Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting ready for Gemma: Homebirth Supplies

I have been a compulsive list-maker throughout my life, and having a baby is always an excuse to make myriad lists. With about a month or so to go, I am making/reviewing lists left and right, and I thought I might share a few with you. Today I present you with my well-worn Home-birth Supplies List for labor and postpartum.

1) 3 mil plastic sheet for bed
2) Labor sheets (Explanation: a week or two before I'm due I make the bed with some nice sheets first, then I cover these with the plastic sheet. Over that I put my "Labor Sheets", which are some dark green thrift shop sheets that have been through my last three births and show no stains. After the birth the midwife strips the labor sheets and tosses them in the washer, throws out the plastic sheet--a painter's disposable dropcloth--and there are the nice fresh sheets for baby and me!
3) Chux pads
4) A dozen cheap washcloths for compresses
5) Crockpot for warming compresses
6) Small bottle of olive oil for lubricant
7) Sterilized bulb syringe in ziplock bag
8) Rice pack to heat in microwave
9) Emergenciy Procedures list (just in case the midwife doesn't make it in time!
10) Bach's Rescue Remedy for transition--I've never used it, as I'm just used to throwing up and getting the shakes for a bit!
11) Trilight Herbs Start Up Formula--in case there's a failure to progress. Again, I haven't needed it.
12) Large bowls--for sickness and placenta
13) "Labor-Aid" or Gatorade
14) Flexible straws
15) Snacks and drinks for kids, Bret, Midwives
16) Homeopathic arnica--to prevent bruising and swelling

1) 3-5 flannel blankets, sterilized and bagged (for cleaning and swaddling baby)
2) Newborn diapers, outfit, 2 hats--one if it is very stretchy to accommodate any head
3) Sterile cotton navel cord (midwife usually has this or a clamp)
4) Nursing nightgown
5) Gigantic maxi pads
6) Protein shakes--my midwife made me one in the blender postpartum after Gabriel's birth, and nothing ever tasted so good!
7) Ice packs
8) Digital camera and extra charged batteries
9) Phone number list

1) Co-sleeper with side support
2) Car seat with infant head support
3) Comfy sleeping bra
4) Postpartum abdominal support (I am ordering one for the first time, as after my last birth I suffered worse back pain after the birth than I did during the entire pregnancy)
5) Lanolin for sore nipples
6) Breast pump--for when my cups runneth over--and breastmilk storage bags
7) Boppy pillow
8) bouncy seat
9) Herb Pharm's Women's Health Tonic (for afterpains)
10) Enough disposable diapers for first two weeks.

Assembling this stuff is part of the fun of preparing for a homebirth. I already have almost everything on the list, with only a few things to purchase...


  1. So exciting!! I am starting to get impatient to meet Gemma! I just thought that she and Anna will be the same age and friends.

    One thing missing from your list - the epidural!!! Only kidding!!

    Question - how do you manage the other kids with a home birth? I just have these thoughts of Michael crying and wanting me to carry him during transition!!!

  2. All the kids were awake during the last birth. Una took over for the most part, with help from my mom. The midwife often has an assistant who can also help out with the kids if necessary. And my friend Cindy comes down and helps out if needed. She didn't make it in time for the birth last time around, but she was great about serving lunch and cleaning up, and she usually brings a couple of her older kids to help out and entertain my littler ones.

    The hardest part is not really getting to rest in a quiet atmosphere for the first couple of days. The best part is having everything I want at my disposal and the kids being able to take part in all the preparations and even helping out during labor. They can be involved in the baby's birth even if they are not in the room during the actual birthing process.

  3. i noticed some aches and pains in different parts of MY body as you listed all the things you need. isn't it something how a mother's body never forgets the feeling of labor and delivery?....you will most certainly be in my prayers the next few weeks my friend. God bless.

  4. Nadja, You are an amazing woman! I wish I knew how to be so organized!!!!

  5. I sure don't feel very organized, Vicki! I think that it is just having done this home-birth thing four times before, I'm kind of familiar with the drill...


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