What do I need for a homebirth?

Planning a homebirth doesn’t need to be complicated. Here is a run down of all the essentials I had to hand in a large plastic box ready for labour.

I had 2 big towels for me and 2 small towels for the baby, clearly labelled as first time my other half got them the wrong way round! For baby you need nappy, vest, sleepsuit and the obligatory hat. We didn’t dress my youngest until after the midwife had gone as we were just doing skin to skin. You might want to think about a homemade cord tie as the plastic clips midwives bring just look so uncomfortable. For you: clean nightie/pyjamas with access for boobs/skin to skin, big pants, socks, maternity pads, dressing gown, favourite food & drink. We also had those disposable bed mats which are handy to sit on/give birth on. Other things I had were relaxing music, candles, matches and frankincense/patchouli essential oils and oil burner. If you are planning to encapsulate your placenta you will need a clean container to put it in.

If you a planning to use a pool for labour or birth you may need some extra towels in case you are in and out of the pool a lot. You will also need a water thermometer and a sieve! Plastic sheeting/water proof shower curtains can be handy for protecting carpets and sofas.

Here are some other suggestions from our group members:

I burned clary sage with lavender but you have to use it with caution I think as it can make contractions strong. I had old pillows/quilt/bedding and towels which I collected from family/friends who were throwing them out, it was useful as I had my 3rd stage out of the water. Arnica tablets. Glucose tablets and coconut water got me through, straws are great to use too. I had lots of stuff ready (PJs, clothes for baby) but didn’t explain it to my husband before hand – wish I’d told him where stuff was, or labelled it for the midwife as I couldn’t think straight! Also the first thing I wanted afterwards was Gaviscon. In fact it was the only messy bit of the birth as I knocked the bottle over!

Birthing ball (gym ball), tennis ball (for lower back massage), tens machine, aromatherapy massage oil, rescue remedy, LOTS of favourite snacks!!!! A project to do in early labour for distraction – I had planned to bake. A comedy DVD – again for distraction in early labour.