How to Prepare for a Homebirth
Preparing for a home birth attended by a midwife is really simple. Most items you'll have on hand around the house. Here’s my list for what you should prepare as your delivery date approaches.
- Decide where you would like to give birth in your home. Most choose their bedroom but if there is limited space you may want to consider a different room.
- Make sure there is enough space for the midwife to lay out all her equipment. Midwives come equipped with the same tools as what a third grade hospital would have on hand so there’s quite a bit of gear they will be bringing into your house.
- Set up a table close to a power outlet. They will likely need three outlets so if you only have two add an extension cord.
- Lay plastic wrap or a shower curtain over your normal sheet then top with a sheet you don’t mind getting dirty or throwing away afterwards.
- Put garbage bags over your pillows then put a pillowcase on top. This will ensure the actual pillow does not get soiled. This was not a problem for me but I would still recommend it.
- Have two bowls on hand. One for your waters to be examined and the other to hold the placenta. Afterwards, the placenta can either be discarded in the green bin or buried in the yard. Keep in mind that if it’s buried outside it will need to go at least 4 feet into the ground.
- The midwife will give you some things to take home once you reach 37 weeks. Midwives will not deliver at home unless you reach 37 weeks. Ensure you have this package in your delivery room.
- Have 4 old towels that are washed and ready to use.
- Have 2 receiving blankets ready and baby’s first outfit and diaper.
- Have a flashlight handy if they need extra lighting.
- A bucket or plastic bags if you become nauseated during labour. Check out my post for homemade ginger ice pops to help combat nausea and dehydration during delivery.
- Organic extra virgin olive oil. The midwife will use this to help soften the birth canal. Afterwards you can use this in place of diaper cream. Olive oil is safe for cloth diapers.
- Two large garbage bags.
- Large pads for postpartum care. You will be bleeding for a few weeks after delivery so ensure you have enough on hand.
- Always have a travel bag packed for you and baby in case you need to transfer to the hospital.
Ensure all fabrics that will be in contact with mom and baby are washed in baby safe detergent and go through an extra rinse cycle to ensure there is no residue.
Here’s a list of things that I prepared that are not essential for labour but can help make you more comfortable.
- Create a playlist of your favourite songs.
- Have ear buds ready in case you want to zone out and only hear your music.
- A massage ball that your husband or midwife can use to ease any tension you may have.
- Lip balm and lotion
- Diffuser with lavender essential oil to help set a calming mood.
- Heating pad – this can be used to warm the receiving blanket as delivery becomes imminent. You can also use it if you become cold after delivery.
- Homeopathic remedies for labour.
- Exercise ball to lean on while labouring.
- Ginger pops to fight nausea and keep you hydrated.
- A washcloth for your face.
- A camera charged up and ready to take those first pictures of your precious new baby.
The midwife recommended I have Gravol and Tylenol on hand if needed. I did purchase these but didn’t find I needed them. The Gravol can be used to bring on drowsiness if you are early in your labour and need to get some sleep. You will need all the rest you can get!
Delivering with midwives at home is an experience I will never forget and probably the easiest decision I made during pregnancy. Check out my post to find out why I decided to deliver at home.