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Its getting closer... What do I need for my homebirth?

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#1 CountryBumpkin

Posted 05 June 2011 - 12:04 PM

My midwife sent me a list, i'll post it here as its been helpful - but i just want to know was there anything thats not on my list that you found helpful with your HB? Thank you!

There are lots of things that women may want to have ready such as CDs/MP3 player (with headphones, incase you want to block everything out!), candles and oil burners, massage oils, nice foods, drinks, cool sprays etc, but for the actual birth from a practical point these are the things I would like to see put together in one place.
So, in the birth box:
• I suggest a few pieces of plastic sheet the size of a fireside rug. One can be for birthing on and another to put on sofa or bed for afterwards when blood loss may still be heavy. Disposable tablecloths are useful for this.
• If having a waterbirth, as many old towels as possible as women are often in and out. Towels then get wet and we constantly need dry ones. I reassure them they do not have to be new towels, try and borrow or use old ones. They wash perfectly well after, even if they get blood stained but best not to use pastel colours or they will look pretty dull after the wash. Put the birthpool on top of a tarp or a painters plastic drop sheet.
• A small plastic sieve for removing debris from the pool.
• Rubbish sacks/bin liners - one for dirty linen and one for rubbish and a few plastic supermarket bags.
• Container for placenta - I always suggest an old 1 litre ice cream box and this is especially good if you are keeping your placenta.
• A bucket - I use a bucket with some water in for all sorts! Vomiting is very common in labour and so too is passing faeces. Both can be quickly disposed of in the bucket.
• Sanitary towels - at least 3 packets to start, but only put one packet in the box. Leave another in every toilet and in the bathroom. It is also handy to have a couple of pads in the freezer to soothe a sore perineum! Be sure they are the biggest, thickest maternity ones you can find. Even if you usually only purchase slim thin types, they will not do for the immediate post-partum period.
• Find your oldest big knickers and put a couple of pairs in your box.
• Put your nice warm dressing gown away and have a short, light, front-opening top to put on after the birth. Partner’s short-sleeve shirts are a good example. If you put your long thick dressing gown on, it may get bloody very quickly and that is a whole load of washing. With a short outfit you can sit on the sofa or bed, directly onto a towel or bed mat.
• Old sheets on the bed, with plastic sheet/disposable tablecloth underneath. This is not the time for your best bedspread!
• For baby all you need initially is a nappy and a warm light blanket. The fewer clothes the better to start with as this will encourage skin-to-skin contact. Dressing him or her can come much later. If having a waterbirth a few old bunny rugs or small towels and a hat.
• Cord tie - If you are using your own ribbon or tie then that will need to be in the box.
• Birth plan if you have one. Although we should have discussed this prior to the birth it is handy to have around to refer to rather than ask you questions at inappropriate times!
• Lastly, put a small thin blanket or throw over the box so that one is handy in case you are waiting around for the placenta or you feel shivery after the birth, which is very common. A light cover will make you feel very cosy without overheating you.
You will probably have a "just in case" bag packed, although some women prefer not to do this. It will depend on each individual's opinion and her attitude towards the psychology of the whole issue of transfer. As a midwife, when I have to transfer a woman to hospital there is sometimes difficulty in finding her some clothes and shoes to put on, when she may have been naked, at the same time as caring for her and informing the hospital we are coming! Think ahead as it may not be about transfer, it may be getting some clothes on to go for a walk outside. Put a comfy pair of shoes and a loose track suit ready near the box.

#2 dragonfly31981

Posted 05 June 2011 - 02:00 PM

To be honest, you need very little. You will have a lot of it around.

I suggest:

Fluids, including something like hydrolyze, diluted apple juice




#3 new~mum~reenie

Posted 05 June 2011 - 05:26 PM

Fluids, including something like hydrolyze, diluted apple juice




Cannot recommend Ural enough, just in case. I had 2 small grazes (suspect it was sharp nails on the one hand DS had on his head at birth) and peeing with them was worse than birth. I never once felt the need to swear during birth, but peeing with those grazes - well DH could hear me yelling 'F#%$&#&K! from the kitchen. Really really really - just buy a box and put it in the pantry.

Also - get some cheap (ie, home brand) pads and run some water over them and put them in the freezer. Don't need to drench them, just a quick run under the tap. You can put these under your maternity pad and it offers lovely cool relief for that first day when you can be a bit tender.

Also - for collecting old towels and sheets etc, just ask your local Op shop to set aside any unmatched sheets/faded doona covers etc.  I bought a big bag for $11, and still have quite a few left. A queensize fitted sheet will easily slip over the birth pool to hide any 'muck' if you intend on having a couple of visitors over soon after the birth. DH drained it, but didn't clean it till the next day and it just meant grandparents etc didn't have to see it original.gif

Also ( and this was just me original.gif ) a big pot of nice coffee on the peculator. My MW had only had 2.5hrs sleep since her last birth, so she very much appreciated it original.gif (and she enjoyed the left over pizza in the fridge biggrin.gif )

#4 CountryBumpkin

Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:17 PM

I have loads of towels - i decided to upgrade my old towels when I saw nice ones on special recently, so have some old ones put aside original.gif

I mainly just want to have everything ready around the house, so i'm not having to go anywhere, its my first homebirth and i'm not 100% sure on everything i'll need. I bought a big tub from Ikea so i can put everything in, ready for the midwives (So its all in one spot original.gif

I love the suggestion of the sheet over the pool, what a good idea, thank you original.gif

#5 tygrays

Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:51 PM

Great suggestions and post!  I've moved an old cupboard into our living area (it's huge so a little cupboard isn't taking up any room) to pop everything into.  Will be referring back here (and I think there's a WHOLE post on JB for what to prepare as well) while getting things ready in the weeks to come...  

I had a friend in our DIG have a dream that Aerynn will be born early and have been having similar dreams and visualisations along the same line myself of late so wanting to get everything ready just in case!!!

#6 dragonfly31981

Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:56 PM

Just remember, your having a HB... your support people can raid your cupboards

#7 ~Sorceress~

Posted 05 June 2011 - 10:20 PM

I liked having a pack of incontinence pads handy - super absorbent for immediately post-partum but really useful if your waters break before labour original.gif . I've been out to lunch twice wearing incontinence pads after my membranes have ruptured biggrin.gif .

#8 Orangedrops

Posted 06 June 2011 - 05:59 AM

A vagina comes in handy, anything else is just extras biggrin.gif

Newborn disposable nappies are awesome for after birth bleeding for the first 24 hours. Old towels so you don't stain your good ones.

#9 azalia

Posted 06 June 2011 - 10:59 AM

Yes you really dont need much,  I used barely anything this time.

Essential oils and candles in smells I like (jasmin for me) I found really great.


Absorbant pads, place in freezer when you go into labour great for straight after birth.


Big dressing gown, so nice to put this on after birth!

Heat pack, great for warming babies clothes too.

We had the pool in our dining room and I pulled all the huge cushions off our couch and placed them around the outside of the pool (the covers can go through the wash) it was nice for dh and midwife plus I to have somewhere to kneel around the pool.

#10 mumat40

Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:40 PM

Grape juice is very good during labour as it is easily absorbed into the body...
Hot water bottles for sure, for you for any pain spots and to put in bed to make it cosy for you and your baby afterwards.

Face cloths are also super handy too!

#11 DontKnowDontCare

Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:21 PM

not directly related to the birthing part, but don't forget the camera!

#12 mumat40

Posted 07 June 2011 - 06:16 PM

Oh Yes, and bendy straws for movement free drinking!

#13 CountryBumpkin

Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

OK i've written down every suggestion and am off shopping! I know my middies can raid my house, but I'd like to have everything organised in one spot so we can focus on the birth, not findig things needed original.gif Its my first HB, and i'm feeling somewhat our of control (organisation freak!) so I'm focusing my energies into being as ready as I can be original.gif

Thank you for all the awesome suggestions!!

#14 peppersmum

Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:37 PM

I wasn't keen on using Ural, it doesn't sit right with me to take the nasties out of your urine as where does it go then and how tdoes that impact my body holisitically? So as an alternative I just did my wees in the bath for the first few days, I didn't feel any pain from my 2nd degree tear by doing it in the bath. 3 baths a day for the first 2 days was what I needed for healing my tear and then a daily bath for the next 2 weeks.

In my bath I used these herbs: http://melbournedoula.blogspot.com/2010/07...i-care-kit.html. I ordered 200 grams but if I have another baby I think I would order 300 grams as thet were so divine and helped heaps with my healing. I also made up some in the squirt bottle that came with it and used it on my pads for the first week.

Bendy straws are a must, not just for birth but were great for when I had to lie down for the first week due to some painful hemmroids from pushing. I could still have my drinks lying down with the bendy straws.

Pad wise, I used these, they are as big and soft as the stayfree maternity pads but without the nasty chemicals: http://www.inspiredwellbeing.com/store/nat...ty-pads-10.html.  My midwife recommended 3 packs as well but I just knew I would need more so got 5 packs. When finished I have just been using my cloth pads now which are working well.

If you do tear and opt to not stitch (which is better for healing), you can also use Manuka Honey (medical grade umf 15+ or more, I used 20+), there's great info here on using this honey for wound healing: http://manukahoney.com/resources/research/wound-care.html.  I just spead it on a pad once a day after my bath and left it on for 3-4 hrs. Using that, the herbs and staying in bed for 7-10 days was the key in my quick healing. Last birth I got stitched, used nothing and was sitting up from day one and even after a mongn I was still in pain. This time it only took around 8-10 days to feel much better and by 14 days I was feeling normal again. I also used witchazel creme on my hemmroids.

A heat bag is a must for those after birth pains, mine went until day 5 this time, they are worse than birth for me!!

That's all I can think of from my bag of tricks right now original.gif  Enjoy the shopping!!

#15 ~Sorceress~

Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:40 PM

Oh after birth pains sad.gif . Yes, have a few things up your sleeve for those!

I found pineapple juice (I think recommended by the lovely MidWitch) with heat packs worked wonders the last two births original.gif .

#16 Orangedrops

Posted 08 June 2011 - 01:00 PM

Seaweed is great for tears too you can just use nori sheets

#17 peppersmum

Posted 08 June 2011 - 01:00 PM

Wow pineapple juice, didn't know that, will remember that for if we have a 5th!!

Drinking heaps of water in the days after birth is another way of really diluting your wee!!

My midwife also recommended drinking pear juice and eating dried fruit to help with easier bowel movements after birth too. I could only get the pear juice at our local organic shop, expensive but yummy!!

#18 Genabee

Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:58 PM

Bumping this thread as I am interested to hear others contributions. Getting ready for our home birth and want to make sure we haven't forgotten anything!

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