Vaginal Birth

Home Birth – What do you need?

You might think that birthing at home might mean transforming your front room into a labour suite… but it really is much more straight forward than that!

Emiliana Hall

You might think that birthing at home might mean transforming your front room into a labour suite… but it really is much more straight forward than that! It does require some thought and preparation, but keeping it as your homely environment is what it is really all about.

So what things could be on your list of things to prepare?

The essentials:

  • Your maternity notes and birth preference sheets

  • Plastic sheets (cheap decorators sheets from a DIY shop are great) to protect floors, sofas and beds, so you can move around freely without worrying

  • Soft covers like old sheets or towels to go on top of the sheets

  • If using a pool, a few towels for you and a few smaller towels for baby

  • Incontinence sheets to place wherever you might sit or lie during or after the birth (easily disposable)

  • Bin bags for rubbish and any washing

  • A tub or bucket for if you need to be sick- common during labour

  • Tea, biscuits and fruit for the midwives

  • A packed hospital bag, for if you need to transfer to hospital at any point.

Comfort measures:

  • Birth pools are the most common at-home comfort measure, but you can use your bath or shower too. I recommend Birth Pool In a Box.

  • Hot-water bottle for your back or tummy during early labour

  • TENS machine (can be hired from the birth pool company or bought from Amazon or Boots)

  • Affirmation cards to help you focus your mind

  • Music- calming or uplifting, anything goes! Familiar is key

  • Candles, low lighting, fairy lights

  • Snacks and hydrating drinks (See this Instagram post for our labour aid!)

  • Birth ball (a regular exercise ball) to help you to keep upright, forward and open

  • Lavender oil (or clary sage) either diffused through an electric diffuser or candle burner, as a room or pillow spray

  • Eye mask to help you to get some rest if you are labouring in the day

For after the birth:

  • Large sanitary towels/maternity pads

  • Big black knickers- the bigger the better! Supermarket multipacks are my recommendation

  • Nappies

  • A vest and baby-gro which have been warmed on a radiator

  • Plenty of frozen meals ready to pop in the oven for the following 2 weeks

You can also read our guide on Instagram for all things home birth here.

Are you planning a home birth? Feel free to add any more suggestions in the comments box or ask questions!

Finally, download our new app My Mindful Midwife to support you on your pregnancy and birth journey! It includes a handy oxytocin friendly wave (contraction) timer to help you see when to call your midwife. Available on the App Store and Google Play.

Up next

10 things that may surprise you about birthing in hospital

Often, hospital labour wards are seen as somewhere where there isn’t much autonomy available to the parents. Home births or birth centres are where you can do all of the lovely things right? Wrong!

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