Unlike packing a bag for the hospital and keeping it by the door for Childbirth, prepping for a Home Birth entails a whole different “packing list”! So what do you need to collect and have available? The short answer is: everything on the list from your midwife! :)
But wait, there’s more! Here are a few of our favorite tips and items for preparing for your Home Birth:
• Collect all of your items in a laundry bin or transparent storage bin so you can see everything inside. Layer it so items for your newborn are at the bottom and items specific to your birth experience are towards the top. Keeping everything in one bin and ignoring your nesting instinct to organize items into various smaller boxes will allow anyone present at your birth to access things they need without having to “think like you” to find it!
• Have more towels than you think you need. How many more? A handful or so more. Towels are gold at a Home Birth. They can be used to dry up water from a spill or the tub, they can be rolled up as pillows, they can be wet and used as comfort management, they can be used to dry you off or as blankets. We. Love. Towels.
• If you have a Doula, give them a tour of your home at your prenatal appointment. Let them see where your bathroom is, take a peek around your kitchen, and get acquainted with the layout. This way, when you want a snack or drink or need something in the linen closet, your doula can do it, no questions asked!
• Get a tarp large enough to go under your Birth Tub to protect the floor underneath. Water will inevitably spill out no matter how careful you are. (Towels for the win again!)
• String Lights! They’re not just for the holidays! We like to think that String Lights were made for Home Births and then Christmas and Hanukkah co-opted them. ;) Hang string lights around your Birth Tub or bed so you can keep the lights off and still have a warm glow around you. They give off the perfect amount of ambiance for a birth. If you have any Birth Affirmation cards, banners, decorations, or a Birth Alter, begin setting them up before your birth so your space looks and feels ready.
• Your midwife will add a bunch of important items on their list such as large bowl or sheet pan for your placenta, receiving blankets for your newborn, newborn diapers and clothes, etc. Keep that list somewhere everyone in your home can see so that everyone is accountable for making sure the supplies are collected and placed in the bin. Then everyone needs to know where the bin lives!
The most important piece of preparing for a Home Birth besides collecting your list, is mentally and emotionally readying yourself for Childbirth. Now, no one can be fully R E A D Y, in the sense that we never truly know what will happen and no one can predict the unfoldment of Childbirth. However, there’s a level of acceptance and surrender that accompanies a Home Birth. A sense of trust, faith, and confidence in your body, in your baby, in your home, and in your provider, that everything will work together in harmony to keep you and baby healthy, safe, and happy. Spending time meditating on that, or simply trying to visualize it, can be an incredibly useful practice to prepare for your Home Birth!
For more tips about Home Birth or for Childbirth Ed class that focuses on Home Birth, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!