Home birth(20 Posts)
Hi all, this is my first post so please be kind! am now 37weeks and have opted for a home birth! This is baby number two although number one is now eight! My first was a very very long labour with contractions every 3.5 mins from the get go but baby didn't arrive for nearly 40hours! Other than the obvious exhaustion it was an uncomplicated birth and I didn't need any assistance so I have chosen to have this little nugget at home where I am hoping I will be more comfortable! My question to you is - what do I need? Is there anything you forgot that once in the swing of labour thought might have been handy? I haven't bothered with a birthing pool as I'm quite happy getting in and out the bath if I feel like it (think I had about nine baths in last labour) I already have a tens machine on rental that has arrived and been tested and a lot of ice packs! Any advice would be much appreciated!! Thanks
Biscuits/cakes/tea/coffee etc for the midwives.
Plenty of crap towels. If you don't have them, charity shops might have them or you can buy them new dirt cheap from ikea.
Puppy mats are good for absorbing blood etc and wrapping the placenta in. They are the same as the inco pads they use at the hospital. They may bring a birth pack but it has a limited number of supplies.
A washing up bowl for the placenta.
A torch or angle poise lamp for the midwives to see.
Perhaps a hand mirror too.
Bin bags/empty laundry basket for the dirty stuff to go straight into.
A sieve. In case you do give birth in the bath, any bodily products can be fished out.
A mattress protector. In case you birth in bed, it's a good idea.
Pack a hospital bag in case it doesn't go to plan. Mine didn't.
Everything SmEG says. Also some bottles of water in the freezer so you always have cold water available. And cereal bars. And bananas. And maybe some glucose tab things for energy if you don't fancy eating.
Cheap shower curtains (pound shops sometimes sell them!) can be handy for protecting carpets if you like to wander about in labour, or the sofa, or bed, or wherever they might be useful.
I was too sick to eat anything during labour, but managed to take tiny sips of lucozade so I'd recommend a sugary sports drink of some kind. Have a few chairs handy that the midwives can move round into whichever room you're in. I had three midwives (two and a trainee), plus my OH. They all needed somewhere to sit throughout the later stages. If you have pets, give some thought to where they will go during the labour (as they can be a pain and you don't really want them around). I used a birth ball and found it really good so I'd recommend buying one. My homebirth wasn't planned so I didn't have any supplies, and the midwives managed just fine, so don't worry too much. I loved my homebirth, so I hope it all works out well for you!
When I had my home birth I wasn't bothered about a pool, but I changed my mind at the last minute and bought one and my son was born in it! Most amazing thing ever, certainly an upgrade from a bath. It's worth having another look to see if you'd like one, if not then that's totally up to you. The bath helps with pain, but it's not as deep and is quite constrictive. Having said that, if you don't plan to birth in the pool, a bath will do, but a birth pool is a step up.
We had lots of towels, tea, biscuits for the midwives. I can't remember much else as I was just in my own world but the one thing I am going to insist on this time is a nice towelling dressing gown. Ideal for getting in and out of the pool, or in your case, the bath.
Good luck. Things should go quicker second time around. They did for me! I'm planning my next home birth for June now!
I had two home births and these were the only essentials:
- birthing pool
- bendy straws
I gave birth in the pool both times and it really helped me cope with the pain and enabled me to move about easily. I had no other pain relief ('cos I hated the gas and air). I rented one from www.waterbabybirthingpoolhire.co.uk both times. They offer a brilliant, totally hassle-free service.
Bendy straw so I could easily drink out of a glass being held for me
Other than that, towels, plastic sheeting to put under the pool, plenty of biscuits for the lovely midwives. The midwives will bring all the really essential stuff (medical equipment, etc).
I hope you have a lovely birth experience. Home births are great!
Everything everyone else has said seems good. Especially tea! I had at least a dozen cups throughout my labour
I'd also really recommend a birthing ball. I had a very long labour and it was definitely worth getting. And older DCs loved playing with it after !
Don't forget to pack a hospital bag. I had had easy to-plan births for my 2 home births (3rd &b 4th pgs) and didn't put as much thought into it the third time - something I really regretted when I had to rush to hospital 43 hours into labour!
I had hospital births, my ds was easy peasy but my dd would have been in serious trouble had we been at home. Can I just ask have any of you ever worried about this I'd love to be at home but would be too scared!
I had DD2 at home and I used an old double quilt (to save my knees!) covered in shower curtains with a layer of towels on top, so nothing would damage the living room rug.
Blood did actually get on quite a few things but we put it all through the washing machine, threw out the quilt as intended, and all was sorted about 20 mins after she was born.
What I found interesting was that I went into slow labour about 5 days before she was born, but I never felt worried or in pain, I knew I was contracting but I was so calm. When the midwives arrived they accused me of not being in labor at all, but when they examined me I was 8cm! Knowing I could just stay at home until she was born was so relaxing, I was slowly dilating in my own time.
Home birth midwives are trained for any disaster. My daughter was enormous like... Off the height/weight charts, so she was a little stuck on the way out, they noticed immediately and turned me to the right position and got her out with no problems.
A cheap plastic shower curtain - great for protecting wherever you give birth. Covered by a cheap or old unwanted duvet so you don't stick to the shower curtain. Big black bags to put both in the bin when finished.
This is what I did, I was comfortable, no issues about mess and was just left with 2 black bags in the corner afterwards.
I also made a cake before hand for everyone to eat - it is the child's birthday after all! It was great with a cup of tea afterwards and everyone (incl. midwives) having a slice - bit like a party.
List of things for your birth partner to do/know. Mine included names & phone numbers and a reminder to give the hot water and heating a boost if the birth happened in the middle of the night.
Good luck - hope it is a lovely experience for you.
I have had 3 home births
First one was an accident so I had nothing.
For the others I just made sure I had baby clothes.hat.nappys . Blankets/towels for baby. Towels/ sanitary towels. Clean night shirt or what ever you want to wear.
The midwife should bring you a home birth kit.
Make sure the MW has more than 2 bottles of gas ad during air I ended up having paramedics bring another 2 and I STiLL ran out and that was another 21 hour labour.
Thanks all for your suggestions! Midwife has dropped off her kit last week and me and husband have had great fun going through it all! We have also packed our own box with all the things you have mentioned in it. currently 38+4 so getting very excited! Hoping she makes an appearance soon as I'm getting around 3 hours sleep a night at the moment and my hips are killing me! Midwives here are very excited as they don't get home births very often so they have all been arguing about the off duty his month will update with how it all goes!! Thanks again all! X
Have you had your homebirth yet? Just read this thread and was wondering how you got on! I too am planning a homebirth
Been really great to read this thread, as I would love a homebirth this time (2nd child) but my DH is really not at all on board with it. Is good to know what I may want to have around the house (and where I can rent a birthing pool - thanks Closetlibrarian!)
How did your DCs deal with the birth? Another reason I am veering to homebirth is so that if I go into labour in the middle of the night, my DC can stay at home in bed. However, if he were around while I were in labour I am not sure how he would handle it/whether he would want to be there, if I'd want him to be there, etc. I know everybody's experiences will be different but would love to know how it panned out for anyone willing to talk.
Am really trying to get as much information as I can so I can
attack inform DH with it. Last birth was very long and I am sure that the hospital environment and various decisions medical staff made did not help matters!
Let us know how the birth goes OP, very excited for you!
I had a homebirth with my second. I had hoped for one for my first but it didn't work out - forty hour indiction.
I was so chilled out and relaxed. In early labour I actually went to the supermarket and got tons of food in for my toddler. He was all I could think about! It was six hours in total. No pain relief needed, though in retrospect I should have had gas during transition. I had a doula, my husband and my mil there plus two Mws. My toddler slept through the whole thing. I was laughing and joking in between contractions for the first five hours. The last hour I was in the pool and it was hard but only an hour - I went from 4cm to giving birth! My son woke up in the morning to a new baby sister and it was so chilled.
My absolute HB musts are a pool - a bath just can't Compete with an inflatable floor and room to splash about in Maternity mats from Boots were good. Tarpaulin or shower curtain for the pool. Lots of towels. All the yummy food you want to eat after in the fridge.
Homebirth MWs are trained to spot difficult situations arising ahead of difficulties. You have two experts concentrating on you and they are ready to take action/give advice/ call an ambulance immediately. I actually felt a lot safer at home with so many people concentrating on me and helping me than I did in hospital with my first, when it was just me and my husband a bit scared and only seeing a MW every ten hours or so - and only then only rushing in just to check on me quickly and then rushing out again to her other women.
Home births are very safe. They are trained to deal with a variety of "emergency situations including cord prolapse and haemorrhaging until the ambulance arrives. A lot of the time women transfer in not because of emergencies but because the woman is just not coping at home (maybe she wants an epidural). It does seem risky but when you do the research - including discussing with MWs - you can make an informed choice. It's not for everyone and that's totally fine. The place you choose to give birth has to be about where you DSL safest, be that at home or in hospital.
Red kites idea is great about the shower curtains! I wish I knew this before
Everyone I know that's wanted one has ended up in hospital so pack a bag I wanted one but wasn't allowed
Two good home births- no advice to add, you have been given sound stuff from others, just warm wishes for a good birth.
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