Guide to Home Birth

What Do I Need To Know When Planning For A Home Birth?

Preparing your home birth is a magical, exciting and rewarding experience. In this article, you will find everything you need to prepare your home for this experience.


Home Birth

How Do I Prepare My Home For A Home Birth?

To prepare for your home birth consider first of all, getting your place ready for the arrival of your baby. Begin by cleaning and decluttering your place to prepare your space.


If it doesn’t have a place or purpose then remove it. Get over it, and get it gone.

Dust it off:

Start at the highest surfaces and move horizontally making your way down.

Clean the floors:

Your midwives and doula will spend most of the time in your home on the floor. Most mothers labor in such a way that is more conducive to sit on the floor to assist you. Be kind to them, wipe and mop your floors.

Scrub the toilets:

At some point during labor, you will be sitting on the toilet with your midwives and doula in the bathroom. Laboring on the toilet is a good way to help the baby get in the right position and help the laboring mother change her cervix. You want a midwife that is focused on you and not thinking about the lack of cleanliness of your bathroom.

Tidy the kitchen:

Your midwife and doula will be in your kitchen fixing you up some tasty treats to nibble throughout labor. Get it all clean and tidy for them.

Put your personal items away:

Keep the mystery alive but putting away personal items that you don’t care for everyone to see.

Layer the bedding:

You will likely not birth your baby on your bed, but you will want to get into your bed after the action is over. Its good to plan ahead and be ready to enjoy the comfort of your bed after you’re all cleaned up and ready to cuddle with your family. Here are the layers to place on your bed:

  • Mattress cover
  • Bottom sheet
  • Top sheet
  • Shower curtain
  • Bottom sheet
  • Top sheet
  • Light blanket

This really works, so stick with the order. When you are ready to cuddle up, your team will peel off the top layer of grubby sheets and shower curtain so you can enjoy a comfortable clean bed!

Home Birth

What Is A Birth Kit? What Supplies Do I Need To Prepare For A Home Birth?

Every midwife and douala will have her own list of what to put into the birth kit. A birth kit is a group of items that your midwife/doula deems necessary for home birth. You can assemble a birth kit by gathering the supplies from a pharmacy or ordering the items online. Otherwise, there are retail suppliers that will sell the kits online. This is probably the standard home birth kit, but best to check with your midwife. See what you get in the basic home birth kit before you purchase other items listed here. Make sure you have all your supplies one month prior to the estimated due date.

Qty Item
Mother Care
12 Mesh panties, comfortable underwear or adult diapers
12 Maternity maxi pads (consider wetting 6 of them and placing them flat in the freezer for handy cold packs afterwards)
1 Peri bottle (about 500 ml) For your perineum afterward to squirt water while peeing
1 Bottle Ibuprofen (200 mg tablets)
1 Dimenhydrinate (useful in early labor)
1 Bottle acetaminophen (325 mg tablets)
4 Bendy straws – consider using one that is not plastic, like a metal straw or a water bottle that has a spout on it.
1 Epsom salts for sitz bath postpartum
1 Bottle of liquid calcium-magnesium (for early labor cramps)
1 Herbal perineal wash (for healing)
1 Soothing perineal mist that helps ease discomfort of postpartum vaginal soreness and swelling, episiotomies and hemorrhoids. Made with pure ingredients, including astringent witch hazel, antibacterial lavender, and cooling peppermint pure essential oils.
1 Homeopathic Arnica 30C (for swelling & bruising)
1 Gel cold packs/hot packs/microwaveable rice filled packs/hot water bottle
Baby Care
1 Box of newborn disposable diapers
1 Digital thermometer
1 Plastic sheet or shower curtain to cover furniture
2 Fitted sheets (put the plastic sheet between) for your bed
6 Large towels or more
8 Face cloths
8 Receiving blankets–please set these linens aside with your birth kit
Birthing Supplies
1 Bucket in case you need to take out some water from pool, place sump pump in after to clean
1 Hand mirror
2 Large black garbage bags
1 White bag for dirty laundry
1 Large Ziploc bag (For the placenta)
1 Hydrogen peroxide (500 ml bottle) to remove blood stains
12 Gauze pads 4×4
24 Blue under pads (chux pads)
1 Flashlight with batteries


What Should We Do With Our Other Children During Our Home Birth?

This is something that most families ponder when expecting a new baby. There are pros and cons, and right decision depends on your circumstances and family values. Siblings at birth do best when they:

  • Feel safe and welcomed
  • A care provider is dedicated to them
  • Understand ahead of time things they can say and do during the home birth
  • Had exposure ahead of time to loud noises mom may make during labor, and understand that these are good and normal noises
  • Read books designed for siblings who are planning to attend a home birth
  • Speak the language necessary to talk about birth
  • Are given the opportunity to attend prenatal appointments and have had a chance to ask questions


What Can Go Wrong With Having Siblings At The Home Birth?

If a sibling is distressed it can be very difficult on the birthing mother. When this happens, the usual result is that dad takes the sibling to another part of the house and the midwives and doula remain with the mother. Having a care provider dedicated to the sibling can ensure that you will get to share the birth experience with your partner.

Home Birth

What Should We Do With Our Pet During Our Home Birth?


Let your midwives and doulas know ahead of time that you have a pet. If your pet is aggressive towards guests, it’s best that they are away from the birthing mother and her attendants. If you find your pet annoying or smelly, keep it in another room or at a friend’s house while you birth. On the other hand, if you anticipate enjoyment from sharing the experience with your pet, there is a chance you are in for some special moments ahead, after all your pet was likely your first baby in the first place.


What Should I Have At The House For My Birthing Team And Attendants?


It is in your best interest to keep your midwives and doula fueled. Having something to keep your team going is always appreciated. Favorite choices are lots of vegetables and fruits, as well as other health options that have high nutrient value for each calorie ingested.

If you are interested in knowing more about proper nutrition during pregnancy, you will find the following resources helpful, Gestational Diabetes Prevention and Prenatal Nutrition


Home Birth

The House Is Clean, The Family Is Happy And I Have All The Supplies. Is There Anything Else To Consider?

Absolutely! Your emotional well being is critical for a healthy home birth. Pregnancy is a great time to work through issues that might have come forward from your childhood or difficult experiences you have had in your life. Try writing a journal to address these issues. Another good resource is the book Parenting from the Inside Out, which has exercises at the end of each chapter to prepare you to be a aren’t.


What Should I Pack In Case We Need To Transfer To The Hospital?

If you transfer to the hospital, you will want the following on hand:

  • Warm socks
  • A comfortable pillow with a clean pillowcase
  • A hospital-based birth plan
  • Clothing for mom, dad and the baby
  • Food and toiletries for mom and dad
  • Car seat for the baby


What If I Have Had A Cesarean And I Want A Home Birth?

If you would like to have a home birth after having a cesarean, then make sure you read this article.