Preparing for Homebirth

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by Lauren Samuel Following is information I have gathered from various sources over the years. Aside from the obvious homebirth supplies, this list can be equally valid for hospital births as well.

You and the physical, emotional and spiritual environment you prepare for welcoming your child are most important! You create the clean, beautiful, peaceful environment to give birth. Flowers and candles add a lovely touch. Buds have been known to open during labour, mirroring the way you will open. Essential oils or aromatherapy candles can be soothing, especially rose geranium, rose and lavender.
The following items are useful:
  • Sterile gauze pads (4″ x 4″)
  • Disposable under pads (walgreens)
  • Large bottle of hydrogen peroxide (cleans blood off everything)
  • Bacitracin or neosporin -small tube (topical antibiotics), Witch Hazel – small bottle (hemorrhoids).
  • Arnica tablets 200c, for birth swelling, bruising or aching
  • Optional: Belladonna and Phytolacca for breast infections or blocked milk ducts
  • Frozen cabbage leaves for breast inflammations
  • Arnica massage oil for back pain (optional)
  • Garbage bags (2, one for waste; one for dirty laundry)
  • Protective covering for mattress, chair, floor, etc.. flannel backed vinyl tablecloths work well
  • Large bowl for placenta
  • Thermometer for baby
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Sanitary napkins (hospital size), or extra absorbent pads for urinary incontinence
  • Prewashed clothes and diapers and two soft cotton newborn hats
  • Receiving blankets 6-8 and /or old soft towels, 2.
  • Face cloths or old towel cut up for compresses (6)
  • Old bath towels for large compresses
  • Crock pot or large pot for hot water
  • Have plenty of juices, tea and nutritious food around
  • Recharge/electrolytes for a long labour
  • Comfort items:
    • hot water bottle
    • extra pillows
    • heating pad if you have one
  • Camera
  • Lip balm
  • Herbal bath ingredients for after birth
  • Food prepared for after birth or arrangements for food to be brought in
  • Evening Primrose Oil – 500mg, 3x daily after 37 weeks. Preprostaglandin for ripening cervix
Choose a family physician or pediatrician prior to the birth whom you have met and spoken with. While newborn exams and follow up care are done by your midwife, if there were a problem you would want to know the physician who would provide care for your baby. Have your infant car seat inspected and in the car. Register your birth with relevant county to receive birth certificate.
Emergency Phone Numbers – post near phone:
Ambulance – 911
Hospitals – closest and preferred
Consulting Physician
Pediatrician or Family physician
Midwife
One place you can purchase many of these items online is at Midwife Supplies.
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