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Being prepared for home birth? What do I need?

(180 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Mon 02-Dec-13 22:59:39

Also having a hospital bag just in case ... (Dc3, first potential hb)

Have had 2 home births, didn't have a pool.

I found those disposable bed mat things very helpful. Particularly for second baby when my waters were leaking out with each contraction (yuk) and I was plodding upstairs to the loo with a bed map between my legs acting as an impromptu nappy.

We had plastic sheets covered by an old duvet on the floor, also had old towels covering the (new) sofa. Had nice food in the house for during and after, but it turns out that I feel so sick during labour that I didn't really snack much during.

bigbuttons Tue 03-Dec-13 20:49:38

You don't need much, I've had 2 hb. Thos disposable mats are very useful, especially once you are lying in your own bed afterwards and bleeding like a stuck pigshock

Donki Tue 03-Dec-13 20:50:49

A good friend for practical and moral support until the MW turns up... (and after)

WhereIsMyHat Tue 03-Dec-13 20:53:05

If you labour quick, a planned HB is ideal, better than an unplanned one of a road baby.

My first two labours were around 5 hours, the second of which was a wonderful hone birth. My third baby and second home birth was fast, 2 hours from waking, and minutes from the midwife arriving hence missing the pool which wasn't ideal but at the sameime it was fine. My H was half asleep so not the speediest pool filler. He was running back and forth trying to speed up the filling of the pool by using the kettle oblivious to the fact the baby was about to be born. The MW and I were like 'uh, L will you just stop, it's too late, forget it'. I think he was a bit upset that he didn't finish 'his' job,

VenusDeWillendorf Tue 03-Dec-13 20:54:41

You'll need a cooperative baby and pelvis.

Everything you'll have to hand but if your pelvis and your baby's head aren't in step, you'll have to transfer, so pack a bag, and hope for the best.

Don't forget to have childcare booked, not every child wants to see a birth, and you might need granny to sit with them, or bring them for a walk.

The most important thing you need is luck, and plenty of it, but that's true with every birth, wherever it is!

WhereIsMyHat Tue 03-Dec-13 21:27:25

Positive post there Venus fsmile

spiderlight Tue 03-Dec-13 22:08:40

I had a Made in Water birth pool and it was fab. Make sure your hot tank has the capacity to fill it though - we discovered that ours didn't (DS was early and arrived the day after the pool, so we'd not had a chance for a test run with it). We didn't have enough hot water to fill it despite poor lovely DH spending the entire day boiling pans on the hob like a 1950s husband, so I got to wallow around in it for pain relief (which was bliss) but I had to get out to push and deliver DS on dry land. Also make sure your taps will connect to the connector, unless you have a handy friend who won't mind driving round all the hardware stores in town with a photo of your kitchen tap on his phone (thank you Greg! grin).

Other than that, you just need a few cheap shower curtains and old dark towels (we ran out and ended up using dog towels blush), maybe an exercise ball to bounce on, a good stash of snacky food, cake for the midwives and a sense of humour! I loved it - best decision I ever made, and it gave us so many stories to tell DS. (I suspect the midwives still tell the tale of DH trying to put me on the phone to a cold caller from the bank at 7cm dilated as well....)

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Dec-13 22:21:35

Dd1 was 3 hours start to finish. Dd2 was 1 hour to the exact minute. shock

10:53pm waters broke in bed
Instant contractions every five mins
11:25ish got to hospital
11:35 on bed started pushing after trying to hold her in so dp didn't miss it
11:53pm born unknown back to back but great labour. Just fast!

Dp arrived about 30mins after

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Dec-13 22:22:30

Where did you give birth if no pool (for those who haven't said)

MrsDeVere Tue 03-Dec-13 22:33:58

Loads more towels than you think.

I went through tons. I bought a lot of cheap white ones from Tesco.

I used them for ages afterwards for various things.

I used Homebase fabric, plastic backed dust sheets for the bed. The fabric top stopped them being sweaty to sleep on. I put one on a few days before my EDD just in case and then used the second one after the birth for a week.

I had a flat surface set up near a power point in case baby needed resuscitation.
I took the shade of a skinny standard lamp and kept that handy in case the MW needed more light for stitching or anything fiddly.

I have had two HB with DCs 4&5 and they were great.

I had pethidene ready in case I needed it but I didn't end up using it.
Also had pain relief for after the birth.

MrsDeVere Tue 03-Dec-13 22:34:36

I had both mine on my bed.
I didn't fancy doing it downstairs.

spiderlight Tue 03-Dec-13 22:42:43

Living room floor, on al fours leaning against the birth ball.

Mumzy Tue 03-Dec-13 22:53:54

Cheap soft shower curtain to protect bed/sofa. If you think you'll need pethidine you need to discuss it with your GP well beforehand as it's a controlled drug and they have strict guidelines on its storage and disposal. Otherwise selection of snacks/ drinks. Tens machine was useful, baby grow, blanket and a nappy.

Mumzy Tue 03-Dec-13 22:58:44

Oh! And a selection of takeaway menus to order yourselves a meal afterwards. Was absolutely starving for all of them wink

Chippingnortonset123 Tue 03-Dec-13 23:06:37

I was told angle poise lamp for stitches and to make the bed with clean sheets, then put on a plastic fitted sheet, then sheets on top so that afterwards you can just whip off the top two layers and get into bed. Plenty of food and drink so you don't need to go out.

CookiecutterShark Tue 03-Dec-13 23:17:09

Shower curtains and towels. I didn't have a birth pool with either of mine. DD was born at the foot of the bed - I was kneeling and leaning forward onto the bed. DS was born on the bed - he was pretty fast so I lay down in an effort to slow it down. Didn't help much, but I remember thinking I had to do the opposite of what they say in the classes so he wouldn't arrive before the midwives (or my sister who was booked to watch DD and stuck on the M6...) If I had another I'd have another HB without a second thought.

NoBusinessLikeSnowBusiness Tue 03-Dec-13 23:53:34

What do you need? Not to go into labour at 31 weeks grin. Best laid plans and all that....

Good luck. I'm always envious of those who get to do it. With the speed of your previous ones, I'd say some delivery training for your OH too!

Shaky Wed 04-Dec-13 00:34:49

I did a homebirth just last week (midwife). It was absolutely awesome. All fours, leaning against the sofa. No mess, no drama, just a fantastic birth of a beautiful baby that breast fed within minutes of skin to skin contact.

All you really need is a hospital bag, just in case, a supportive partner, child care for other siblings and experienced, confident midwives.

Where I work, you don't even have to store the equipment in your house. We have a homebirth van with everything in, we bring everything to you when you are in labour and we take it all away again afterwards.

Good luck with your labour and birth, I hope all goes well for you. I'm excited for you. Midwives love home births especially in daylight hours smile

Bogeyface Wed 04-Dec-13 02:07:04

An amazing midwife.

Mine said, when I was struggling "Can you keep the noise down? I cant hear the telly for this racket!" It was really funny and calmed me down no end!

Practically though, the only thing I forgot was that the beautifully made up crib wasnt a hell of a lot of use when they needed to wrap the baby in something easily washable! I should have put out another set of sheets for her to go in as soon as she was born and I didnt. My 5 eldest had all been born in hospital so that had always been their side of things.

My eldest took 8 hours in hospital, they got shorter and shorter until #5 was an induction and start to finish was 3 hours. #6 was at home and 14 hours (short cord and wrapped around her neck, she was bungee jumping!) and it was by far the nicest labour of the lot. Calm (ish), relaxed (ish!), my own tea, my own bath, my own bed.

It will be wonderful, enjoy! smile

PS, I didnt have a birth pool either, no room. I gave birth on the sofa in the living room and it was far more comfortable than being in bed as I had been with the others.

Bogeyface Wed 04-Dec-13 02:11:50

I should also say that I had an epidural with all of the others, which caused major birth trauma for after one of them. My story is actually in one of Shelia Kitzingers books. I went through the home birth on gas and air and was fine. It is true that the more relaxed you are the less it hurts. It was my home, I was in charge and that made a huge difference. I wasnt being told what to do by a hospital midwife on her turf (as nice as my midwives have always been), they followed my protocol and not the other way around.

I worked in intensive care neonatal unit, so wouldn't have a home birth if you paid me! Iv seen too many things that go wrong, sorry to put a damper on things but just my views, I wish you all the best flowers

MrsDeVere Wed 04-Dec-13 08:40:19

Well you would
working in nicu.
how many of those babies were born at home?

I worked in A&E and the only pregnancies I saw were early miscarriages.

Hardly a balanced view.

cherryademerrymaid Wed 04-Dec-13 08:46:01

Honey - I'm sure you saw some very sad things. Do you know how many of those babies were in intensive care as a result of:

1) A condition that was already present in utero

or

2) Due to mistakes made by the hospital staff

3)As a result of a homebirth going wrong?

Do you have knowledge about birth statistics in the UK? Or are you, as you say, completely basing your opinion on working in a NICU? Where you will definitely come across nothing but ill babies, which is a small-ish cross section of the whole picture of birth experiences, thus skewing your views?

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 04-Dec-13 08:47:09

Thata is like an extreme version of the fact that midwives often choose homebirths and stand alone MLUs and doctors want the exact opposite.

Statistically, home birth is just as safe for non first births (and it is still very safe for first timers)

cherryademerrymaid Wed 04-Dec-13 08:49:01

Oops...forgot something there

4) Born prematurely

5) had a mother who was identified as hiving high risk factors?

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