Preparing for a home birth: What do I need?

Once I’d finally decided that I wanted to give birth to my second baby at home, I found myself frantically Googling ‘What do I need for a home birth?’. I mean, there are hundreds of lists on the Internet about what to pack in your hospital bags, surely I’d need to prepare for giving birth at home too? Well, yes and no. It turns out you need very little to give birth at home – some waterproof sheets and a few large towels being the bare minimum. (Your midwifery team will supply all the medical bits.)

I soon realised that it wasn’t about what I needed but what I wanted. A home birth is an opportunity to create your ideal ‘birth environment’ so instead of asking yourself “what do I need for a home birth?”, ask yourself “what do I want for my home birth?”

Want a water birth? Then you’ll need to hire/buy a pool.

Want mood lighting? Get yourself some candles!

Want to push your baby out whilst listening to Micheal Bublé crooning? Then kidnap Michael Bublé… or put together a playlist of your favourite Bublé tracks. (In your condition, I’d suggest going for the latter option!)

You get my point, right?

In the end, I did put together a ‘home birth kit’ – things I thought I’d want/need when it came to the big day so I thought I’d share that list of items on my blog – for anybody else out there who is also frantically Googling ‘What do I need for a home birth?”

PS. For reference, I’ve asterisked the items that I actually did end up using during my home birth.

My Home birth Kit:

Birth plan (you can read mine here)*

Hand sanitiser

Hair bands*

A large black oversized t-shirt and a black button-down nightie*

Comfy slipper socks

Vaseline (Gas and Air can dry your lips out)

Things requested by the midwives: 

My maternity notes*

A torch

Plenty of tea/coffee*

Snacks*

Pain relief:

Paracetamol

A TENS machine – I hired this one for 7 weeks.*

Hot water bottle

A microwavable heat pack (lavender scented)

A packet of Kool’n’Soothe Migraine Sheets

Wooden massage tool

x2 flannels (to use as hot/cold compresses)*

Drinks and snacks for myself and birthing partner:

x2 Isotonic sports drinks (avoid the fizzy ones!)*

Glucose tablets

Bottles of water*

A selection of cereal bars and biscuits – we also have some white bread in the freezer for toast.

For the mess: 

Sick bags

x2 packets of disposable bed mats (I picked these up in the Pound Shop)*

x4 large waterproof mats (for using on the floor/sofas etc.)*

x1 roll of strong multi-purpose tape (for sticking the mats to the floor so they don’t stick to me or move around!)*

3 Large bath sheets*

Maternity pads*

Maternity knickers*

Creating my ‘birth atmosphere’: 

Our Sonos speaker*

Phone with ‘Birth Playlist’ on it*

An Aroma diffuser and lavender essential oil

A large fleecy blanket (to put on top of the waterproof mats and make the floor more comfortable)

For my upright birth: 

My birth ball

My CUB Support*

(You can read about the benefits of having an upright birth here.)

For baby (I have these items packed away in a separate bag so that I could take them with me to the hospital in case of transfer): 

Umbilical cord tie*

Knitted hats*

Sleepsuits and vests*

Scratch mits*

Wishing you the very best of luck with your home birth! :)

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Comments

  1. Avatar January 2, 2017 / 7:27 am

    Ah, fab, a few things I hadn’t thought of here, like taping the mats to the floor, seems so obvious when you say it but I hadn’t thought about it! Thanks for writing this Jenna, I’ve got so much to organise now xx

    • Jenna January 3, 2017 / 8:56 am

      I’m glad you found this list helpful, Jess. I think it is the little things (the tape etc.) that just makes things a little easier but obviously not essential. :) Not long now – eeek! xx

    • Jenna January 24, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks, Lyndsey. I think a lot of ladies forget that it’s an option (in most cases). :) x

  2. Avatar January 24, 2017 / 10:38 am

    Great list! Some fantastic tips for other women wanting a home birth.

    • Jenna January 24, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      Thanks Katy – hopefully it’ll help some other ladies out. x

  3. Avatar January 24, 2017 / 10:43 am

    This is so interesting! My husband and I are actually talking about whether a home birth might be for us for our second!! This list may come in handy!

    • Jenna January 24, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      Aw – yay for considering a home birth for your next baby. How exciting! Well, you know where to come if you do decide to. ;) x

    • Jenna January 24, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      Ohh you should definitely go for it. :) x

  4. Avatar January 24, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    My wife had an emergency section on our 1st and so we decided against home birth for number 2. If you were though this list is a really good idea. I’m sure plenty of people will find so useful.

    • Jenna January 24, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      Thank you – I hope it will be useful to others. :) x

    • Jenna January 24, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      It’s such an amazing experience, isn’t it? :)

  5. Avatar January 25, 2017 / 9:14 am

    Wow, that’s one hell of a list! And I thought the hospital bag list was long! This is brilliant for anyone having a home birth for the first time!

    • Jenna January 25, 2017 / 9:18 am

      Haha, it is a rather extensive list and most of it I didn’t use. Hopefully it will help others who are planning a home birth though. x

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