Thursday, January 28, 2010

What do you need for a homebirth??

A lot of the things are on a list my midwife gave me but some of them are from the homebirth board. There is an amazing list of things that people had wished they'd known before they had their homebirth. Some of the things are like, "I wish I would have known that I wouldn't want so many people around during labor," "I wish I would have known I would want to drink lots of juice- all we had in the fridge was water!" and things like that.

So, a few things on the list from the midwife:
  • New water potable hose with correct fittings (for filling up the birth tub)
  • Tarp/ plastic to go under the birth pool
  • Old bathroom mats/ towels to go around the pool and soak up the water that splashes out
  • Plastic sheet/ cover for bed mattress (in case water breaks in bed or I end up wanting to labor/ give birth there)
  • Several sets of cheap sheets for our bed (so we don't care if they get ruined)
  • Turn the water heater up as soon as labor starts so there is plenty of hot water for the tub.
  • Emergency numbers, fastest route to the hospital and a full tank of gas in case of a transfer.
  • Extra towels and a robe or two
  • 10-12 washcloths for cold/ hot compresses
  • Ginger- peeled, sliced and kept in freezer until the birth (for hot compresses)
  • A crockpot (to keep the compress mixture warm)
  • Cold pressed oil for massage
  • Lots of ice and frozen juice chips in the freezer
  • Witch hazel
  • Hydrogen peroxide (gets out blood)
  • Bendy straws to make drinking water/ juice/ whatever easier
  • Easily digestible snacks for me; healthy, quick snacks for the midwives/ Dave
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
Supplies from the thread on
  • A hospital bag packed in case we need to transfer with everything for me, Dave and baby for a hospital stay
  • Coconut water- works better than Gatorade as an electrolyte replacer and is natural (no added sugars), it can be ordered online but a local grocery store here has it in the natural foods section.
  • A yoga ball (already have one!)
  • Plastic covers for pillows (some people said they just used garbage bags under their pillow cases.
  • Soup or casserole that can go in the oven or on the stove just after the birth for something healthy and filling for everyone to eat.
  • Orange juice for after the birth (everyone agreed that it was just what they wanted to drink)
  • Goldenseal powder for the umbilical cord stump
  • Small waterproof mattress pad to protect mattress after the birth is over
Advice from the thread on

  • Separate birth supplies into two tubs: One for during bith and one for after.
  • Cover the clocks so you don't know how long you've been laboring
  • If you start labor at night, try to sleep as long as you can so you are rested when labor really kicks in.
  • Turn your cell phones on silent but make sure they are charged and close by in case of emergency.
  • Put a note on the door that you are not to be disturbed for any reason!
  • Warn the neighbors (we live in a duplex so we really need to do this) that there may be lots of noise but that we are all okay!
  • Write out a list of things to do if labor isn't progressing well: Massage, different positions to try, etc.
  • Make sure that your husband knows that he MUST enforce anything you say in labor- apparently, it's hard to say things while in the throes of labor so anything that is said must be taken seriously the first time!
  • Put an air mattress in the area you plan on birthing (this for us is upstairs in our living/ dining area). They are a soft place to labor, easier to clean up than a mattress, and can be tossed out if gets too messy.
  • Lots of extra batteries for your camera and an extra memory card (ours will hold over 2000 pictures so I'm not too worried about having an extra one)
  • Set visiting hours for after the birth so you don't get worn out and don't be afraid to kick people out if they stay too long!
  • Require that visitors help out by doing dishes, laundry or folding clothes.
  • Keep the fridge stocked since you never know when you will go into labor!
  • Energy bars and snacks with protein and fats- helps with milk production.
  • Remember to turn the hot water heater back down before doing laundry on hot or running the dishwasher as the super hot water can ruin the machines!

So, we have all the supplies now. The pool is partially blown up and leaning against our dining room wall. We have the correct attachment for our kitchen sink attached (which was a pain to find, by the way!) Everything we'll need right away- the tarp for the floor, the hose, liner for the pool and some towels are in a container. The rest of the birth supplies are in another tote underneath that one.

We've been trying to stay stocked with food. We need to run to the store tonight because we're getting close to running out of some things. We are SO looking forward to this little guy deciding it's time to come! He and I are both still doing well. I think he just likes it in there!

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