Many moms are opting for home births these days, although 100 years ago this was the standard. Over time, giving birth in hospitals have become the norm. However, with maternal mortality rates at an alarming high, many women of color in particular are taking back control of their birthing experience by having their babies at home.
Though the idea may seem a bit intimidating (no matter how many children you may have!) to some, it really can be a liberating experience.
*Please note: if your pregnancy is considered high risk, a home birth may not be the best option for your family, please consult your medical care provider. I do not suggest birthing at home without assistance from a trained midwife and/or doula.
If you're on the fence about birthing at home, there are many benefits to birthing at home. Do your research and decide what would be best for you and your family. In this post, I'll be sharing all the steps and tools needed to set up your ideal birthing suite and create the birthing experience you've always dreamed of. To get started, you should choose a midwife to oversee your home birth, as well as a birthing center or hospital you'd like to deliver at should any complications occur (not ideal, but better safe than sorry). Your midwife should be knowledgeable and supportive, putting your nerves at ease. Here are a list of items you'll need to prepare your home for birth:
Create a birth plan.
Hire a midwife.
HIRE A BIRTH DOULA.
Birth Kit (I'll elaborate down below).
Create a comfort plan.
Make arrangements for medication and "medical waste" disposal.
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR BIRTH KIT
Lots of towels (*towel hack: keep your towels toasty on a radiator or electric blanket)
Inflatable tub (for water births)
Fans or a way to control the temperature in the room.
A bucket or bin (in case you get sick)
A handheld mirror so you can see the baby's progression.
LOTS of snacks and drinks for everyone! For you, your partner, and your birthing support staff.
Shower curtains, one to cover your mattress in case you don't make it to your tub and one to place beneath your inflatable tub.
Candles, music, or whatever you need to set a relaxing mood.
Camera or phone to capture the birthing experience and your first moment with your bundle of joy.
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR HOME BIRTH
Once you've delivered, you have to make arrangements to discard of the baby's umbilical cord and placenta. If you are opting for delayed cord clamping and/or placenta encapsulation state these clearly in your birthing plan. Make the necessary arrangements with your doula and midwife to safety transport these items. Make sure to have all the newborn essentials ready to welcome your baby. Be sure to have formula on hand, or all your breastfeeding essentials to feed your baby. Also make sure to schedule your first follow up appointment with the pediatrician of your choice. Happy Birthing!