I get asked a lot by clients and strangers what all supplies are needed at a homebirth. I am going to offer my list of suggested items, as well as the things that I plan on having on hand at my own homebirth (look for that post tomorrow).
Consumable Supplies (your midwife may have a list that differs slightly)
Absorbent Underpads (Chux pads) — for containing messes from leaking fluids
Plastic Backed Sheet — like one giant Chux, but thinner, to be used over a large area on the floor, bed, or the first layer over a chair or couch to protect it from fluids
Umbilical Cord Tape or Plastic Cord Clamps — depends on preference of midwife/client; both are used to close off the cut end of the umbilical cord attached to the baby
Instant Cold Absorbent Pad — like a large, thick maxi-pad, but it has an icepack inside for use soon after the birth and throughout the first 24 hours for reducing swelling of the labia and perineum tissues
Stretch Maternity Brief (mesh underwear) — used to hold pads in place, but using your own underwear is fine too
Perineal Rinse Bottle (peri bottle) — used to clean up after urinating instead of wiping the first few days (with tearing/stitches or not)
Alcohol Prep Pads — for cleaning around umbilical site during diaper changes until the umbilical stump falls off
Bulb Syringe — for mild suctioning of the baby immediately after birth, if needed
Lubricating Jelly — used for cervical exams, conductive jell for doppler, and if not used at birth it can be kept for those first few postpartum attempts at having sex
Sterile Exam Gloves — to be used in the event of cervical exams or manual removal of placenta, etc.
Pool/Tub — these can be as simple and cheap as an inflatable kiddie pool or as elaborate and expensive as you wish (many higher end ones can be rented)
Pool Liner — makes clean up easier and aides in sanitation for rented/shared pools/tubs
Thick Plastic/Vinyl Liner (or shower curtain) — this goes underneath the pool/tub to protect flooring from water
Small Fish Net — for removing large pieces of membranes and fecal matter from pool water
Waterproof Thermometer — for checking pool water temp
Potable Water Hose (and faucet adaptors) — Hose that is safe for drinking water; used to fill and empty pool
Water Pump — to aide in emptying pool after the birth
Water Heater (optional) — submersible heater for keeping water warm in colder climates
Extra Things to Have on Hand
Towels — you will go through a fair amount regardless if the birth is “on land” or a waterbirth
Receiving Blankets — especially if you are planning a waterbirth
Placenta Bowl — bowl to temporarily put the #placenta in once it is birthed
Witch Hazel — you can use this with cotton balls to clean around the umbilical stump if you find alcohol too drying for baby’s skin; it also helps tears/stitches heal faster so add some to your peri bottle rinse
Massage Oil — self explanatory
OTC Pain Meds/Homeopathic Pain Meds — Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, #Arnica, and so on; whatever your non-aspirin preference is
Do you have more suggestions? Leave them in a comment!
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