby related.. But homebirth holds a very special place in my heart.
I’ve had the opportunity to bring my two babies into the world at home and am expecting my third birth at home at the end of March/beginning of April, depending when this little love decides to grace us with his/her presence!
I hadn’t considered the thought of homebirth until I was attending Chiropractic school and was introduced to the idea in a course I took there. We watched a film called, The Business of Being Born that totally rocked my world! I hadn’t even considered other possibilities outside of your traditional hospital birth. Let me start by saying, HOMEBIRTH MAY NOT BE FOR EVERYONE. I encourage every mama to feel 100% confident and comfortable with where she births her baby. But, for myself, it was what aligned best with what I desired out of my pregnancy, labor, & postpartum.
I desired a personal relationship with my midwife, rooted in trust. I mean, if I was going to let a stranger all up in my lady bits, I wanted to feel 100% at ease with them!
I desired a labor process that was unhurried, left to go into labor when my body and baby were ready, not restricted by a timeline or a clock.
I desired a dim lit, peaceful ambiance, free of spectators or interruptions as baby and I flowed through the stages of birth.
I desired encouragement to listen to the cues of my body, allowing the innate knowledge of my womb to move baby down and out through breath and without coached pushing.
I desired to snuggle my new baby skin to skin straight from the womb, for as long as we saw fit before proceeding with cutting the cord, weighing, measuring, etc.
I desired postpartum care that was as holistically mama focused, as it was baby focused.
For all of these reasons and more, I quickly came to the conclusion that there was no better choice for me than to find a Midwife I trusted and bring my babies Earth-side in the comfort and peace of my own home.
Some typical questions I get about homebirth are..
Isn’t it messy?
Not really! As long as you are prepared with how you plan to deliver & take care of the placenta, as well as tend to mama’s healing body postpartum.. I have had one birth on the floor next to the birthing pool & one water birth, both of which I don’t recall being “messy”.
Aren’t you scared something could go wrong?
Short answer.. NO. We are made to grow & birth tiny humans! There is nothing more physiologically “normal” than to let the natural process that is birth proceed as uninterrupted and naturally as possible!
Do you need a lot of supplies?
Not particularly. Even with the purchasing of all of my supplies, prenatal/birth/postpartum care from my Midwife, and additional items I’ve chosen to buy for labor or postpartum, I only spend a small fraction of what it would cost to have a baby in the hospital.
Seems like a lot of work to set up and clean up for..?
Your Midwife does all of the cleanup! AND she will make you food after all your hard work. AND she will probably make you postpartum padsicles if you didn’t already do that in your prep-work leading up to baby. I honestly don’t even remember noticing anyone cleaning up after either of my births, because I was too busy snuggling my sweet new baby to care!
So, sure.. Having your babies at home does take a little extra preparation in the weeks before baby is due to arrive, but don’t let the list below scare you! I tried to make this list as all inclusive as I could. But honestly babies can be born anywhere, anytime, with a whole lot less!
My birth kit is divided into two sections.. A Home Birth SUPPLIES LIST & a Home Birth PREP LIST.
The HOME BIRTH SUPPLIES LIST covers all of the necessary supplies that my Midwife requires. I order my custom birth kit from www.inhishands.com.
Depending on the birth and recovery, not everything in the kit will be used, so I save whatever materials I have leftover until it’s baby time again.
The HOME BIRTH PREP LIST covers what items I should gather around the house by 36 weeks, so I’ll be prepared for whenever baby decides to arrive. Many of the Prep List items are for me, whereas the Supplies List items are for my Midwife during or after labor.
Home Birth Prep List
General Items To Gather Around the house:
- Large plastic tote with lid (to store birth supplies)
- Large plastic sheet or shower curtain for bed protection
- 2 sets of clean bed linens (make bed with one set, put on plastic sheet or shower curtain, then make bed a second time over top)
- Older blankets to use on bed if concerned about getting your nice comforter dirty
- Order birth kit from Inhishands.com
- Ice packs or plenty of fresh ice in freezer
- 4-6 freshly washed, old bath towels
- 6-8 freshly washed, old receiving blankets
Optional Items to set the mood:
- Music playlist
- Essential oils/diffuser
- Christmas lights to add soft light to room
- Birth Mantra/Inspirational Support Cards
- Sanitary pads of various sizes
- 1 or more packs of postpartum pads
- 1 or more packs of large or overnight size pads
- reusable cotton/bamboo pads for when lochia becomes lighter
- reusable cotton/bamboo panty liners
- comfy non-constricting undies! (I’ve enjoyed sporting these after each of my births)
- AfterEase Tincture (for after birth cramps as your uterus shrinks back down to size)
- Clothes to wear during birth, if desired (examples.. loose, lightweight, oversized shirt with button front.. lightweight robe.. sports bra or bralette.. panties or shorts.. nothing! whatever makes you feel comfortable!)
- Nursing nightgown/robe to change into after birth (one that you can easily open to nurse/kangaroo care/skin to skin)
- Nursing pads of various thickness (I love bamboobies day nursing pads because you cannot see the outline of them through clothing! I use the nighttime bamboobies or off brand bamboo nursing pads at nighttime when I need more “leak coverage”)
- Nipple Butter (I used this A TON when I had Finley because we had some struggles with nursing, specifically on the right side, for the first couple weeks.. Nipple Butter helped to keep me from getting cracks or too sore until we got the hang of nursing. With Bear it wasn’t really necessary because he nursed well from the get go and I also nursed Finley until 3 months before I had Bear so my body wasn’t completely fresh to the nursing game at the point and had an easier time adapting.. BUT I still bought more for each new baby because it can be used for other things if not necessary for keeping your nips happy and healthy! 🙂
- Food & Drink for during (if desired) and after labor
- FOODS- Mild taste and smell options.. yogurt, toast, cereal, energy bars, fruit for quick energy, spoonful of honey, frozen popsicles, juice, nourishing soups..
- DRINKS- homemade labor aid, coconut water, juice, water, etc..
- Special meal planned for immediately afterward (birthday cake for baby, special chocolates.. etc.)
- Hot &/or cold packs
- Extra blankets for mama and baby that you wouldn’t mind possibly getting dirty
- Waterbottle with straw
- Birth ball/exercise ball
- Birth tub & birth tub liner, if desire a water birth
- Massage Oil
- AfterEase Tincture
- Postpartum Padsicles (homemade or purchased)
- Herbal Sitz Bath
- Herbal Sitz Spray
- Peri bottle’s in each bathroom filled with herbal bath to spray whenever you go to the rest room (DO NOT WIPE WITH TOILET PAPER WHEN YOU PEE)
- Baby diapers
- Baby sleepers
- Peri bottle filled with olive oil (to use on baby’s bottom to keep meconium from sticking)
- Extra large black trash bags
- 2 large boxes or laundry baskets (one for trash & one for dirty laundry)
- 3- 1 gallon sized freezer ziplock bags for placenta disposal/soiled instruments
- Hydrogen peroxide- to dissolve blood on linens if necessary
- Bleach to clean sump pump post birth
- Laundry detergent of choice for cleaning dirty linens
Water Birth Supplies:
- Sticky roll of plastic carpet protector OR tape down cheap shower curtains under birth tub, to the bathroom, or anywhere else you may plan to labor
- Cheap or old garden hose to fill and drain birth tub (you will not be able to reuse the hose for future births, but could use for gardening if you keep it)
- Faucet adaptor for filling from shower head or sink (MAKE SURE TO TEST IT OUT WEEKS PRIOR TO WHEN YOU ARE DUE.. the last thing you want is to be in labor and not able to hook your hose up to fill your tub!)
- Large pots of water on the stove (we live in an apartment and our water heater ran out WAY before the birth pool got filled.. to keep from having to risk another chilly water birth, we will have pots of water on the stove and ready to go in the few weeks leading up to baby’s birth)
- MIDWIFE will have sump pump to drain tub
Home Birth Supplies List
I do not buy everything on this list.. I only buy items needed to restock what I used in my previous home births.. I also add or subtract items I do/don’t find necessary.. (Example- I add herbal bath & After-Ease Tincture, but don’t get mesh undies or disposable postpartum underwear, etc.)
- 1 bedpan (for placenta)
- 5 alcohol prep pads
- 1 emisis basin
- 2 plastic backed paper sheets 40 x 90 (for postpartum)
- 3 mesh underwear
- WishGarden Cord Care
- Q-tips for applying Cord Care
- 20 deluxe 23×36 blue underpads
- 1 plastic cord clamp
- 1 + peri bottle(s) (I always have 3, 2 for sitz bath spray to use after using the restroom and 1 filled with olive oil for baby’s bottom)
- 1 bulb syringe – 2oz size in sterile pack
- 1 deluxe kleenprint footprinter
- 2 sterilization pouches
- 1 heel warmer
- 1 povidone scrub brush
- 1 large latex-free vinyl sterile glove pair
- 1 cord bander
- 4 medium latex-free vinyl sterile glove pair
- 2 peri cold packs
- 1 tender foot lancet for newborn screening test
- 12 gauze sponge 4×4 sterile
- 1 decorative birth certificate
- 2 disposable postpartum underwear
- 1 fish net for light debris removal in waterbirth pool
- 1 disposable pool liner for birth tub
- 1 herbal afterbirth bath- 12 ounces
- AfterEase Tincture