home birth woman holding newborn baby  

Your complete guide to homebirth!

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What do you need for a home birth?
Determination and loads of clean towels... that’s for sure! Check out the list below for items you are likely to need.

In my opinion, you don't need to go on a mad shopping spree. Leave that for the baby room! Just some items that will make your life a bit easier…..

Your midwife will bring your 'birth boxes' two to three weeks before your due date. In those boxes will be all the medical items she might need during and after your labour. There are a number of items you will need during and after the birth of your baby. You will need most items regardless of having a home birth or hospital birth.

'Dry land birth'

  • Lots and lots of clean soft towels. To wrap the baby in, to dry you after your endless baths and showers, to sit on after birth etc.
  • plastic sheeting (garden centre) or waterproof mattress protector
  • clean sheets for the bed
  • mirror to watch baby being born
  • disposable bed mats for bed-wetting children (from supermarket)

'Water birth'

  • birth pool (obviously)
  • birth pool kit (hose, pump, sieve, thermometer etc) You can normally buy this from the company where you rent or buy the pool.
  • big plastic groundsheet for under the birth pool.
  • lots of clean soft towels.
  • mirror for the midwife (and you) to watch the baby being born
  • disposable bed mats for bed-wetting children, to sit on after birth (from supermarket)
    'For you'
  • sanitary (maternity) pads
  • large t-shirt for labour
  • hair ties
  • warm socks (not needed for waterbirth ;-)
  • clean flannels
  • water spray
  • food and goodies (for you, your birth partners and the midwives)

'For labour'

  • birth ball
  • pillows and cushions
  • your favourite music (or just relaxing background music)
  • your hypnobirthing cd?
  • light reading for distraction
  • candles
  • lights with dimmer for atmosphere
  • TENS Machine
  • clock
  • kitchen paper
  • notebook and pen (very handy to keep note of your contractions - what time, how long and how strong. This will give a good indication for the midwife when you call her and will give you something to focus on in early labour)

'For the midwife'

  • a torch or lamp to check you for tears afterwards
  • your birth plan
  • clean towels and soap
  • a table where she can lay out her equipment (or an ironing board if you don’t have a lot of space)
  • bin liners
  • a bucket (in case you get nauseous)
  • lots of tea and biscuits!

'For baby'
besides the long list you probably have already....

  • first clothes -vest, babygro, hat, cardigan and mittens (maybe you can warm them on the radiator)
  • nappies
  • made-up crib
  • clean towels (again!)
  • pleated cotton wool
  • plain soap
  • a name (or two)

Besides all the above (of which most of them you will need regardless of home or hospital birth) it is always a good idea to pack your hospital bag in case of transfer. You don't want the stress of last minute packing.

What I did was pack my hospital bag and used the items out of there for during and after labour (like first clothes, extra pyjama, sanitary pads and clean knickers)

what do you need for a home birth




shows that home birth is safe- if not safer, than a hospital birth..... read more.

Do you feel as if everyone disagrees with your wish for a home birth? Read other women (and mens) birth stories for inspiration and support...... (click here)

More and more women choose to have a water birth. What is so special about giving birth in water?
How do you organise one and what do you need for it? Read more. 

Now that home births become so popular there are plenty of celebrities who choose a home birth over a well placed cesarean in a private hospital! Who, when where? Read more.