HOME BIRTH CHECKLIST + TIPS

Image by Stephanie Cabrera

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am so happy to share a few home birth resources from my doula package with you here.

If you’re planning on birthing at home, here’s a list of what you’ll need, as well as some tips for creating the most epic home birth possible!

Are you still wondering if home birth is a good option for you and your family? Check out the links below with some helpful information explaining home birth, the risks and more. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Home birth information + safety

Home birth vs hospital birth | What are the absolute risks?

Dear Home Birth Skeptic (this article has so many amazing links and resources connected to it that you can click on explore).

Helpful information and videos from the same panel in the first video exploring home birth, hospital, environment etc

The importance of natural home births with midwife Caroline Flint

9 practical reasons for home birth by Jessica Austin

Image by Amber Danae Photography

As a doula, one of the first, most important things I do when I arrive at a birth (if time allows) is look for ways to make the physical environment more comfortable, calm and cozy for the birther and protecting the environment by helping keep distractions to a minimum. In a home birth setting, this is usually relatively easy to do. In a hospital setting, it is welcomed (creating a cozy environment) but not as easy to keep the distractions to a minimum as there are bright lights, sounds, several people coming in and out of your room and more. This disrupts the delicate hormonal process of a physiological birth which can slow the process and even stop it completely. If you do have a hospital birth, this is why it is important to stay home as long as possible in the early stages of birthing until your contractions develop a very consistent, frequent pattern (less likely to be disrupted as there’s more oxytocin flowing from the gradual build over time). But this post is about HOME BIRTH!

In the list below, I did not include a birth pool and basic home birth supplies that come with it as it is often included in your doula’s package or rented separately. I did include some of the supplies you’d need to pick up if you are having a pool that likely are not part of the package/rental. I highly recommend considering a birth pool for the wonderful benefits and pain relief it can provide.

Image by Stephanie Cabrera

Special thanks to my dear friend, Jenny Emerson who is a Registered Midwife at Terra Nova Midwifery for adding some gems to this list! Download it as a PDF (at the bottom of the page).

If you’re interested in birth support, read about my doula package here.

HOME BIRTH

  • -8-10 clean towels, old ones are fine
  • -washcloths X3
  • -plastic sheet like a shower curtain or table cloth X2-3
  • -blue pads (puppy pee pads from the $ store are great, you will also get blue pads from the midwives in your home birth kit and I bring some, as well)
  • -small fish net if planning to be in the water
  • -garbage bags
  • -a bowl for the placenta
  • -a large Ziploc bag for placenta
  • -tall water bottle/tumbler with a straw
  • -drinks with electrolytes + sugar
  • -flashlight (for your birth team to use if the room is really dark)
  • -Tylenol, Advil, Gravol, Arnica
  • -newborn hat/toque (optional)
  • -medication to have ready in your fridge (your midwife will give you this at your prenatal appointment)
  • -birth documents (your midwife will give you this at your prenatal appointment)
  • -hydrogen peroxide for stains on furniture/carpet
  • -home birth kit from the midwives given at your prenatal appointment which includes some of their supplies and things like mesh underwear, some pads and a peri bottle etc.
  • -birth altar, or anything else you’d like for ambiance and relaxation (see suggestions below)
  • -fan
  • -pre-made padsicles in your freezer or small plastic bag for making ice pack
  • -lots of snacks

TIPS

-have your address clearly lit/illuminated outside so your birth team knows where to arrive

-suggestions for ambiance + ultimate relaxation: birth altar, written birth affirmations, relaxing music, candles, essential oils, a dark + cozy space, counter pressure, massage, acupressure, TENS machine, birth ball, rebozo, fan, eye-mask

-have your birthing space be near a bathroom

-have your birth space reflect a cave or womb to promote physiologic birth, a space where there are going to be minimal distractions or disruptions. The darker (or ability to make the space dark if desired) + more undisturbed the better

-intentionally tend to and charge your birth “field” in the months leading up to the birth. Practice meditating and visualizing your ideal birth and create a potent field that you can easily enter and surrender in for when the time comes.

-if using a birth pool, your midwives will need access to 3 sides of the pool and also a flat surface like a dresser or table. They also need easy-access to outlets. If your birth space does not have many outlets, consider picking up an extension cord, and power bar with grounded outlets (3 holes for 3 prongs). 

-make your bed with the bottom layer being a clean fitted sheet, with a plastic sheet on top, then another clean fitted bed sheet on top of both layers. That way, in the birth process if/when fluid gets on your sheet, we can easily strip down your bed with a fresh sheet underneath and you can snuggle into a clean bed and get cozy with your new baby!

-the room you birth in will need to be warm. Depending on the time of year your baby is born, or how warm your house is, someone on your birth team may need to turn up the heat near the end of your labour. Your birth team will throw some towels into your dryer for after baby is born to keep you both warm and comfortable. Your body temperature will naturally regulate baby’s by being skin to skin 🙂

-turn of EO diffuser before baby is born

-ensure hallways are cleared with easy access to your birth space in case of need to transfer into hospital (with paramedics)

Images by Stephanie Cabrera

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