Home birth checklist

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checklist for home birth

Download pdf of Home Birth Checklist here.

Childbirth isn’t an organized, neat, clean, tidy predictable thing. As a bit of a control freak this is sort of why I had my two babies in a hospital both natural. If I ever had another baby, I think I’d have a home birth for a few reasons…

Most women who’ve experienced home births wouldn’t do it any other way next time, including women on our team who have been through it. It’s amazing to be in the comfort of your own home and have a midwife come to you for weekly baby checkups. One of my oldest friends delivered her first baby at a hospital, and the second in the comfort of her own home in a birthing tub – and swears she’d have a home birth if she were to do it again. The best thing about having a trusted girlfriend dish about childbirth is that you can rest assured she’s being honest about everything!

Aside from making sure your midwife arrives on time, here’s a list of all the things if you plan to have a home birth.

  • Birth plan. Childbirth may not go as planned but it’s nice to be aware of what your preferences are, and to share with your childbirth team so they can advocate for you (especially if you’re planning for a home birth and end up having to go toe the hospital!) Get a customizable template here.
  • Birth ball, stool or other props such as a birth pool to assist with labor. If you rent a birth tub, you will also need a garden hose to fill the tub with because the water needs to be as sanitary as possible (a used garden hose won’t cut it!). You will also need an adaptor for the kitchen or bath tap so the garden hose can hook up to it. Make sure the rental comes with or that you buy a pump to take the water out after.
  • Fresh linens and towels. Use a tarpaulin or plastic sheet (a shower curtain may be a handy splash proof surface) and old sheets to cover the floor, bed and other furniture. You will also want replacement covers for replacing the dirty ones. Keep a supply of clean towels on hand especially if you are using a birth pool.
  • Clothes to wear during and after delivery. Shirt (and other layers of preference) to wear during labor and delivery that you won’t mind throwing out if they get dirty. Warm clothes and blankets for after delivery – you can expect to be about the size you were when you were around five months pregnant.
  • Items for your baby. A complete list of baby basics for 0-3 months can be found here. It’s helpful if you keep certain things readily available including:
    • diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream and change pad
    • sleeper and receiving blanket to swaddle
    • bassinet, cradle or crib
    • sterilized soother
  • Nursing paraphernalia. If you are using a breast pump, you will want to have the attachments and sterilized bottles/storage bags nearby. You may also want to have a nursing bra, breast pads, breast shields and nipple cream.
  • Hospital bag. Just in case you need to go to the hospital. Get the complete checklist here.
  • Supplies for cleanup. Stain remover in case it is required for spots on carpets, and garbage bags for waste.
  • Miscellaneous items, as applicable:
    • Entertainment, distractions and comfort items – books, magazines, playing cards, phone, iPod, iPad, candles, massage oil, mints, gum, etc.
    • Light food and drink for yourself (including Dr. Beverly’s natural labor aid drink found here). Also have food and drink for birthing partner, midwife and other children.
    • Medications and other things for labor and delivery, and for after delivery – for example, if you plan to use natural painkillers, homeopathic medicine, or natural botanicals that promote tissue healing of the perineum to spray on frozen maxi pads. (Got to this page for more on preparation for childbirth, including a natural one.)
    • Container if you are keeping the placenta and contact information for pickup for placenta encapsulation service (if you are not keeping the placenta, ask your midwife if she plans to bring something for the disposal, etc.). For more about placenta encapsulation here.
    • Cord blood kit and contact information for pickup.
    • Perennial cushion, spray bottle and wipes (in case it hurts to sit or wipe down there with TP after delivery).
    • Padsicles with natural botanicals to help you heal faster, and healing brew (get both of Dr. Beverly’s recipes here).

Consult with your midwife before you buy anything as she may bring pads to put under the bed, medical supplies and other items.

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