Tips For Preparing For A Home Birth

A home birth can be less stressful on both mom and child, since they will be able to relax and recover in the comfort of home. Getting organized and prepared beforehand is the key to a successful home birth. The following tips can help you get ready for your new bundle of joy.

Tip #1: Gather the Basic Supplies

Every birth requires some basic supplies. You may need to purchase these yourself or your midwife may provide them as a kit, so make sure to ask well in advance. These supplies include the following:

  • Absorbent waterproof bed pads
  • Sterile gloves
  • An umbilical cord clamp
  • Bulb syringe
  • Lubricating jelly
  • Peri bottle
  • Postpartum pads
  • Gauze pads

There may also be other items on the list specific to your birth or that your midwife recommends. Begin assembling these supplies in a single container in the room where you plan to give birth so that everything is ready and easy to find when it is needed.

Tip #2: Prepare for the Birthing Method

Some women that opt for home birth also decide to do an underwater birth in a birthing tub. Many midwives offer birthing tubs to rent, or you can purchase your own. The tub will be brought to your home prior to the birth. You will want to do a practice run of filling the tub. It is best to do this outdoors so you can first look for leaks without making a mess. A practice run ensures that any leaks are found and fixed before the big day.

If you are opting for a bed birth, make sure the bed has a waterproof pad over the mattress in the weeks leading up to delivery. Also, only make the bed with sheets that you don't mind getting stained. Keep the absorbent pads nearby so they are ready to lay on the bed once delivery begins.

Tip #3: Have a Hospital Bag Ready

While many home births occur without incident, it is best to be prepared. As you enter your eighth month, prepare a hospital bag and keep it near the door. It should contain a robe, slippers, pajamas, changes of clothing, back up pairs of prescription eyewear, reading material, clean underwear and personal care items. This way you are prepared if your midwife recommends that the birth be completed under the care of medical doctor, which sometimes occurs if complications are suspected.