Home birth

Things you need for a home birth

Home birth
We have pulled together
a suggested list to help you prepare for your home birth. Most items can be found around the home without any extra costs. We suggest putting a box or container together so it is easily accessible.

o Birth kit from your lead midwife. Discuss what is provided with your midwife.
o Waterproof cover for your mattress.
o A waterproof shower curtain or PVC table cover that can be bought by the meter at a hardware shop works well to protect beds, sofa, chairs, flooring and bedding (or wherever you may end up).
o Disposable large waterproof absorbent sheet pads (puppy training pads can work well).
o Natural electrolyte drinks, coconut water or similar.
o Bendy straws and two plastic tumblers one for chilled water and one for energy drink.
o Easy to make comfort meals, batch cooked meals.
o High energy snacks that you like. Don’t forget about your birth partner to e.g. honey, dried fruits like apricots, dates, sultanas, nuts, seeds, yogurts, fruit smoothies, flapjacks, energy bars, crackers and cheese, wholemeal toast, and anything else you fancy.
o Gentle, natural soap in the bathroom(s), along with a clean towel(s).
o 1 roll of strong paper towels/kitchen roll.
o A roll of bin liner bags for disposal of rubbish and for dirty linen.
o Large zip-type freezer bag or a cleaned 1 litre ice-cream container if you are keeping your placenta for encapsulation or other tradition. Midwives will take it away if you prefer.
o Bath towels x 6 at least (not new as less absorbent and may get stained).
o Thin wash cloths x 6 (don’t have to be new).
o 6 receiving blankets for baby. Please wash in baby safe detergent and dry even if they are new.
o 2 lightweight cosy blankets for you that you don’t mind getting soiled or stained.
o An extra set of pillowcases and sheets. These may be old but clean.
o Whatever comfy clothes mum prefers for labouring in, baggy old soft tee shirts etc.
o Stain remover to add to laundry to remove stains.
o Keep a supply of ice in the freezer.
o Fan.
o 2 large metal or plastic bowls.
o A bucket and plastic jug.
o (Optional)slow cooker for warming perineal compresses or a large pan for stove.
o An additional space heater for the room.
o Hot water bottle for warming baby receiving towels and blankets.
o Hot water bottle to help mum with labour.
o Flashlight and batteries.
o Extension cable if outlets are not nearby.
o Ambiance setting tools, music, battery tea lights, string lights, affirmations, dim lights, window blinds, galaxy light if desired, aromatherapy oils and diffuser if using.
o Birth/gym ball.
o Rebozo scarf if using.
o TENS if using.
o Pregnancy Massage balm/oil.
o Socks.
o Find your oldest big pants and put quite a few in your box
o A short sleeved or button front shirts to aid skin to skin.
o Prospective grandparents to assist with other children and pets.
o Camera.
o Phone with signal.

For Baby and Post Birth

o Approved infant car seat.
o Baby clothes (cotton), nappies, vests, soft cap, baby grows, cardigans.
o Blankets, washed and dried.
o Natural Cotton cleansing pads (makeup removal pads) as well as gentle soap, baby and planet friendly biodegradable wipes.
o Digital thermometer.


o Loose tee shirts, Nursing nightgowns, pyjamas, nice staying in bed clothes to encourage lying back and relaxation after the birth.
o Ibuprofen, paracetamol or similar in case mum has afterpains or needs simple analgesia.
o Supply of own medications handy.
o Softest, thickest maternity sanitary pads you can find x 3 packs at least. One packet in every bathroom.
o Optional nipple cream e.g., Lasinoh or an alternative.
o Breast pads, disposable or reusable.
o A freezer full of pre prepared meals.
o Optional extras such as luxury toiletries, notice for front door, present for siblings.

For the comfort of the midwifery team the following might be appreciated

o Ensure they have correct directions to your home.
o Leave lights on at night.
o Ensure there is ample parking for them close to the house.
o Healthy snacks, water, and light meals available (some births take a long time).
o A table or coffee table cleared for supplies and equipment.
o The area alongside the pool or bed cleared out for easy access.

Prepare a hospital bag just in case of a need for transfer

o Copy of Birth Preferences.
o Phone numbers of family and friends.
o Night shirt and robe.
o Nonslip footwear, wet/bathroom room suitable like flip flops.
o Nursing bra and underwear.
o Going home clothes that are easy to nurse/move in.
o Clothes for your new baby.
o Sense of humour and flexibility.

Things to do before you go into labour

o Tape a list of important numbers to your fridge, include midwives’ telephone and back up numbers, nearest hospital, hospital of choice if different, doctors’ number, family members.
o Make sure your car always has at least a half tank of fuel and that you have an approved infant car seat available and ready.
o Make sure you have gathered all your supplies and that you know where they are.
o Ensure that you have sufficient heating oil etc to heat your home and ensure sufficient hot water for pool/showers/baths etc.
o Clean your bathtub and shower area as you may want to use it.

When you begin regular contractions or your waters leak

o Notify midwife using pre agreed arrangements. If you don’t receive a call back, call again!
o Lay a tarpaulin under the pool.
o Inflate your birth pool if using, with the provided air pump and liner.
o When your labour is getting active, start filling it with water using a water hose according to your instructions.
o Ensure your sink or tap has the correct faucet adaptor.
o Prepare the bed: Strip the bed and place clean sheets you want to use post birth on it.Then place shower curtain(s) or plastic sheets over them. Place it on the side of the bed you are going to birth and/ or sleep on. It should hang off the side of the bed so that the sides of the bed are covered as well. Cover this with the sheets you may want to birth on or have for immediate post birth.
o Gather all your items on your checklist and place them in the room that you are likely to birth in.
o Your midwife will have all the other supplies. If you have any questions, please ask her/him.
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