Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Home Birth Supplies List and Setup Info

For those that might be interested, I wanted to do a post about what is needed for my home birth. I'll also be posting this on the tab page under "Home Birth Plan and Supplies." 

At 35 weeks now, I've gathered most of what is needed. In the next week/week and a half I will be gathering the rest. The most important thing I've got to purchase is the birth kit. This has many of the medical supplies needed (that I'm responsible for) for the actual birth and after care. Other items I've got left to purchase are: a jug of bleach, 5 lbs sea salt, a set of old sheets (I only have one good set....no old ratty set....so I'll actually be purchasing a cheap queen set that I wont mind just throwing away if need be), and a fish net. All in all I'm doing pretty good in the preparation department. 

What my Midwife will bring: 
(Taken off of my Midwife's site: Highland Midwife Birth Services)

• 150 gallon birth tub (delivered at 37 weeks)
• Adapter for attaching hose to a sink
• Clamps to hold towels in place on the sides of the birth tub

What I am responsible for:
(Taken off of my Midwife's site: Highland Midwife Birth Services)

**First and foremost, the birth kit! I'll be purchasing this really soon: Birth Kit. **

General supplies: 

* Plastic mattress cover: this can be a waterproof mattress cover, old shower curtain, or other large sheet of plastic. You may need to duct tape the edges of the plastic so it doesn’t slide around
* 2 sets of old sheets or ones that you don’t mind getting bloody
* Several large bath-size towels and smaller hand towels that you don’t mind getting bloody
* Several (at least 4) cotton receiving blankets....if they are new, please wash them first
* 1 pillowcase (to keep our heating pad clean)
* 2 large plastic garbage sacks (no holes) for laundry and garbage, smaller ones for pillows
* 2 large cookie sheets (to hold our instruments)
* Hydrogen Peroxide to take blood out of sheets
* 1 large heating pad (to heat baby blankets and keep newborn warm—we do have one of these but prefer to use yours if you have one)
* Portable electric heater (to heat the room quickly when birth is approaching) or an easily adjustable thermostat.....warm babies are happy babies!

Preparing the bed:

Lay the plastic sheeting down first being sure to let the edge hang down over your mattress and box springs. You may have to duct tape the edges in place. Then lay a towel or mattress cover where mom will be. Then put on a set of clean sheets. The towel or mattress cover helps keep mom from slipping all over and from feeling so sticky and sweaty. Some people like to layer 2-3 layers of plastic and new sheets so that one layer can easily be removed when dirty. However, this uses a lot of plastic and it is pretty easy to take off dirty sheets and put on clean ones over one layer of plastic. Have lots of pillows. Cover them with drawstring garbage bags and then the pillowcase; they often get a bit dirty during birth.

Birth tub supplies: 

* 1 new, clean garden hose
* 1 jug of bleach
* 5 pounds of sea salt
* Plastic sheet for under the birth tub, to keep any water dripping from mom’s body from getting on the floor
* Lots of towels plus a bathmat if desired
* 2 big pots to heat additional water and/or connection to hot water tank
* Floating thermometer (like in a hot tub - optional)
* Net for scooping out solid materials (like the green nets used in fish tanks, or a wire screen kitchen strainer)

Preparing the tub in the weeks before labor:

Decide where you want the tub and check the nearest sink for a detachable aerator, the type of connector our adaptor fits. Thoroughly clean and scrub the tub as you would a cooking pot, using only non-scratchy materials. Rinse completely and let drain well. Prepare a 20% bleach solution (1 cup bleach to 4 cups water); pour it down the sides of the tub, slosh it around the bottom and let sit 20 minutes. At the same time, pour a 20% solution down your garden hose (this can go into the tub) and let the end that will go in the tub during labor soak in the bottom of the tub for the 20 minutes. If using the towel clamps and a birth ball, those should also be thrown in the tub and rolled around so that the bleach comes in contact with all surfaces. Then rinse tub and dry thoroughly. Rinse hose and then seal the ends to each other. Everything is now ready for use. Turn the tub upside down on a plastic sheet (indoors), and store the hose, ball, and adapter underneath it until needed.

Preparing the tub for labor:

Lay out the plastic sheeting under the tub. Fill the tub 3/4 to 4/5 full with water at 99-100 degrees F. You probably need to turn up your water heater to its highest setting to ensure enough water for your entire labor. Place a bathmat or towel on the floor where mom will get in and out so that she doesn’t slip. The tub is most useful during the active parts of labor, rather than at the very beginning, so you probably won’t fill it at the first signs of contractions. Covering the top of the tub with plastic sheeting and a quilt can help insulate the tub between dips. The two large pots can be used to boil water to bring the temperature up or if the hot water tank is inadequate.

Laboring in the tub:

Ideally, the tub is used when it will provide the most pain relief and comfort without slowing down labor. The pain relieving qualities must be balanced with the dehydrating and warming effects of the water. The water must be between 99-101 degrees so the baby does not get cold after birth. We may want you to alternate your tub time with periods of walking or resting on land. Also, if your water breaks early in labor, we may ask for you to wait to get into the tub until labor is well established. We add sea salt to the water to provide mild antibacterial action.


Use a hose to siphon the water into your yard or bathtub drain. Rinse the sides of tub with clean water as you drain for ease in cleaning. Remove any solid material that will not go up the hose with a scoop and finish siphoning. When empty, take the tub outside and scrub and disinfect as you did to prepare the tub, then turn it upside down so it stays clean until it comes back to us. We recommend that you also disinfect the birth ball and the hose you used to drain the tub.

My natural pain management supplies:

* Root beer candle for my aromatherapy
* Ice pack and washcloth for cooling
* Heating pad to help with muscle tension
* Computer with "Keep Me Mellow" play list to be played during labor and delivery

Food and drink:
(For me as well as midwifes and birth attendants)

* Me: Some foods I think I may want during labor....fruit and yogurt to make smoothies, popsicles, melon, cheese and crackers, Gatorade
* Midwifes and birth attendants: Coffee, snacks for during labor
* After birth: A filling meal for after the birth. I've chosen homemade mac and cheese as my meal and I am ohhh so excited for it! 

Postpartum supplies:
(The birth kit I will be purchasing has many things needed for postpartum care like a peri bottle, some pads, and those mesh shorts that hospitals usually give you.)

* Pads: the kind you like for heavy periods
* Ice pack: can be made from crushed ice in a plastic glove, small bag of frozen peas, or gel packs.
* Food for first three days prepared and ready to cook
* Help around the house (house cleaning, animal care, food prep, child care, etc.) for 7-10 days post birth

Extras for labor and after care:
(Things I will/have already purchased simply because I want them)

* Ink pad for taking Timothy's foot and hand prints
* Chapstick
* Postpartum wrap (I was going to purchase the Belly Bandit, but think I will be going with The Cinch instead. Click HERE if you want to check it out.

And lets not forget the CAMERA!!!!!!!! :)

Since I will be home, everything Timothy will need is already close at hand, so no need to pack a "hospital bag" like I did with Anthony and Molly. Receiving blankets, warm blankets, clothing, diapers, wipes, etc. will be just in the other room. The birth kit includes other needed things for him: newborn cap, umbilical cord clamp, measuring tape, bulb syringe, etc.

With love,
Mama Hauck


  1. What an incredible itinerary! I'm so excited about this, I don't know anyone who has had a home birth. And really, who better than a dear friend who has made me look at children and motherhood in a new light?

  2. I really appreciate your support! I'm finding myself having to defend my decision, but I knew that came with the territory.

    While I understand not everyone will or has to agree with me, people need to keep in mind that I've already had 2 hospital births and if I want to have a home birth then I'm going to. My decision is mine alone and that needs to be respected as I would never frown on someone for choosing to do something just because I didn't agree.

    It's been incredibly empowering to take control over things like I have. And while my hospital births were lovely and without complaints, I'm excited for this new and exciting opportunity! It will most certainly be incredible.


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