HOME BIRTH - THE ESSENTIALS
Here in the UK, generally speaking you have 3 options of where to give birth: At home, at a midwife led unit/birth centre or in a hospital local to you.
How to decide on which is the right one for you depends on your risks, needs and to some extend where you live. Wherever you choose, it should feel the best, safest option for you. You can change your mind during anytime of your pregnancy.
Your appointed midwife can help to talk through with you the best + safest option they recommend for you and your baby. But you can also get information & advise from other sources such as, friends/family, birth centres, children centres, your local GP surgery or your local hospitals maternity unit.
If you have a green light for a low-risk birth, both you and baby are well, you may want to choose giving birth in the comfort of your own home. In the UK, 2 midwifes from your local hospital will be sent out to your home to help with your delivery and birth.
We have a home birth essentials list below to help you get prepared & organised:
Pre - birth prep:
- Birth plan
- Useful Phone numbers (Midwife unit, Doula and Childcare)
- Make arrangements for childcare and pet care so that you're not having to worry about them during labour
- You may feel more relaxed & on top of things if your house work is all up to date, this might mean booking a cleaning for a couple of works over your due date & after birth.
- Trail the birthing pool - set it up to make sure you know everything is in order & working properly for when you are in labour
- Pre make snacks to have during labour & prepare meals for the freezer for post birth. There is nothing nicer than having some home cooked treats waiting for you in those hectic post birth days.
- Birthing outfit: sports bra, nursing bra, bikini for birthing pool, and comfy tracksuits/pj's.
- Birthing space set up with those things that empower you, affirmation cards, pictures, vision board, whatever you feel will keep you feeling calm yet motivated during labour
- First outfits, nappies etc, ready for baby
- Music/ Speakers - Perhaps a birthing playlist or some of your favourite tunes/podcasts; something that is calm, uplifting and energy enhancing that can help during different points of your labour.
- Hypnobirthing scripts or podcasts
- Waterproof cover for the floor (to protect carpets)
- Puppy pads to protect the sofa
- Sieve (to sieve out any bits and bobs which may float in the birthing pool)
- Lots of old towels, blankets, pillows - Lay them all out over the waterproof covering to make the floor comfortable to lie, kneel, sit on - this will help to encourage lots of different birthing positions.
- Birthing ball Top Tip: make sure when on the birthing ball that your bum is higher than your knees
- Massage oil / Fan to cool / Lip balm - All things to comfort you
- Small mirror - So that you can see your baby crowning, a lot of mothers find this motivating as they can see how close they are to meeting their baby.
- Bucket (in case of sickness)
- Ten's machine or hot water bottle to place onto lower back to ease back spasms
- Hospital bag - just in case
- Cold flannels for the neck and back in case you may prefer to feel cool instead of the heat of a hot water bottle
- Tea's, waters, juices and lots of 'picky' snacks - keep eating and drinking, little but often!
- Coconut water is great to have on hand, get some straws to sip on as you will appreciate to sip out of a straw.
- Camera (charged) to capture any moments you wish to
- A torch - this may be handy for the midwife or doula to examine you after the birth.
For more information regarding choosing what birth is right for you and your baby, you may refer to https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/labour-and-birth/preparing-for-the-birth/where-to-give-birth-the-options/.
Always make a safe and informed decision before choosing where to give birth.
We wish you a calm & empowering birth.