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Home birth- what will I realistically need?

(23 Posts)
TinkyTaylor Wed 10-Jun-09 20:22:47

Am hoping to have a home birth with my second baby in september, shall have my two year old and DH to help too! I just wanted to know what you need to get prepared before hand? and also if anyone has any lovely experiences they can share with me as am a little concerned at how my DD will cope with it all.

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Jun-09 20:29:18

hi tinky, I had a homebirth with my second child, and am currently waiting for db3 to make his/her appearance at home too- the first homebirth was SO good I had to do it again grin

things we needed:

floor covering- we used 2 cheapo shower curtains from asda

towels- most people say get dark colours but I was told to use pale so that if your waters go and you're on the towel then they can see what colour it is (ie, if it has meconium or anythiung in it) I bought some really cheap asda ones, but they've washed up fine, so if you have plenty of towels then I wouldn't boither buying any just for this

a lamp- in case you need stitching afterwards.

biscuits/snacks to keep the midwives going (and you)

stuff for you and the baby-
I had a hospital bag prepared in case of transfer and it was actually really useful because it meant I had everything I needed in one place once ds2 was born and dp didn't have to go off searching for stuff.
so the usual things:
pyjamas, sanitary towels, big old knickers, babygro and vest for baby, blanket for baby, nappies

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Jun-09 20:30:24

oh, also somewhere to pop baby down. esp if your older child will be around (as your DH may be dealing with her at the time)
after ds2 was born we popped him in the carrycot while dp was off making everyone tea and I was being examined by midwife.

TinkyTaylor Wed 10-Jun-09 20:43:49

What great advice - thank you so much thisisyesterday! Am making a note of it now!It's so good to hear such a positive experience and for someone to tell me what I really need to have as essentials! Thanks

torch Wed 10-Jun-09 20:44:22

Go for it! I had a wonderful experience having baby no 3 at home. Middle of winter, in my lounge with the fire blazing, calming music playing, scented candles lit... it was (genuinely) relaxing and one of the best things I've ever done.

We didn't have the other 2 kids around because most of my labour happened while they were asleep but I wouldn't have wanted them in the room anyway so my dad came down to entertain them when they did wake up. They were not AT ALL phased by the weird noises coming from the lounge (I had warned them in advance) but were very impatient to meet the new baby!

In terms of stuff, all you need is a cheap shower curtain or two (I got mine from IKEA) and some old towels (although we didn't have any so I bought some cheap ones - in dark colours). Some people go for birthing pools which you can hire or buy although I didn't as I'm not that keen on baths...! Other than that, the midwife will bring everything else. Oh, and do pack your hospital bag anyway - not only in case you get transferred in but also so that everything you need (nappies, babygros etc) is all in one place when the baby arrives. I hadn't bothered and the midwife told me off because I had to send my husband off to search in various drawers to get all the stuff we needed at a time when he really had better things to do...!

Good luck!

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Jun-09 20:47:31

you're welcome. it was a fantastic experience for me.
I had an ok, but not great birth experience with my first little boy, and I have to say I was quite worried at the thought of no pain relief and stuff like that with my homebirth, but it was amazing. I felt soooo proud of myself afterwards lol.

do you have a back-up plan in case you decide you don't want your DD there?
I know quite a few people who've had homebirths and some have had kids there and it's all been ok, but some people have had a really strong feeling that they wanted the older siblings out of the way once they went into labour.
So, it might be worth making arrangements in case you decide you don't want her there after all.

torch Wed 10-Jun-09 20:47:53

ooops cross posted with thisisyesterday... but at least we're pretty much saying the same things

TinkyTaylor Wed 10-Jun-09 20:48:08

you've made me think actually - as it doesn't have to happen in the bedroom does it?! My DH did get a bit quesy about the idea of then sleeping in the bed afterwards! So maybe the lounge floor is a better option-also if it happens in the night it woke wake my little one!

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Jun-09 20:50:27

no, doesn't have to be in the bedroom.

I had a birth pool, so that was set up downstairs. ended up giving birth leaning over the sofa though

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Jun-09 20:51:01

and you can scare guests by saying "mmm yes, he was born just about there" and pointing to where their feet are

Tambajam Wed 10-Jun-09 20:54:28

I had such a lovely home birth 18 months ago. My 3.2 yr old was in the room and had a really positive experience. We'd really prepared him with lots of books and chats but I agree with the PP that it's good to have options and good to have someone else who can take responsibility for him. There are too many unknowns. For example he watched the delivery of the placenta and was a bit taken back but was verbal enough to be able to ask questions and understand the responses. (We had called it the baby's cushion previously and we talked about why the blood was needed). If he had been much younger or less verbal I wonder whether he might have become upset and unable to express himself and that would have obviously upset me too.
I think it really helped the forming of their relationship that he was present and was never separated from us.
My newborn never left me. Had the check on me and popped right into a sling or was in arms.
We bought plastic sheeting but it was slippery! Had better luck with a picnic rug (plastic backed) that we then binned.

DiamondHead Wed 10-Jun-09 20:56:21

I had two dc's in my bed. My older children slept through the labours - the births were both about 3am.

If you do use a bed, have two waterproof sheets, one for labour and one for after. My midwife and dh remade the bed whilst I was in the bath. There was no mess at all by the time I was finished.

I didn't use shower curtains, I just had some plastic sheets from B&Q, I think they're officially for wallpapering. (You can do it if you B&Q it)

I kept the babies bedding and first outfitt in a crib in a pillow case, so they were kept dust free but ready when needed.

Good luck.

TinkyTaylor Wed 10-Jun-09 21:00:42

saying that I think I've got an old tent ground sheet somewhere?!

Tambajam Wed 10-Jun-09 21:03:26

My dd was born on a beanbag in the living room. I love freaking out the guests as well.

staylucky Wed 10-Jun-09 21:16:46

This thread is great grin have never considered a home birth but have always wondered actually how it works and where you do it and who tidies up. It sounds like a lovely experience Hope it goes really well Tinkytaylor

LadyMc Wed 10-Jun-09 21:17:51

I had dd1 at home and it wasn't exactly planned so had nothing prepared and it was still all totally fine - calm, collected and a great experience thanks to very experienced midwife. She sent DH looking for old towels and sheets, and I think he had to get lots of clean warm clothes and towels ready to keep the baby warm when it came out. Was a very positive experience in the lounge as the sun came up and we too love freaking out any mates who happen to sit on the landing strip... Am preggers with no2 and planning another homebirth so will be a bit more organised next time and get the midwifes some food and drinks ready. Defo good to have hospital bag packed in case plans change and nappies etc all in one place.

TinkyTaylor Wed 10-Jun-09 21:18:18

thanks love, hopefully my delightfully, most of the time untidy, husband will tidy it all up!! Miracles can happen!

thisisyesterday Wed 10-Jun-09 21:18:37

it's great, the midwives tidy everything up!

my mum came over straight after ds2 was born and said she'd never seen it so tidy pmsl

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 10-Jun-09 21:22:56

I've had 2 homebirths, both times ended up delivering kneeling against the sofa (which was well covered in plastic sheets and an old duvet). Second time around my toddler, who was 2.5 at the time, slept through the whole thing. My mum was staying with us so that she could look after him if necessary, but we didn't want him to feel pushed out.

DD was born at about 6am, all was tidied away v quickly, DS came down at about 7am and then we all had brekkie together. My wonderful mother then took DS for a walk whilst DH & I had a nap with our new daughter.

teenyweenytadpole Wed 10-Jun-09 21:24:05

Hi there I had a fab homebirth with DD2, she was born in a large inflatable paddling pool which I bought off e-bay, it had high sides, and was really comfortable for me and meant absolutely no mess afterwards as all the yucky water just got siphoned away. So I had bought all manner of shower curtains and other stuff and ended up not needing them. A large pack of the blue inco pads (from the chemist) are very handy for sitting/lying on afterwards as they soak up fluids so stops bedsheets getting dirty. I had a great book for my DD1 called Runas Birth, it is a German book but translated into English and tells the story of a homebirth through the eyes of a 4 year old, it was lovely and she still enjoys me reading it now (she is 7).

TinkyTaylor Wed 10-Jun-09 21:29:16

Thanks for the book recommendation- shall look into that. And have made a not of Inco pads too!

Tambajam Thu 11-Jun-09 06:05:44

We had Runa's birth. Really liked 'Hello Baby'.

barnowl Thu 11-Jun-09 16:32:50

Hi there, I had a home birth with my DS, we bought a cheap plastic decoraters sheet from B and Q they're big and covered everything. I found loads of cushions really useful, to kneel on and lean on during birth. I used the lounge to give birth in so afterwards the midwife ran me a bath and then installed me in bed with baby and a cup of tea whilst they cleaned up down stairs. In my area They drop a box of equipment round at 37weeks and they bring gas and air with them when you're in labour. We had a moses basket to hand downstairs to pop baby in and bags for the hospital in case they were needed. My midwife said the most important thing to have was biscuits for the midwifes!

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