Home birth supplies

Basic must haves

  • A waterproof mat – this can be a blanket over the top of tarpaulin or a plastic drop cloth, a waterproof backed picnic blanket, a birth mat (instructions on how to make one here), etc.
  • Two buckets – one lined with a plastic bag for rubbish and one in case you need to vomit.
  • A laundry basket lined with a plastic bag or similar to put soiled/wet laundry into.
  • Old towels.
  • A container for the placenta.
  • A cord tie, muka or items for lotus birth/umbilical non-severance.
  • Baby blankets.
  • Comfortable clothing such as a towel robe.
  • Healthy snacks
  • Drinks such as water, coconut water, red raspberry leaf tea (can also be pre-frozen into ice cubes to suck), etc.
  • A source of heat if it’s cold.
  • Support people who love you.

Optional extras you may want to consider

  • Birth space set up (just in case)
    Birth space set up

    Waterproof absorbent pads (get before labour from midwife).

  • Torch
  • Mirror
  • A method for warming hot towels, such as a slow cooker/crock pot, boiling water and container, etc. and thick rubber gloves to handle them. Alternately hot water bottles or wheat packs.
  • A container with cold or frozen face cloths
  • Decorations such as affirmations, photos of loved ones and special memories, fairy lights, candles, birth flags/pennants, birth beads, etc.
  • Music
  • Hand held fan
  • Acupressure items including acupressure point info,  a comb to squeeze during contractions (acupressure points).
  • A TENS machine
  • Homoeopathic remedies such as arnica or a homoeopathic birth kit.
  • Flower essences such as Rescue Remedy or Stress Med Spray
  • Essential oils such as Tea tree oil, a birth mix and carrier oils (if not premixed) and/or an oil burner.
  • Camera, charger, spare batteries, memory space, etc. or a birth photographer.

After the birth

  • Baby blankets, wraps and optionally baby clothes.
  • Nappies or EC (Elimination Communication) potty and clothing.
  • Comfortable underwear and clothing for yourself.
  • Maternity pads and/or disposable underwear such as Tena for the first day or two (usually bottom shelf of the sanitary goods aisle in the supermarket).
  • Perineum healing mix/spray.
  • Homoeopathic remedies such as Arnica, Weleda Chamomilla/Nicotiana Comp (for afterpains), etc.
  • Fresh made bed for sinking into with baby – nice fresh sheets and comfortable protective underlayer and everything you need nearby (e.g. lamp/ torch, water, snacks, nappies/potty, wipes, wraps, etc.).
  • A message on your answering machine asking people to call back later/leave a message/send a text or email instead.
  • A list on the fridge of things visitors can do when they ask “what can I do to help?” Ideas include: laundry, vacuuming, dishes, reading stories to children, taking the dog for a walk, taking out the compost, etc. It can be hard to ask for help, or hard to think of what needs to be done. If people can choose a task they will probably enjoy it more, and everyone likes to help.
  • A sign for the door or gate to say mum and baby are sleeping, or express your wishes around visiting for friends and family calling by.
  • Lots of easy-to-make frozen meals in the freezer or organise friends and family to make meals each night for a week or two.

Waterbirth items

Further Reading

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