What do I need for my birth?
How many towels will I need?
How many nappies do I need to bring to Hospital?
What should I wear?
These are often questions I hear from mama’s planning their births. Whether they are planning a Home Birth, Hospital Birth or Family Birth Centre.
Click here for “The Essentials Part 2 (Hospital Bag)
So I thought I would answer all your questions in a super simple quick reference blog.
Just remember 90% of what you need is carried with just YOU, the rest is not really “Essential” but it can make it more of a pleasant/less messy experience.
Your skin. Your touch. Your voice. Your breasts are usually all a baby needs.
But for the purpose of bringing your “Home” to the hospital to set a calming environment, and for the purpose of not having too many “stains” on your favourite couch for a Home-birth.
Yes, just because you are at home – doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan and get things organised for your Homebirth. You absolutely do need to have things prepared and planned for.
I always recommend to families I work with, to have their chosen birth space in their homes set up by 38 weeks at least. Fairy Lights / Affirmations up / Candles / Speaker etc all where you are hoping to birth.
You never know when you will go into labour, and unless someone has been given specific instructions on how to setup your space, it probably won’t be done the way you hoped.
So lets be honest – birth can be messy. It isn’t always, but it can be – so plan ahead.
If you are hoping for a water home-birth – Organise yourself a birth Pool. You can rent pools for 6 weeks. 2 weeks before EDD and 4 weeks after. Please contact me if you need advice on where to hire birth pools.
These are the things you need to have ready;
- Towels x 6 – 10 Large
- Face Washers x 4
- Drop sheets x 2 (Bunnings have good ones) place over couch
- Some old flat sheets x 4 (Op Shops)
- Warm blankets x 2
- Fleecy night gown (especially in winter)
- Foam for floor (to put under the birth pool) You can get the ABC foam from KMART / TARGET or go to Clarke Rubber for an actual sheet of foam. I would get the ABC one – as then you have 2 uses 🙂
- LED Candle Lights
- Affirmation Cards / Vision Boards / Prayer Flags
- Twinkle lights
- Bluetooth Speaker
- MUSIC! Make yourself a play list. Or have a look for “Birthing at Bentley” on Spotify………UPGRADE YOUR SPOTIFY FOR BIRTH.
- TENS Machine – you can hire them. If you want to purchase one, make sure they have the “Boost” option. This is a freebie for families I work with. 🙂
- Heat pack
- CUB (Comfortable Upright Birth) or Yoga Ball.
- Doula 🙂
Extra’s if this is something you believe in / use yourself;
- Essential Oils (if you are into oils) I will always bring oils as part of my package
- Homeopathic’s – I will always bring homeopathic as part of my package
- Crystals for labour. Again, this is something I bring in my Mary Poppins bag (Doula bag)
I always bring food to births. Whether for myself or the families I work with. It is so important to ensure you are keeping your body hydrated, and nourished with energy to keep on keeping on.
Food that is quick and easy – during labour you don’t necessarily want to “Chew”
- Chopped up strawberries
- Bone Broth (is really amazing for nourishing and hydrating at the same time)
- Coconut Water
- Bliss Balls
- Trail Mix
- Chocolate – have some chopped up ready to go – Dark Chocolate also helps release endorphins
- Honey for quick energy
- Bone Broth
- Something you know mama has been craving but has been avoiding during pregnancy.
- Always nice having a “Grazing board” ready for post birth.
- Bowl for placenta
- Tie for umbilical cord
- Witch Hazel
- Padsicles (Pads soaked in water/witch hazel / lavender) can help healing and feels fresh A.F
- Ural – will help alkaline your urine to minimize any stinging if you have any grazes / tears post birth.
- Post birth Pads
- Comfortable big knickers
- Water, have lots of water available, even go as far as having you partner set up water stations throughout your home.
Seems simple right? We have Breasts! The end? Whole different blog – you can check out my top 10 tips here if you want to know more.
BABIES (clothes for the first week)
Depending on weather. Winter or Summer Baby
If you are a FTM (First time mum) you won’t know this, but AVOID BUTTONS like the plague – they are awful. Imagine trying to change a baby octopus on ecstasy………………………..that is what it is like trying to change a newborn (especially in winter)
- Short Sleeve/ Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 0000 x 4
- Short Sleeve / Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 000 x 2
- Baby singlets size 0000 x 4 (you can squeeze them into this size for AGES)
- Beanie (Smaller than you think size) x 1
- Mittens x 2 (their little nails are like eagle talons)
- Socks (if the onesies don’t have socks in built)
- Nappies (Newborn sizes)
- Wipes (Can make your own) or Waterwipes have the least nasties in them
- Something Warm
Babies don’t need 100 changes of clothing as newborns – they don’t get dirty (unless particularly spewy or pooey babies). So keep it simple. Even if you only have size 000, you can always roll things up if they are smaller.
These are things you could have ready / organised but not all necessary
- Sign for front door (SHHHH Homebirth in progress – or SHHHHHH newborn baby sleeping)
- Overnight bag for kids
- Dulled down version of Hospital Bag (incase of transfer)
- Strainer! Because sometimes shit happens
- Baby carrier (Baby stretchy wraps are great for newborns) otherwise other carriers I recommend are Tula / Integra (usedto be Connecta) / Mei Tai / Ergo 360.
I used to have my daughter on my back in the Connecta, and my son on my front either in a wrap or Ergo 360 (with insert for newborn)
I hope this has given you a little more understanding of what you will need.
Now the fun begins – the fourth trimester.
Learning to ask for help is a huge step to a healthier postpartum period.
ACCEPTING HELP IS EVEN BIGGER!
My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula & Independent Childbirth Educator. I am inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.
“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”
If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here
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