Three home births. One surprise. Two planned.
Doesn’t make me a home birth expert, but it does mean I’ve been there and done that … thrice :)
From each experience I’ve learned a bit more, not in how to actually birth at home (that’s always a wild card!), but more so in how to prepare for all that comes after.
When you plan a home birth with a midwife, they give you a list of supplies to have on hand. Things like extra towels and sheets, a thermometer and mesh unders. Then, you order a medical kit that has things like chux pads and sterile gloves. These lists/kits are pretty inclusive, you can definitely birth with just those, but there are some extras that will make a birth and the immediate hours/days after extra smooth.
And yes, you guessed it, I’m spilling my list of essentials today!
For the weeks leading up to birth and many weeks after, use paper plates! No one needs extra dishes and even the most crunchy mamas can justify a few weeks of paper plates.
I credit the Squatty Potty with Eli’s swift arrival. Once labor started I moved to the toilet and less than an hour later, Eli was born. Squatting is miraculous when it comes to helping a baby exit and the Squatty Potty helps!
This is usually on the midwife’s list, but, BUY MORE. Hydrogen peroxide cleans up blood stains like no other. Reid was born on our master bedroom floor and through the pushing process I moved the barrier that had been set up. He arrived right on our carpet. A mess to be sure. But, we sold our house less than a year later WITHOUT having to replace the carpet all thanks to a few bottles of hydrogen peroxide. It works great in the laundry too.
Thank You Gifts
Babies don’t usually come at convenient times. Prepare a small thank you gift for your birth team (Starbucks cards to refuel on their way home/to clinic/to another birth maybe?), they deserve it!
Coconut water is the ultimate rehydration beverage and so much yummier than other electrolyte options.
I use a washable bedwetting mat long after birth. One, after birth blood loss is a fickle thing and gushes happen when you least expect them. Protect your mattress! Two, nursing babies in bed is a blessing, but sometimes, a milky mess. Again, protect your mattress! Thanks to a bedwetting mat I can clean up without having to wash sheets every other day.
When your milk comes in and engorgement strikes, slip a cabbage leaf in your bra and it will help relieve things a bit.
This is my other engorgement trick! Hot Hands offer a quick spot of heat when a plugged duct starts brewing. Definitely keep them around.
Home birth mamas! What else would you add to this list of extras?