After people get over the initial “What? A home birth?” they’re usually curious as to how this all goes down. Spoiler alert: We have actual medical supplies. I’m not going to be gnawing my baby’s cord in half 😀 I’m currently 39 weeks pregnant, and waiting for my little one to arrive so I thought I’d do a run down on everything we’ll use to get her here, or take care of me once she’s here. Without further ado, here we go:
Midwife Supplied Products
My first midwife had us purchase a birth kit she had chosen specifically from an online medical supply store. This time, my midwife prearranged everything she would need, or that I could use if she didn’t make it to the birth on time and brought it to me at 36 weeks. here’s what she included:
Lined up outside of the tote are:
- Sterile gloves in various sizes
- Cord clamps
- Herbal bath
- Suction bulb
- Amniotic fluid testing swabs
- Hydrating salts x3 (each package is equal to one bag of saline)
- Coconut oil
- Debris net (AKA poop net for water birth)
- Hydrogen peroxide (removes any blood stains from carpet, towels, sheets, etc)
- Peri bottle for postpartum use
- Instructions for how to deliver baby if the midwife doesn’t make it in time
Inside of the tote:
- Electrolyte drink mix
- Lubricating jelly
- Sterile syringes
- Baby wipes
- Microwave sterilizing bag
- Shower curtain liner (to protect couch, bed, etc)
- Nipple shield for nursing (not usually necessary at birth)
- Amnicot (finger cot for breaking water)
- Bendy straws (they making drinking during labor so much easier!)
Not pictured are the birth pool, pool liner, filling hose, draining hose, draining pump and air pump.
My Personal Supplies
I gathered my own comfort measures and a few postpartum supplies to have on hand immediately afterwards. I have my favorite tumbler that will be filled with home made labor-ade. I remember liking it so much with my first birth, so I hope it goes over well this time too. If not, we have an electrolyte drink and hydrating salts 😉 I’ll also be making these protein energy balls again to snack on during labor. Then I have a rice sock that’s wonderful for warming in the microwave and applying to the lower abdomen during contractions. Is it pretty? No. Does it work? Yes, and that’s what matters in the moment. The wooden massager came from a cheap Christmas gift set, but it feels wonderful. It might be useful for relaxation in early labor, but I’ll probably be too focused in active labor to worry about it. I have some EOS chapstick so my lips don’t get chapped, and a hand mirror for seeing the baby when she beings to crown. The black bra and boy shorts are my labor clothes. I also have a robe that isn’t pictured. I just don’t like to labor with pants on. I don’t like feeling constricted or distracted by clothing.
What I have on hand but not pictured are my essential oils and diffuser and the few candles I’ll be using for ambiance.
The midwife supplied the chux pads and the “Party Pail.” The chux pads are for protecting surfaces from blood and bodily fluids during labor. They’re really handy for protecting the mattress from milk leaks and such in the months after giving birth. The ice cream pail is for holding the placenta but instead of referring to it as the placenta bowl, I have to refer to it as the party pail for comedic relief. She’ll also be bringing me adult diapers (for postpartum bleeding) and the supplies for padscicles. She and the birth assistant will make the padscicles up before they leave. The green bowl is the puke bowl, because ya know, that happens sometimes. I’m looking at you, transition.
I have packed up around 8 towels (once again- water birth), 4-6 washcloths (for cold or hot compresses), a bag for the baby and a bag for myself. This is a tip I took from my first birth. Having these things in bags and clearly labeled will help anyone who is in attendance find them and easily and bring them to whomever needs them. It also helps ease my mind that they’re already gathered, ready to go, and kept clean in the bag.
The baby’s bag has receiving blankets, clothes, diapers, and a blanket to settle in for the night/day with. My bag has pajamas, fuzzy socks (who doesn’t love fuzzy socks in the winter?!) a nursing bra, and nursing pads in it.
This is my postpartum supply pile. I have overnight pads for postpartum bleeding. The cotton rounds and witch hazel are for DIY tucks pads. That’s a package of flushable wipes under the witch hazel. I figured they would better than regular toilet paper when it comes to keeping my lady bits clean in-between showers. I have EMAB New Mama bottom spray and Nipple Butter.
The tie-dyed looking fabric is a Bengkung wrap. It’s said to be a ‘hug for your belly’ after birth. It helps provide support to the torso during the postpartum period when things are moving back into their normal position. You can read up on the benefits here. The little jar in front of the wrap contains a balm made of nourishing oils and essential oils to help firm and tighten postpartum belly skin. Maybe I’ll do another post on a full postpartum kit, but this will get me through immediately after birth.
These are just the simple things I can keep on hand for the big day. My midwife will bring the more technical stuff like pitocin, oxygen, and neonatal resuscitation equipment when I’m in labor. So now, we just wait. And wait..