My Ultimate Home Birth Checklist
My Ultimate Home Birth Checklist
We had our first home birth in November of 2021 and it was one of the most unique and special events of my life. I loved how Ruthie came into the world, the stories and photos we have to share with her as she gets older, and the evidence of God’s faithfulness through her arrival.
I have several friends who are pursuing home births in the coming months…which means I have had a LOT of conversations about it recently! I love answering questions and sharing about our home birth experience! (If you haven’t yet read the precursor to Ruth’s delivery – our ECV success story – or how our homebirth played out, definitely check those out first!) Regardless of how or where you give birth, there is a lot of research and preparation involved. In the months leading up to our due date, I spent hours building and editing and re-editing our home birth to-do list and checklist. While you can find a variety of these lists all over the internet, I love getting to share my personal list of what we used, what I hope to have for our next home birth (Lord willing), and a more word-of-mouth referral list for our recommendations to have on hand!
Curate your list for easy access and editing. Be strategic about when you order.
To start, I found it most efficient to curate my list on google docs. That way I had access to it whether on my computer researching or in the store shopping with just my phone. I also put together lists on Amazon (where we purchased most of our supplies) and placed one or two big orders all at once. I am one someone who likes to do something to get it done and mark it off my list as soon as possible, however, I set an order date for the “extras” about 2-3 weeks before my due date, given the unpredictable nature of pregnancy and labor. Once we found out Ruth was breech, I held off on placing my order until we knew for sure she had turned, and the plan for a home birth was back on. Amazon offers easy returns on most items, but I didn’t want to have my supplies sitting in a storage bin for weeks and miss out on the opportunity to send back items we didn’t use. Shop the full Amazon list here.
Home Birth Essentials List
I’ll start with the essentials first – this was the list we received from our midwife’s office for her birth kit. It contains a lot of home birth medical items necessary for them to do their job! I think we ended up spending about $100 on this kit, but I believe I added a few additional items I wanted to have on hand to bring it to that total. Beyond that, they supplied us with a recommended supplies list we were to gather at home ahead of time (much of which we already had). I combined the info given to us, along with items from other home birth mom recommendations, to curate my ultimate home birth checklist.
My Ultimate Home Birth Checklist – Shop the links HERE
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Comfort and practical items:
- Tens unit (our doula brought hers, but this one has great reviews)
- Hydrogen peroxide (for staining)
- Dates (I ate them off and on towards the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Most people recommend them…there’s conflicting data on if they actually work so I didn’t stress about it.)
- Prunes (in place of a stool softener)
- Adult diapers – I had a couple, but wished I had more.
- Various sizes and absorbency pads
- Peri bottle and Dermoplast (I purchased one can of Dermoplast and Earth Mama’s perineal spray as a more natural option, but ended up using Dermoplast the most.)
- Exercise ball
- Nursing pads
- Trash bags
- After ease tincture (My after pains were pretty rough. I have heard they are worse with each subsequent birth, so I definitely plan to have this on hand for baby #2)
- Syringes for colostrum (I didn’t order these and wish I had!)
- Several pairs of black underwear
- Black nursing bra (I like these or these)
- Heating pad
- Aquafor for chapped lips
- Lavender oil and cotton balls for aches and pains, nausea
- Massage ball
- Barefoot dreams robe (I will not give birth without one! Even if it’s not Barefoot Dreams…have a comfy robe on hand!)
- Kindred Bravely everyday lounge joggers – I lived in these the first few weeks postpartum! We got several pairs during a sale, but they’re also available on Amazon if that’s easier.
- Lou Lou and Co knotted gown and hat for baby. I LOVE their blankets – so much so that they are on my Baby Registry Essentials list! (I didn’t really have an outfit plan for Ruth and should have, so we’ll do one of these ultimate newborn bundles for the next baby! Ruth was so tiny, the footies we put her in didn’t really fit and the pictures are funny.)
- Homemade, or Kettle and Fire bone broth – this was essential to my healing. I felt like I had really easy and quick recovery, especially given how long I pushed for. I believe drinking bone broth those first few days postpartum was key to this.
- Nursing gown
Additional medical-related list from midwife (not included in kit):
Shop around for these to find the lowest prices. Some we got at Walmart, some from Amazon, and a few of the bigger things we borrowed!
- 1 container Clorox wipes
- 2 rolls of Viva paper towels
- 25 ft. lead free hose – “drinking water safe” – we opted for the 50ft since I was laboring downstairs and our shower is upstairs! We definitely needed that extra length and was glad we figured that out ahead of time!
- Cheap vinyl shower curtain
- Newborn disposable diapers
- Flannel-backed vinyl table cloth
- 6 old towels
- 2 washcloths
- Universal faucet adapter
- Fish net for debris
- Liner for tub – generic/universal
- Electric air pump – ask around if you can borrow one! This is used to inflate the tub.
- Submersible water drain pump
- 2 washed receiving blankets
- Olive oil
- Birth tub (on loan from midwife – we took it home one of our last appointments before our due date)
Snacks for Home Birth:
I didn’t have an appetite during labor, but my team had me take bites of food here and there to keep my energy levels up. It is a marathon!
- Pomegranate seeds (my favorite and ended up being one of the only things I wanted to eat through labor. They are in season through the winter.)
- Charcuterie board for my birth team. My water started leaking in the morning, so I had all day to get this prepped! If you’re unable to get something put together, it’s great to have apple slices, nuts and seeds, slices of cheese, dried fruits, dark chocolates, grapes, etc. stocked in the fridge!
- Coconut water or Laboraid – there are a variety of recipes online. I kept it simple with Redmond salt, lemon juice, and filtered water.
- Honey packets or sticks
I look back with so much affection and nostalgia for our home birth. It took me a good 12 weeks to really get past just how difficult it was. You’ll hear so many moms say it was the most beautiful experience – and it is! But it took me much longer than I expected to mentally recover from the difficulty and effort exerted to give birth to our daughter. There is nothing better than bringing your baby into the world in the comfort of your own home, fully supported and on your own terms. I could write an entire post on why we chose home birth, but that will be for another day! Let me know if you’ve ever considered home birth, or if you’ve experienced it yourself, what your essential items were!
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