You don’t need to be somebody ‘amazing’ to have a homebirth, you just have to be willing. You also have to be somewhat low risk so it is safe for you to give birth in your home along with being determined and believing in the power of you and your body. Women are born to birth. We don’t need hormones and pharmaceutical interventions to help birth our babies, we can do that all on our own. After my successful homebirth I have had many questions on what I did mentally and physically to prepare. So below I am going to share that with you.
- Try to include your partner with all mental preparation. When you feel like you can no longer continue during labour, that is where your support people/partner comes into play. If they don’t truly understand what you want, and you are asking for drug options during a moment of weakness they will agree and not fight for your needs because they won’t enjoy seeing you in pain. If they are present during mental preparation it will help them understand and learn alongside you.
- A labour without pain relief drugs isn’t easy. This is why you need to have your why. Why do you want to labour without these drugs? Research into this and truly find your why. For me it was the negative effects of these drugs on me and my baby and how they led to a cascade of medical interventions.
- Find birth affirmations that resonate with you. This is what will get you through the labour. Through my labour the only birth affirmation that resonated with me was: I am strong, I am patient and I will preserve. You can view birth affirmations at: brookeklower98 on pinterest.
- Watch birth documentaries to prepare yourself. This will allow you to prepare yourself. It will also help you to understand the downside to having a birth in a hospital and the birth process. Some great documentaries include: the face of birth, why not home, orgasmic birth, the business of being born. I personally loved orgasmic birth – although I believe pain has purpose and is definitely felt; nipple and clitoris stimulation helped immensely to get through the contractions for me.
- Read books, understand the pain process. Understand why your body needs to feel pain, this pain has a purpose. Some great books include: Birth with confidence by Rhea Dempsey, hypnobirthing, preparing for a gentle birth, Ina May’s guide to childbirth.
- Unpack past birth trauma. If this isn’t your first birth it is common to have birth trauma from your first birth. What are you scared of? What do you fear? Why is this? Journal about it and let it go. If are having trouble doing this speak to a doula or psychologist as they can assist with letting go of past birth trauma.
This is all about what you should have on hand for a homebirth. A TENS machine I highly recommend. It is best to start the TENS machine when you first start labour as women who start it later in the labour tend to not like the feeling. I used the TENS machine for my entire labour until I got into the pool, 16 hours! Below is the list of supplies I included into my homebirth kit, along with more that I wish I had on hand.
Recommended Homebirth Supplies
- Minimum of 15 towels, 2 facewashes (during transition you can get really hot, cold facecloths are great for this).
- Dog puppy training mats (used for baby weighing, to put down for blood loss post birth etc.).
- Container for placenta
- Strainer for stools (during the birth if using a pool)
- Handheld mirror + torch for midwife to see the baby be birthed (if using a pool)
- Birthing pool (hired) + all supplies required for this: buckets, hose, kettle or tap fittings (we had a hose that connected to the inside tap so we could fill it directly with hot water).
- Pool liner
- Food: coconut water, snacks for labour (e.g. fruit, snack bars, muesli bars), tea, coffee and snacks for midwives and partner.
- Spray bottle with water to help cool you down.
- Exercise ball, yoga mat (for different labouring positions)
- Blankets for baby.
- Hot water bottle to heat up blankets ready for baby.
- Plastic drop sheet and old sheets. Cover the bed with your normal sheets, place plastic drop sheet over the top followed by old sheets. This way you can put the blood stained old sheets straight into the wash after the birth and have a fresh bed underneath ready for sleep and rest.
- A tarp underneath the pool to protect flooring.
- Battery operated candle lights, last thing you want is light during labour.
- Essential oil diffuser, optional: clary sage essential oil, I used this with geranium.
- Peppermint essential oil – for pain relief and smell which helps get the mind off the pain, it’s the only smell I craved during my pregnancy – I put it on a facecloth and sniffed it throughout the birth.
- Music playlist ready for the birth.
- Heat pack for pain relief during early labour.
- Optional: herbs to decrease blood loss, herbs to help speeds things up if things are not progressing – you can book in a consult with me for birth prep!
I hope you enjoyed this blog about all things birth! I will be sharing more birthing preparation such as naturopathic tools to prepare the body for labour too in later blogs.
Stay healthy and happy,
Balanced beings x x