When I told my family that our youngest son would be born at home, they thought we were nuts. That is, until they saw how we transformed our one bedroom apartment into a birthing center, and assembled a kick ass birth team to support us along the way. Along with some delicious food and a rocking playlist, the result was an awesome party to welcome our little boy into the world. If you are planning to give birth at home, there are some things you can do to prepare for your home birth and create a beautiful experience for your family.
One of the things that makes home births so special is that you and your partner can create the experience you want. Whether you're mellowing out to smooth jazz and candles or rocking out to head banging heavy metal is entirely up to you. Every birth experience is different, and you won't be able to anticipate everything, but you can do your best to get yourself and your home ready for the main event.
Nine months may seem like a long time from now, but believe it or not, it will go by quickly. Choosing a midwife, purchasing your birth supplies, and having a backup plan in place ahead of time can help you feel more confident and secure as you wait for the arrival of your baby. It can also help put your friends and family members who may be worried about you at ease. As your due date approaches, make sure you're checking off as many items on your home birth to-do list as possible. That way, when the big day arrives, you can focus on yourself and your baby.
1. Assemble Your Birth Team
As soon as you decide to have a home birth, you should begin the process of finding a midwife to guide you through your pregnancy and birth process. Be sure to check their qualifications and make sure you feel comfortable with them. After all, you're going to get pretty intimate with them as your pregnancy progresses. While your midwife will be there for all of your medical needs, you may also want to find a doula who can help you with pain management and techniques to help you remain calm.
2. Prepare Your Space
Once you decide where you want to give birth in your home, you should prepare that space to make it comfortable for your delivery, as What To Expect mentioned. Declutter, add candles or incense, and protect your furniture and flooring from stains.
3. Make A Playlist
One of the best things about my home birth (besides the baby, of course) was the music my birth team and I listened to while I labored. Before your baby arrives, you can create a playlist of your favorite songs to help you manage the pain. Your labor is likely to last a few hours, so you can include all of your favorite songs.
4. Gather Your Village
You're going to have your hands pretty full in the days and weeks after you give birth. It can help to have a team of people you can call on when you need help caring for your other children, running errands, and other household responsibilities. Secure a commitment before your due date and keep their contact info close by.
5. Get Your Supplies
As Mothering mentioned, you'll want to have all of the birthing supplies your midwife recommends on hand which will likely include things like gauze, mesh panties, and latex gloves. Most midwives will put together a home birth kit or shopping list which will help you identify everything you need. You may also want to have candles, extra linens, a birth ball, and snacks around to help.
6. Attend A Class
If you're feeling uneasy about your upcoming home birth experience, taking a home birth class can help. As Fit Pregnancy mentioned, you can learn what to expect during your labor as well as pain management techniques to help you through. If you can't find a class near your home, there are plenty of online options that you can complete on your own time — perfect for those sleepless nights.
7. Get Pampered
When your baby arrives, there won't be much time for manis and pedis — or sleep for that matter. So why not take a little time for yourself while you can? Get a haircut, have a prenatal massage, or take a warm bath to help you relax and feel your best as you get ready for your special delivery, as Babble suggested. Just be sure to consult your midwife to make sure you are safe.
As Mama Natural mentioned, prenatal exercises can help open your pelvis and get your baby in the optimal position for childbirth. But don't worry, you don't have to run a marathon. A cat cow stretch, sitting on an exercise ball, and walking are great exercises to help you limber up your lady parts for your delivery.
9. Have A Backup Plan
In most cases, your home birth will go off without a hitch, but it can save you and your partner a lot of stress if you have a backup plan in place ahead of time. According to Baby Gaga, identifying your local hospital and having the number for an ambulance in case of an emergency can be helpful if any complications arise.