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Home Birth Tips(18 Posts)
I'm 37 weeks with baby number 2 and planning a home birth.
I have booked this with my lovely midwife and had all official booklets etc, have my birth pool ready to go and I'm getting together all the obvious stuff like millions of towels, candles, plastic sheeting etc.
I was really hoping that some of you lovely people who have had a home birth could offer any tips about anything (equipment, random stuff, anything really!) that really helped you/ wished you'd had but didn't know you'd need.
Thank you so much!
Also planning a home birth for number 2 (currently 40 weeks and bored with front room being full of towels and tarpaulins). There was a thread with lots of tips I think last week, but my midwife suggested yesterday that we tie a balloon to the front gate if it all kicks off at night, to make it easier to find our house.
I bought 2 cheap shower curtains (£2 each) from asda- they were waterproof but fabricy not plasticy, so felt nicer when lying on them if that makes sense, and one each covered the entire bed/sofa then just got rolled up and shoved in the bin when used!
Extra large puppy training pads were amazing for everywhere, in the bed, on ethe floor, to sit in after etc...again just roll up and chuck in the bin.
Get easy to eat energy type snacks/drinks- I kept being sick which I didn't expect at all and couldn't handle food, lucozade glucose tablets and Powerade kept me going-instantly absorbable energy. Also straws for drinking, it sounds pathetic but holding/lifting a glass of water is hard work lol!
My midwives had a huge homebirth kit dropped off when I was 37 weeks (2 huge boxes and a papramedic style large backpack) so didn't need much else, but I know what they provide varies from area to area.
Biscuits and tea supplies for midwives, much appreciated!
Hope that helps, and good luck!!
The best piece of advice was to have a big old duvet to hand. It's more comfy than towels and tarpaulin and soaks up pretty much Everything!
Have you done a dummy run with the pool? If you're filling it from scratch make sure you know how long it takes to fill at the right temperature. Go for hotter - much easier to cool down hot water than heat it up.if it's too cold.
Have a bag packed for you and baby just in case a quick hospital transfer is necessary.
Biscuits. Lots. Also crunching ice chips in nice when you're fed up and it's taking its time.
Straws for drinking was the most important thing in my birth pack!
Tucks pads (not sure what UK equivalent is, pads soaked in witch hazel) for sore bits and piles.
A doughnut cushion to sit on after.
Some HUGE sanitary towels and lots of them. Puppy training pads. Mesh underwear (dh finally got me out of these after 3 months ).
Also some huge pads soaked in Witchazel and stuck in the freezer were amazing.
Some vit c rescue packs to put in water to drink.
Nice, comfy new pjs and slippers made me feel better.
Bottle of champagne
Sign on door telling people to fuck off (we live in small community and knew we'd have lots of people dropping round).
A sieve to remove turds from the pool as essential for us too.
Yep, straws, puppy pads and food for awfterwards.
Lots of towels. More than you think.
A good anglepoise lamp in case you need stitching up.
Good luck, best experience of my life.
Put the hot water on constant (unless you have a system that heats on demand) as soon as you start contractions just in case.
Ensure hose reaches / fits on taps, etc
If you have an inflatable birth pool with liner, be aware the easiest way is to partially inflate pool, but liner in, then fully inflate. It's almost impossible to get the liner onto a fully inflated pool.
Like ratonastick said, allow plenty of time to put up and fill the birth pool. I had 2 home births: the first one the pool only had 2 inches of water in it when DD chose to make her debut so I never got to use it. The next time around, DH set it up as soon as I was labour and started filling it once the contractions became regular but before they got painful enough to need it. You can always top it up with hot water from the kettle. The second time, everything went like clockwork and DS was born in the pool about 15 minutes after I got in.
I used a £2 polythene decorating sheet thing from FADS to cover the sofa.
Sieve for the inevitable poo.
Torch and mirror for midwife to examine you in the pool.
If it happens at night time as it so often does, you could get some of those Halloween balloons with lights in to tie on the gate to make it easier for the midwife to find your house. Unless you start labour on October 31st in which case lots of houses might have them...
Good luck! Home births are fantastic. So much nicer afterwards than being stuck in a hospital.
I had dd2 at home in my bath (planned) and although I had plastic sheets- Poundland shower curtains, and extra towels etc I needed none of them! But I couldn't of done it without a tens machine.
Remember to call the mw as soon as you know you're in labour so they can organise themselves, mine didn't have gas and air so had to get someone else to drop it off!
And get someone to change the bed- dark sheets.
Stay active and trust your body! I've got goosebumps just thinking of my labours-in a good way
I packed everything in the cradle in the order I'd need it: plastic and an old sheet to go on the bed, an old towel and inco pads for the floor. Then whatever old t-shirt I planned to wear, then a towel to wrap the baby in, then the nappy and clothes for the baby, and finally pad and clothes for me to grab on my way to the bath afterwards.
I also had presents 'from the baby' wrapped and ready for the other DC. These worked like a charm.
Oh - have plenty of detergent in stock so you (or, with luck, somebody else) can shove anything that needs it into the washing machine afterwards.
I birthed in my bedroom no pool I had a shower curtain under a sheet on the bed and some bedtime pads for kids and used them too. We just scooped it up all up after giving birth and straight into a bin bags. Old towels for straight after to wrap baby up and lat over you to keep warm...when I was in second stage I stripped off as I was so hot but needed covering as soon as she was born. I gave birth on all fours and wish I'd had some more firm cushions to lean on I didn't feel comfortable holding on to the head board and my cushions were too soft. ...my only regret 😊 have someone else on hand making sandwiches or any other food for straight after.. I was ravenous!
I packed a labour box (tens machine, inco pads, lollies for energy,water bottles, towels, etc) and a postnatal box (nappies and baby clothes, clothes for me, and ALL the snacks). The postnatal box had all the stuff I needed for the first few days, so I could just go bed and do cuddling, with loads of emergency snacks for the insane post-birth hunger.
A handy tip is to use a newborn nappy instead of a sanitary towel for the first day or two of lochia. They are more absorbent and you have loads around anyway.
Ice packs. As the room has to be so hot for the baby, I found I was roasting. And bottles of water in the freezer for the same reason.
Those glucose tabs also helped and some cereal bars for straight after (I was ravenous!)
Thanks so much everyone, some great tips here
A small portable fan heater. When the baby is born it is good to have the room temp at 25c, to prevent chilling. It saves you having to heat the whole house to the max.
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