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Preparing For Your Homebirth

Once you’ve decided that a home birth is right for you there are many things you can do ahead of time to best prepare yourself for the big day.  Preparing appropriately for a home birth can help to ensure you have the birth experience that you most desire and will also best equip you for the process.  All births require some level of preparation and we’re here to provide you with all you need to know about how to best prepare for a fulfilling, natural homebirth.

How to Prepare for a Home Birth

Hire a Midwife!  We are the experts on home birth and a midwife will know how to best take care of you and your baby in the home setting.  Do your research in the hiring process to make sure that you’ve found a midwife team that you feel most safe with, that you enjoy spending time with, and that you trust will honor your autonomy as a birthing person.  This is the most important step as you prepare for a home birth.

Take Childbirth Education specifically for homebirth.  Learn as much as you can about the physiology and anatomy of giving birth naturally.  It’s also important to learn about how procedures are carried out in the homebirth setting.  Childbirth Education will help you to understand what the role of your midwife will be during your labor and what you can expect from your midwife in terms of when they’ll arrive at your home and when they’ll stay with you during labor.

Gather the supplies needed to prepare for a home birth.  Your midwife will have a birth kit that’s been put together for you to order in advance of your labor.  Moon Phases Of Life has a birth kit prepared specially for each of their clients through Precious Arrows.  Each client orders their individualized kit prior to 36 weeks of pregnancy and it is delivered right to their front door.  Read more about the birth kit below.

Consider who you’d like to have at your homebirth.  One of the great benefits of having a homebirth is that you get to choose every single person who is there.  You chose the midwives that you wanted to take care of you and your baby, and now you also get to choose the other support people that you want to invite into your birth space.  Carefully pick people, if anyone in addition to your midwives and your partner, who will only bring supportive and grounding energy into your birth space. It’s important to be sure that anyone invited is someone that you can be vulnerable with and that you feel completely safe with in order to allow for your natural labor to flow as it’s intended to.

Intentionally imagine where your birth might take place.  Walk through your home and consider where you’d most like to give birth.  Think about an ideal location for the birth tub, where you might be able to have privacy as you need it, and where you’d be most comfortable meeting your baby.  It’s also important to consider stairs, how easily you can get to the bathroom from your bed, and any other physical obstacles that may be present.

Prepare your home for birth and postpartum.  You’ll likely want to have a clean bathroom before the onset of labor in the event that you want to labor on the toilet, in the shower, or in the bath tub.  You’ll also want to make sure that wherever you plan on meeting your baby has a well established heat source in order to keep the room warm. Additionally, cooking meals ahead of time that can be stashed in the freezer is a great way to set yourself up to have what you need for nourishment in the immediate postpartum and in the following recovery days.

Consider other children in the home.  Older siblings are often present for the birth as home birth is a family centered event.  However, not every child would feel comfortable being at a birth or may need additional support, so it’s important to evaluate what your child(ren) might need.  Additionally, it’s helpful to show home birth videos to children in advance so that they’re well prepared for the noises they might hear and what they might see as the baby is being born.

Consider your pets.  Most of the time pets are a welcomed part of the home birth process.  It’s important, though, to assess whether or not you think the dog will be able to handle witnessing you as you’re experiencing labor without becoming overly anxious or needing a large amount of attention and care.  If you think the dog might need some additional support during labor, then they might be better suited at a family or friends home when you go into labor.

Hire a doula.  Midwives are incredibly supportive during labor, but their first priority is the safety of you and your baby.  Sometimes this means that they’re unable to provide as much physical and emotional support as everyone might like to receive.  For this reason, it’s important to research whether or not you might like to have doula support at your birth. Additionally, doulas can be present during early labor to provide support to you and your family, whereas it’s not indicated for the midwives to arrive at the birth until the onset of active labor.  Hiring a doula may be a vital step for you as you prepare for a home birth.

Role of Midwives in the Preparation

A midwife can support you as you prepare for a homebirth by providing you with anticipatory guidance and helping you to gather all that you will need.  Midwives can guide you each step of the way and remind you of the considerations you’ll want to make prior to giving birth. Midwives come to do a home visit, typically around 36 weeks of pregnancy, to take a look at your space with you and to help you imagine where things might most likely or ideally take place.  A midwife team can also review your birth kit to make sure everything is in order, and can provide you with a birth supply list of items for you to gather from around your home. Your midwife will ensure that you have what you need to be prepared, and to feel relaxed about everything being in order when you go into labor at home.  

What is a Home Birth Kit?

A home birth kit is a supply kit that has already been put together by a midwife for their clients to order, typically by 36 weeks of pregnancy.  This kit will include all of the supplies that will be unique to you, such as gloves, gauze, sterile fields, a cord band, chux pads, a tub liner, and other things that are intended to protect your surfaces, keep your homebirth neat and clean, and to protect you, your baby, and the midwife as is indicated by universal healthcare precautions.  The home birth kit also comes with a birth tub liner and the supplies needed for those planning on laboring in the birth tub or having a waterbirth.

Partnering with Hearth and Home to Prepare for a Home Birth

The midwife at Moon Phases Of Life is the expert on home birth and know exactly how to support each client as they prepare for a home birth that is their own, individualized experience.  I first provide prenatal care to each client to ensure that Mom and Baby are healthy, well, and continue to thrive throughout the developing pregnancy. Once a client enters their third trimester of pregnancy they will spend time talking with the midwives about how to prepare for a home birth.  Iwill be able to offer childbirth education as a tool for preparing for a homebirth, should you choose to take a childbirth education course. Then I will come to the home for a home visit at 36 weeks of pregnancy, during which they will go through the birth kit and discuss all of the additional supplies that will need to be gathered from around the home.  I will bring a birth tub and will assess the home set up as it pertains to birth. I understand how important it is to have everything in order and to be able to know what to expect, so I work hard to ensure that each client has what they need well in advance of the onset of their labor to prepare for a home birth.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we prepare for a home birth, reach out to us and I would be more than happy to walk you through the process.

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