Good luck, my homebirth was a fantastic experience and a million times better than my hospital birth. My top tips are to warn your neighbours if you haven't already so that you can relax safe in the knowledge that the police aren't about to turn up thinking you're being attacked and to buy more absorbant pads than you think you will need. Is this your first baby? If its not you may be surprised to find that you are much more dilated than you think when the mw checks you as a lot of women report less pain at home than in hospital - I was apologising for calling the mw too soon when she told me I was actually 5cm
Enjoy it! I have had 4 homebirths and regret that I won't get to do it again, its the most amazing thing I've ever done. Are you planning to use a pool? Have you got the contraction timer app on your phone? or use contractiontimer.com Have you hired a TENS machine? Pampers disposable bed mats are great for sitting on to protect the sofa for the first couple of days, especially if you're breastfeeding Make sure you have lots of snacks and choc biscuits in, and champagne in the fridge
This is my fourth, first homebirth. I labour fast once i get going. Im In a semi so dont need to worry about neighbours on the other side. Havent used tens before. No pool, i dont like water in labour.
Good luck. Hopefully you won't tear this time, I think it's much calmer at home so maybe that will help. I had HB with my first and was brilliant. DC2 due on Thurs and booked in for HB again. Make sure you have plenty of hot water in the tank. Also have a bag ready in case you do need to transfer. It is so wonderful when it works and even if you transfer you can feel like you gave HB a shot and overall will have spent less time in hospital.
If you are worried about tearing : not too late to do some perineal massage (use plant-based oil, both thumbs in vag and gently pull outwards and sideways till you feel the stretch) twice a day. A very small amount of extra space makes a big difference. : ease the baby out as slowly as you can. If yours tend to fly out, you can try lying on your left side with someone supporting your right leg. This slows them down right at the end without compressing the pelvis. It used to be the standard position for UK homebirth mws (1930-1970) specifically to reduce tearing. : ask the mw to coach you to deliver the head as slow as you can if you are not feeling in control.
As it is your fourth you know far more than I do about childbirth but the best bit of preparation I did for a homebirth was to joke about (and mentally prepare for) a cesarean.
It meant when I did end up with one, after a rather long labour, I coped much better and argued that as I'd got everything ready for a home birth I could be discharged asap so I went home after about 3 days as opposed to the then standard 10.
I'm due in a week and also down for a homebirth - my second, the first time we transferred into hospital during labour and DS1 was born by ventouse. I would say make sure you have whatever your midwife has recommended you supply (I have a lot of old sheets and towels, a good bright light and a couple of basins and a bucket) and anything you think you'll want/need in labour to help you cope. It's nice to have biscuits or something for the midwives, too.
And have a hospital bag packed anyway, because you never know what will happen and if you do have to transfer to hospital you don't want to be doing what I was doing last time and frantically directing DH around the house to pick things up while you wait for an ambulance (I did pack a bag, but then I unpacked it when I went into labour).
Thank you for the info on perineal massage Mayhew! Very informative and just the information I was looking for
I'm 37+2 and tentatively planning a homebirth (but have induction booked for 40+3, recommended due to age, but been assured I can cancel/delay nearer the time).
Regarding the bag packing, I was going to lob everything in the large wheeled rucksack I normally take on hols with me (so that everything is ready and in one place regardless of where I give birth) but MW has recommended I decant stuff into a smaller bag too, in case I end up on hospital for only a short while. So will have a a big 'long stay' bag, plus a smaller 'short stay' one. Not sure if that advice is of use to anyone else!
On that note, I guess I should go and pack said bags right now as have been a bit slack on that front...