When you’re having a home birth, you might think there’s nothing to pack! But….there are things you can organize and buy to make for a better experience.
Many midwives will give you a list of the supplies they recommend, so I’m not going to try and cover those, but I do want to address some of the preparations you can do outside of the supplies for the birth itself.
Decide what you might want to wear in labor – big flowy nightgown? pants? a robe? Nothing?
Things to keep you occupied during early labor – Maybe a new movie or show you haven’t seen yet, baking a birthday cake for the new baby, making cookies for your birth team, knitting a baby blanket, doesn’t much matter as long as it keeps you busy and doesn’t take much mental or physical energy.
If there will be older siblings there, activities to keep them distracted can be useful as well. You might want to buy some inexpensive new things and keep them hidden away until the big day.
Similarly, make a plan for child care and pet care. You can have someone come and attend the birth with their primary role to support siblings, or you can have them go to a friend or family member’s home. Pets can also go somewhere or stay in another area as needed.
Make a sign for your door to let people know what’s happening and that they should stay away or quietly enter, whichever you prefer.
Food – You may want to have a super simple meal ready to go. Something someone can take from the freezer and throw in the oven after the baby is born that will be done an hour or so later. Your birth team may still be there, so plan extra to share. If it doesn’t get used, leftovers are great to have, too. You can also make and freeze postpartum meals or set up a system for friends and family to bring meals in for a while.
Snacks – Have some grab and go snacks that you can use in labor as needed. Crackers, granola bars, bowl of cereal etc.
Drinks – Sometimes drinks go over easier than food when you’re laboring in earnest. Have some full sugar electrolyte drinks, juices and premade smoothies on hand.
Last Minute To Do List – Some things can’t be done that far ahead. Make a list of the last minute things, like setting up the birth tub and putting the double bedding on the bed, so that nothing gets forgotten and you can just direct your support people to the list to know what needs to be done.
That’s all I have for now, what do you have to add?