It’s not long before the birth of our baby makes his debut into the world. Preparing for a home birth can be overwhelming but for the most part it has really put things into perspective. For instance, having to get your home ready by doing all the cleaning and sorting and laundry seems to be the overwhelming aspect. Ordering the birth kit and receiving our water birth tub put things into perspective as I realize the birth our baby is not far off. After that, it’s mostly preparation in the home which seems to be a large task but if done at pace, isn’t so bad and well worth it.
Having the labor and birth items 6 weeks before you deliver is usually key. The cleaning and sorting part can wait till the last few weeks. If you’re anything like me though- it can’t wait. I feel so much better working on things here and there as the weeks go along. Rather than trying to scramble and get it all done in one day or week seems more nerve-racking to me than spacing it out. At this point, I’ve been able to get to all the nooks and crannies that I feel should get cleaned prior to delivering a baby in our home. Focusing on the bathroom and birthing room is a must.
In preparing for a home birth they’re items that are obviously needed to successfully make it all happen and go smoothly. A birth kit is required and contains various items you’ll need after the delivery of your precious baby. Some of the following items are found inside a birth kit- chux pads, back sheets, gauze pads, cord clamp, cord care, menstrual pads, perineal cold compresses, thermometer, sitz bath herbs, gloves, homeopathic Arnica, flex straws ie: easier for partner to assist you in drinking Labor Aid Tea, lubricating jelly, iodine, and a peribottle to name a few. There are several online shops that carry these items and some midwives are partnered with them so that all you’ll need to do is look up your midwife’s name and it’s put together for you. You can also customize your own based on the necessity of items needed. Since this is our second time there were a few things that we opted out of that we had from the prior home delivery.
Besides a birth kit, you’ll also need a few other supplies. If you’re planning to have a water birth as I am, you’ll need a birthing tub (if your midwife does not provide) and a new hose to fill the tub up with. You’ll also need a hose adaptor which connects to your sink or shower to allow water flow through the hose. There are a slew of other necessities such as tarps or drop cloths to place under the tub and over your mattress to prevent any bodily fluids from ruining your mattress. Plus, a bunch of miscellaneous things likes tissue, hand towels, large bowl (one to deliver placenta in), 2 large pots (to boil water in case water in tub cools), bath towels, and a few other things.
All of towels including a bed sheet set that will be used the day of and the baby’s first outfit(s), diapers, and receiving blankets need to sterilized. Sterilization is an easy process. After you figure out which towels you’ll use and pick out your baby’s first outfit place clean items into brown paper bags and use masking tape to close them. Make sure you label the outside of them so items can be quickly found. Place a large pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Then stick the paper bags into the oven at 200 degrees for one hour. The bags should not be opened until the day of. It’s super simple to do.
You might want to consider making a few meals ahead time and freezing them. You’ll also want to purchase foods that are energizing such as fruit, honey, and yogurt for during labor and afterward. This will help alleviate any worry about making meals or what’s available in the fridge to eat. It’s also important that you have a healthy drinks handy.
Here’s an easy recipe for Labor Aide Tea:
- 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup of honey (local & organic preferably)
- 1/2 tsp. of sea salt
- 1 calcium tablet
- filtered water to make a quart (4 cups)
You can make this ahead time and freeze. Defrost the day of.
This tea will provide energy and electrolytes. It’s also hydrating and refreshing.
For us the birthing room is our master bedroom. Needless to say, I’ve cleaned up what I can but am going to wait on washing the comforter and vacuuming up underneath the bed till last. I’ve cleaned off the ceiling fan, closet mirrors, dusted our bedroom furniture which I’m sure will need it again before the baby arrives. I live in the desert so things tend to get dusty quick. I’ve managed our laundry pile and it’s caught up for now. I’ve also sorted through our almost two year old son’s clothing. In a few days, I’ll clear off my dresser and place of the items that are needed immediately after birthsuch as gloves, cord clamp, sterilized items and most of the stuff included in the birth kit.
In addition to clearing off my dresser I plan to make a birthing CD and gather items that will set the ambiance for birth. We’re in the home stretch at this point and I feel like a ticking time bomb ready to set off at any given time. Thinking about giving birth at home may be a stressful thought for some but for us it means so much more than that. The natural process of birth and privacy a woman is afforded in her own home is definitely beneficial. So, if you have any suggestions or last minute ideas, I’m all ears. I’m due April 4th!
[This post was written by Leslie Quigley.]