I just wrote the other day about how I’m not feeling much of a need to prep for this baby. We have the basics from our daughter, so what more could we possibly need to do or get before Boo arrives? Then my midwife handed me a supply list at my last prenatal appointment and I remembered… “Oh yeah, all the birth stuff. Whoops.”
While most families stock some freezer-ready meals and pack a hospital bag as their primary preparations pre-baby, planning a homebirth requires an extra level of preparation. Not only do you need to make sure you have your home in order for your triumphant return, but you have to have your home in order to handle the actual birth as well.
Fortunately, this isn’t as complicated as most people think.
Our shopping/gathering list includes:
- the birth kit (defined by our midwife; available for purchase here). This includes some disposable medical supplies like chux, sterile gauze, alcohol pads, lube, a bulb syringe, sterile gloves, sterile towels, baby hats, and vitamin K, as well as some items for mom like a peri bottle, bendy straws, and those super sexy mesh panties for immediately postpartum
- cheap bed sheets, towels, & wash cloths that we don’t mind gooping up
- waterproof mattress bag for the bed
- birth pool, new hose, new liner, water pump, plastic tablecloth/floor liner
- flashlight & new batteries
- heavy duty garbage bags
- coconut water & healthy, calorie-rich foods for both mama and the birth support team (dad, midwives, doula)
- olive oil (bonus use: beat that sticky meconium!)
And for mom, postpartum (and not necessarily homebirth-specific)
All in all, it’s not a bad list and many things are standard household items or I already have them on hand from my last homebirth. Things in this category include the pool, towels & wash cloths, a flashlight, garbage bags, olive oil, and the sitz bath.
The things we need to buy new are (thankfully) limited and include:
- a new liner for pool and a new, clean hose to fill it with;
- cheap sheets, since we’ve upgraded from a full to a king-sized bed since our daughter was born and we became full-time co-sleepers;
- and the obvious one-time use things like coconut water, food, pads, and sitz bath herbs.
So although I was thinking I was in the clear and could just lazily coast from now until the baby shows up, I’ve now been reminded that, second-timer or not, there are still things to do, things to purchase, and things to prepare for. *sigh* And although I’m not in full-out nesting mode just yet, I’m sure that time will come soon and I’ll go into the expected frenzy as I freak out about everything we still need, rational or not.
If you had a homebirth, what supplies did you find most valuable for the big day? If you gave birth in a hospital or birth center, what did you find most useful – whether you brought it from home or it was supplied for you?