Posted by: webbhouston | November 24, 2008

Home Birth List

After planning two homebirths I have gathered a great deal of information on what is needed and what is nice to have for your birth. There are some things that are just self explanatory… others are not. Here is my list and explanation. Along with this I will post a list of snacks and easily frozen meals for the days ahead. This is what I used  and what worked for us so please feel free to forward it to others, take it for yourself, change it, edit, it.. etc.. to suit your needs. Of course there are more things that could be added but this is what worked for us. I give more than one example of what to use for the same thing because some of the stuff you might already have on hand or might be easier to get for you.

Warning: I talk very candidly about what we used and about the birthing process. Please feel free to skip if this grosses you out. I am also not a doctor so please do not use any of these suggestions as an alternative to what a medical practitioner has given you. Please do your own research on the topics below as well and use them at your discretion.

So.. for your pleasure please find below: My homebirth supplies list.

Pads/Depends/chux – you will bleed after the baby comes out. Also the baby might poop meconium. These will come n handy. If you end up with more than you think you might need you can use them as covers for changing tables.
Frozen pads with possibly comfrey/witch hazel – Before you use these to a test run on your skin to see if you are allergic to either product. If you are, it is not a good time to find out on your privates while you are healing from giving birth. These are great for helping witht he pain from birth if you have any, especially if you had tears or bruising.
Mesh panties/dark coloured panties – You dont want to mess up your good panties with the afterbirth bleeding like a stuck pigness
Sitz bath/herb bath– also good for tears and healing, Motherlove has a great spray and herb mixture that works wonders for the pained perineum.
Ice packs or homemade ice packs – These can work well to put in your panties for pain, and some people like the packs to put on parts of your body while in labor to help give you something else to focus on other than contractions. I dont use these like this but if you do, have some handy.
Peri bottle – This will make peeing easier so that it doesnt burn your tears. This will also help you clean up so that you cant have to use towels or paper which can sting when you wipe. This item is very inexpensive but worth EVERY PENNY.

Afterease afterpain tincture – Many women have very bad afterpains that are almost as bad as the contractions from labor. The more kids you have the worse that these get. This tincture can be mixed into some water and taken immediately after the birth. This helped me tons and I knew when I was needing it again because the pain was really bad.
Rescue Remedy As someone who has real issues “letting go” and who had a tendency to “lose it” this was a godsend for me. It is also great for the assistants, midwives, spouses, family, friends, who are there with you. We had the spray and the pills. I think the spray works better honestly or it works faster. I am not sure but I used it during hour like.. 28 of my labor. WHen I started freaking out and wondering what was wrong with me and why my baby couldnt just come out like it does for so many other women.
Recharge – Very similar to Emergen-C, I didnt buy this because I already had Emergen-C but there is also Labor-Ade which one can make on your own that is great for giving bursts of energy and nutrients while you are in labor. It helps if feeling dehydrated or when feeling tired.
Arnica – Arnica Montana (not to be confused with Hanna Montana LOL, wow I am corny) is a homepathic remedy that has been used for centuries to heal bumps and bruises. There are topicals which give aid directly to the area that needs it and there are pills as well that help heal faster and better. I always have a tube of it at home because with two kids and a husband who refuses to listen to safety precautions we use it quite often.  Also it has been shown to work on people with arthritis as well so keep that in mind.
Wise Ways Merry Mother – This works great as a topical for massages of the abdomen and uterine area.
honey/propolis/honey balms – Honey has great qualities for helping heal wounds. This is a proven thing that has been used even on war wounds. Either honey itself or honey based balms can be used on tears and even have been used on csection scars to prevent infection and promote healing. Obviously do not use this without letting your doctor know if you have a csection but I know that I used it on my tears with my first daughter and many other women have too for tears.
Nori seaweed– Another product that is used to help heal and bind tears. Many people swear by it. My tears with my second were non existant so I didnt get a chance to test this myself but this has been proven before as well to work.
Olive oil– Do I really have to give you a reason to keep Olive Oil around your house? I hope not. During labor this oil can be used to dilute essential oils for back massages and for perineal massages while in the pushing stage. It helps give the skin elasticity to avoid tearing.
Goldenseal– Salves or balms containing this have antinflamatory properties and anti-microbial ones as well. This is good for tears, cuts, bruises, etc. and great for any bruising during/after labor.
Liquid chlorophyll– LC is basically plant blood. It is actually very similar to our blood and it great to have on hand to take after blood loss and to give calcium, cleanse toxins, and it works on more parts of your system. It is great to take after giving birth as it helps you regain your strength faster and feel better faster. I went through a bottle after my son’s birth. It is also a great supplement in case you are looking for something that is safe to take and that works for people of all ages.  Many people that do not take blood transfusions and have had significant blood loss have been able to take LC to help their bodies heal without a transfusion.

You can see some of my oils anad other stuff that I had for birth below. I took it out while I was in early labor so that it would be ready.

Bunches of Oils and stuff

Bunches of Oils and stuff

Coconut water– this is for energy and nutrients, the sugars are quick pick me ups

Red Rasp. Leaf brew and Popsicles– RRL helps tone your uterus and can make contractions more effective. It also has nutrients that are important for your body. I mix it with Nettle because nettle also has some great repleneshing bits for during and after labor. Teas of the plants are good as well as tinctures but I mention popsicles because I love cold popsicles while in labor. LOVE THEM. Many women prefer cold during labor as well so this might work for them. If you mix in a little mint in the tea that makes it tastier, you can also add some honey or agave necter for flavor.
Tea tree oil– Great for cleaning and antiseptic uses. Can be used to disinfect labor supplies, table tops, etc.
Peroxide– can be used for cleaning cord stump and on cuts/tears/etc. Just as a side note, we didnt do anything to the cord stump with our son… anything at all.. and it came off on its own in 4 days.
Sterilized scissors to cut cord– midwife probably has this
Cord clamp– self explanatory
Cloth or diaper for placenta if lotus birth– Lotus Birth is practiced by some and they need a place to set the placenta on so that it doesnt stain everything in sits on with blood and goo. We did not do this but we did delay cutting the cord until it stopped pulsating. THis was important to us and I believe that it is a great important part of homebirth. If you are chosing to do a Lotus Birth then you need this, if not then you dont.

Cookie sheet or large bowl/basin/bucket for placenta – YOu need somewhere to put it so that it can be examined. We kept ours and it is in our freezer. We plan to plant it underneath a tree or something one day.

Cookie sheet or tray/tupperware for birth ‘mise en place’–  For those of you that cook, you might know the definition of this term. Basically it is a term for having everything that you need out and ready to go. To me it is important to have everything you will need for your birth out and ready because you really dont want to be in the middle of contractions going “where did I put those honey sticks”. What I did was I put two plastic containers with locking lids our on the table where I had my birthing supplies. One was for during birth, one was for afterwards. That way when I gave birth and felt like I needed my Liquid Chlorophyll I asked for it and said “It is in my “After the Birth” container”. It was found and brought promptly to me. You have to keep in mind that the midwife doesnt know your home. Her assistant doesnt know your home. Your partner probably either doesnt know, or wont want to think about where you put things last minute. It is ok, you just need to help them.

You can see the two bins with lids in the picture below.

Birth supplies

Birth supplies

Large freezer bags for placenta– In case you want to freeze it
‘Puke’ bucket just in case – Just in case

Shower curtain/mattress cover– this is basically a tarp for your bed and to put undernear the birting pool if there will be one. If you like the mattress buy a tarp. Seriously.

Garbage bags– for trash or for storage of stuff
Old towels or sheets – For keeping the baby and you warm after the birth or to dry up after being in the pool. Also the sheets will most likely get ruined so an old set that you dont care about will work best.
Unopened pack of paper towels-for wiping, cleaning, etc. we didnt use a whole roll but it was nice to have some around. I hate paper towels but that is a whole other post.
Bendy straws– For sipping of juices or water while in labor and for afterwards so you can have your chlorophyll and after ease without sitting up. They came in handy, they really do.
Honey sticks/chocolate/fruit/fruit juice for sugar boost– i used these organic agave nextar sticks they worked great for a shot of energy and were delish.
Broth– for nutrients, in case you dont want to eat anything

Ice cubes– for anything that you can think of, to put on your forehead, to put in a sock to put in your back, to put in drinks… anything.
Blow up/kiddie/birthing pool– in case you are having a pool birth which we did. This was ours. You can see our Mis En Place in the background. Yes I gave birth in our library. What a better place to give birth to a baby than a room surrounded by books?

Birthin Pool

Birthin' Pool

Soft bathmat for inside tub– i had a blowup bath pillow so that I could get on my knees without them hurting and so that I could lay my head on.
Warm towels/blankets/receiving blankets in the dryer– or in a paperbag inside of an oven at 200 degrees, or in a crock pot. this is to keep the new baby and mama warm.
Hot water bottle/heating pad– we had hot packs that are filled with rice and flax seed that can be put in the microwave to get hot. some people like hot, others like cold… i like heat for my pain.
Cold washcloths– i am sure we have all seen the movies and shows with the woman on her back with her knees up and them putting cold washcloths on her forehead and using them to soak up the sweat right? yeah.. thats what they are for. I never used them but I didnt push for hours and hours so I didnt sweat.
Candles/lighter etc.- to keep the light low, some mamas like no light when in labor
Lighting/light source – this is for underwater mostly. A flashlight is good for seeing a crowning head, meconium in water, blood, to check things underwater, etc…
Washcloths for compresses– warm compresses can work to help protect the perineum while pushing out the baby

Crockpot or sturdy bowl with hot water for compresses– see above for reason why the compresses might work for

Mirror– If you want to see yourself while you are pushing and the baby is crowning
Paper for placenta print– this is obviously optional, it looks like a tree when you do a print.. might be kind of cool.. some people like to do this
Ink for baby foot print– have a couple of them on hand. one that we had didnt work so i had another type. putting foot prints on shirts and stuff is cool too.

waterproof diposable camera– of course for use in waterbirth

connector for pool- for filling it up
foodsafe waterhose- for filling it up, I used foodsafe but I have been told it doesnt have to be
waterpump -for taking water out of pool, apparently this is a lifesaver and easier than using buckets

Aquarium net – for “debris” and by that I mean poop in case you do poop or pieces of the bag of waters that you might want skimmed off of the top of the water.

If you feel like you need something not on this list ask your midwife about it and see if he or she doesnt already have it. I assumed things like gloves, amniotic hook, and stuff will either be part of the Birth Kit or your midwife will tell you about. My list is mostly of things that dont appear on many birth kits that you might need.

Now, list of food. I froze lots of food before hand so that we would have stuff easily defrosted and we wouldnt have to cook but still have healthy meals. Some of this stuff will also serve as snacks for during labor or for those that are there assisting you during labor. SO they dont starve.

Freezable Foods:

burgers
Veggie bean burgers
Pancakes (I made some great blueberry pancakes that froze beautifully)
Waffles
Lots of breads, rolls, tortillas, and dough
Frozen fruits for smoothies
Navy/Pinto BeansChili

Soups (I made cassoulet which was divine and really hearty)
Lasagna
Mac n cheese (this freezes really well)
Meatloaf or Meatballs (without sauce, just plain. these can be put in sauce later or just eaten on their own)
Mini pizzas
Mashed potatoes
Scalloped potatoes
Pulled pork – this freezes really nicely
Ravioli, manicotti, and stuffed shells
Cookie dough, frozen in spoon size scoops
Hummus (can be used as a snack during labor too, full of protein)
Veggies, pre-chopped and flash frozen
Burritos
popsicles
Nuts – fast snack food delish and full of nutrients

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Responses

  1. This is a terrific post! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Good trick for making cold packs for the perineum. Take a newborn size diaper and put a small amount of water into the middle. Shape the diaper over a bowl to give it a nice rounded shape and then put the whole affair into the freezer. After the birth the diaper is used as a maternity pad, super for catching the lochia and icing the perineum at the same time!

  3. Heidi that is a fabulous idea. 🙂

  4. I am so amazed! This is such an organized list. I’ve read that nori is excellent used to accelerate healing. I just didn’t know it could be applied direct to the skin!


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