HOW TO PREPARE FOR A HOME BIRTH

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Headed into my third home birth (how?!) I feel like I can confidently share a few tips to help prepare for a beautiful birthing experience within your home. If you're considering a home birth for the first time, or you're just looking to make this home birth a little more serene and beautiful then read on for a few things I have learned along the way...



Clean the tub. 
Even if you don't end up birthing in your tub, it's a wonderful place to relax during contractions. If you are further along in your pregnancy consider hiring a cleaning service to come through and make everything fresh and sparkling a week or so before your guess date. Bending over scrubbing the tub is not something you need to be doing 40 weeks pregnant! Add a bath pillow to your tub so you're super comfortable and able to relax. 

Set the mood.
Lighting and music play a huge part in relaxation! Pick up some twinkle lights, a few candles (flameless ones are easy to move around the house), or install a dimmer switch on your ceiling light. You may give birth during the day, but if it happens at night it's nice to have the option of softer lighting. 
Make two playlists: a quiet, relaxing playlist for your labor, and a peppy, energizing one for transitioning and pushing. I listen to Carla Bruni during my labor and switch to Bob Marley when I need a little boost of energy towards the end! 

Gather birth supplies.
Your midwife will give you a list of supplies to have on hand so I won't list those here, but in addition to the birth supplies here are a couple extra things on hand: 
- a camera or iPhone so anyone on your birth team can quickly snap some pictures for you - it may not seem like the most glamorous time for pictures, but you will love being able to look back through photos of this special time!
- a portable speaker to play your music. You may also want a pair of earbuds handy if you want to listen to something on your own.

Pick up food. 
Most hospitals don't let you eat while laboring, but my midwife has always encouraged light snacks and beverages during labor to keep energy up! I like to get a few things for me and a few things for my birthing team. Granola bars are great because they pack a good amount of calories (calories = energy!) in just a couple of bites.
Pick up some pineapple juice (not from concentrate) and put it in the fridge - it's perfect during and after your birthing time, helps prevent engorgement (anti-inflammatory), and may even increase your milk supply! While you're at it get yourself a yummy post-birth meal to enjoy after all that hard work (or make something you love and freeze it until you go into labor)! 

Make your bed. 
Some midwives recommend making your bed a certain way so if your water breaks in bed, or if you choose to birth in bed you aren't stuck changing your sheets during / after birthing. Here's how you do it: make your bed with your favorite sheets, lay a shower curtain over the sheets and then make the bed again with a second set of sheets. This way you can easily strip the top set of sheets and the plastic and still have a freshly made bed underneath. 
You could also make your bed using a waterproof mattress cover underneath. Your midwife, doula, or birth partner could absolutely change the sheets if necessary! 
While you're in the bedroom go ahead and put a pretty basket next to your bed with a few things you'll need during those first weeks with baby: nursing pads, breast pump, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, an extra swaddle, etc.

Pamper yourself. 
Last, but definitely not least, spend a little time ahead of your birth to pamper yourself! Do a sugar scrub, get a pedicure, apply some (organic!) tanner, get your hair done - whatever makes your feel beautiful!

I hope this gave you some ideas for making your home birth a more beautiful and relaxing experience! xx


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