My homebirth essentials

{look at teeny little Beastie!!}

I hit 37 weeks this week, so the midwives are now on all to attend me when I go into labour. Everything is set and in place {I think!} and we’re all ready to have this baby! I’m planning a homebirth again as my previous homebirths have been such fantastic experiences, and giving birth in your own home is so much more relaxing and calm than having to travel to a hospital, and be in a foreign environment when you are feeling pretty vulnerable.

Home birth isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s something everyone should consider. Birth has become so medicalised, and for the majority of women, it doesn’t need to be. Of course, modern medicine is amazing when it is needed, I’ve no doubt it saves many lives. But if you are low risk, then giving birth at home can be such an empowering decision to make.

I love being in my own environment, where I have full control, where I feel relaxed and at ease. Not having to worry about leaving home and getting to the hospital takes a lot of stress out of the equation. Also, the fact that once I have given birth I can have a bath in MY bath and sleep in my own bed {or relax on my own sofa depending on the time of day} is worth its weight in gold!

I’ve been asked a few times what items I gather to have ‘on hand’ for home births, and while the answer is not much – I thought I’d break it down here!

1| Old shower curtain/tarpaulin ~ birth can be a little messy, so it’s a good idea to have something on hand to protect your bed/sofa/carpets. I usually throw an old shower curtain over my bed, with a sheet over the top. Tarpaulins or heap decorating sheets are great too – cover carpets or sofas where you think you may end up labouring – it’s so much easier to clean up afterwards! Puppy pads can be good to for sitting on/kneeling over {and are usually cheaper than maternity pads}

2| Old Towels – again, great for covering up furniture and mopping up mess. I usually layer a few over the shower curtain/tarpaulin on the bed/floor so it’s comfy to sit, lay or kneel on.

3| Candles/lamps ~ I hate bright lights when I’m in labour, I’m planning on laboring in my bedroom so will have some fairy lights on, my salt rock lamp and possible a few candles too.

4| Aromatherapy Oils ~ aromatherapy is such a gift in labour, I love having oils diffusing whilst I’m giving birth. Lavender is great for calming, and if I feel I need a little soothing. I also like Clary Sage for speeding up contractions. {this is a good article about other good oils to use in labour}.

5| Support – an essential. Obviously, the midwives will attend, but it’s vital you have someone there who will support you. Birth this time feels a little more daunting to me, as the previous four labours I had the kids dad there to support me. This time around I have a doula booked, as well as a friend on stand by. Knowing there will be someone there to cheer me on makes me feel a little less nervous.

6| Old shirt/bralette ~ once I’m in labour, I generally prefer to wear as little as possible. I usually start off in pants, a bralette/crop top and an oversized mans shirt. Obviously, the pants get discarded, and sometimes the rest – depending on how I feel. If you do want to wear something, then opt for a front opening nightshirt, or an old mans shirt so it’s easy to get that first skin to skin and breastfeed.

7| Snacks/Drinks – to be honest, my labours in the past have been speedy, and I haven’t needed to eat whilst in labour, and I usually just drink water. But I do always have a few isotonic drinks on hand in case I fancy them, as well as some nutritious, high energy snacks {such as the Nked Bars}

8| Playlist – I love to have some music on in the background, and usually make a Spotify playlist of my favourite songs, but also use Spotify’s own playlists depending on how I feel and what kind of music I want on.

9| A packed overnight bag – my just in case, but also it means everything I need is actually on hand in the room making it easier for the midwife/doula to grab it. I pack a bag with essentials for me – PJ’s, sanitary pads, underwear, a change of clothes, a small wash bag, breast pads, and for baby – that first outfit {and a spare}, nappies, wipes, hat, blanket. It’s nice to know it’s all there ready if I did have to transfer to hospital.

And that’s about it! Would love to hear about your home birth experience too!

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