Are you having a home birth and wondering what you’ll need?
There are things you’ll need to buy and things your midwife will bring along with her.
Midwives bring emergency equipment along to every home birth, including oxygen, a pulse oximeter to check your baby’s oxygen saturation and heart rate, newborn resuscitation equipment, and of course a scale to weigh your baby.
There are things your midwife will ask you to purchase and prepare, including a home birth kit. A home birth kit’s contents will vary from midwife to midwife. Some will include an IV kit in case an IV needs to be started, while other midwives will just bring their own along and don’t require you to purchase it in a home birth kit.
The items listed on this page are items you will likely need or want to have at a home birth.
The #1 questions prospective parents have when planning a home birth is how do you protect your bed?
First off, not everyone delivers a baby in their bed. Some women have a waterbirth, some prefer a birthing stool, and some may not have time to get into bed and they may be standing or squatting wherever they happen to be. Because you do not know how things will play out, it’s good to be prepared for any eventuality.
When preparing your bed there are different barriers you can use. You can make up your bed and then place a shower curtain on top of it, then cover it with sheets you don’t mind tossing after the birth. This way, after you get cleaned up after birth, your midwife or doula can just roll everything up in the shower curtain and you’ll have a nice clean bed to snuggle in with your baby.
A waterproof shower curtain is also useful for covering floors, especially under and around a birthing tub.
A waterproof mattress cover will protect your mattress. It can be placed over a set of clean sheets so that after the birth you just roll up everything in the waterproof mattress cover and voila, clean sheets underneath.
You can lay a cheap set of sheets over the waterproof barrier that you won’t mind tossing after the birth.
Vinyl backed tablecloths are another way to protect your floor and bed.
You’ll need garbage bags for the cleanup afterwards. You can also prepare your pillow by putting it inside a garbage bag and then covering it with a pillow case, and do that with several pillows.
1 Rectangular Basin to catch the placenta. It’s also handy during labor in case of vomiting.
2 flashlights with extra batteries to aid the midwife if you have your lights dimmed.
A birthing tub is a favorite for homebirth moms. It can really soothe the contractions and help you relax through them, so that you dilate faster. Some women may choose to birth their babies in one for a waterbirth.
You can also rent or borrow a birth tub, so check with your midwife for more info. If you do choose to rent or borrow, you will likely have to purchase a tub liner.
A birthing ball relaxes and opens up your cervix. It may also help ease back labor and coax your baby into an optimum position for birth.
This birthing chair provides support during labor. It will support you while you labor and push your baby in an upright position, which has shown to significantly shorten labor time.
A roll of paper towels for cleanup.
6 bath towels that you don’t mind throwing out after the birth.
Disposable pads are useful during the birth as another protection underneath you. After the birth, they will protect your bed from any leaks while you sleep.
A Peri Bottle is used after birth for hygiene purposes.
Gel Ice packs can be placed on the perineum after birth. It’s actually really soothing and many women find relief by tucking them into their underpants.
Depends style disposable underpants are useful initially after birth for heavy flow.
Heavy duty overnight pads
1 digital thermometer
1 package of newborn diapers
1 Bulb Syringe to clean out baby’s nose at birth. It’s something you’ll want to keep handy for the first year or two as babies, unfortunately, cannot blow their noses, and these are pretty effective.
6 receiving blankets for baby
2-3 Newborn Hats
2 or more onesies
2 or more sleepers to dress baby in
Motrin (Ibuprofen) is important to have on hand for postpartum cramping
Don’t forget to pack a hospital bag as some home births turn into hospital births and you will want to have a bag packed just in case.
Please comment below if there is anything you found useful at your home birth that can help other parents with their planning 🙂