Planning a home birth

July 5, 2018

During pregnancy there’s always the thought at the back of your mind of how exactly you’re going to bring a new life into the world. And to be honest, that doesn’t change when you have your second. Just this time you have a little more awareness on what can happen, and a little bit of additional faith in your abilities.

My first birth with Henry was at our local Birth Centre and it was near perfect with a water labour, but I didn’t quite get the water birth I’d hoped for. So this time I want to try and have that water birth. Alongside this we’ve decided to have a home birth.

A home birth wasn’t really a consideration last time for us. I knew I wanted to go to the Birth Centre from the second I heard about it, and was doubly confirmed when we visited it ahead of giving birth. This time though, when my midwife suggested it we didn’t say no.

We then didn’t really think too much about it, though it was a background consideration, especially as we have a toddler and limited family in the area. Logically it made more sense to have a home birth especially if I’m in labour over night as it means Henry can just stay in bed until morning, and then go to nursery or his Godparents house, but I was still a little nervous. In my head, one good birth at the Birth Centre, meant I should go back and do it again.

At my 34 week appointment, my Midwife Lucinda reminded me that my next appointment would be in two weeks and we’d be discussing my birth plan, and it dawned on me that I really didn’t have much of a plan! Luckily Lucinda is very much a pressure-off midwife but is a clear advocate of birth centres or home births. So I went home, did a bit of research on Pinterest, did a call out for stories from fellow bloggers (I’ll link some at the end) and talked to Dann.

And we decided, we want a home birth.

I think it’s what will work best for us as a family, and has given me something different to research and plan. And I can’t think of a more perfect way to welcome a new addition than by bringing them into the world in our own home.

So what have we learnt about planning for a home birth.

Firstly it’s essentially the same as have a birth at a Birth Centre, but with your normal home comforts, and zero travel. As travelling last time slowed my labour a bit, I’m pretty keen to avoid this.

Secondly, there is a bit of a shopping list involved. Obviously we need to make sure the house is semi prepped to deal with a birth, and the associated mess, although my reading has suggested that it probably won’t be as bad as I think.
Suggestions include:

A birthing pool – obviously required as I want a water birth. We’re hiring one, which you keep from 37 weeks for approximately six weeks. They came with everything you need including hose pipe (the one we’re getting from the Gentle Birthing Company is non-toxic as well), a sieve and disposable liner. Literally everything you need for your water birth is in the box.
Many towels – we’ll be using our soon-to-be old ones. I’ve taken this as a clear sign that I need to re-do our upstairs bathroom (I’ve been wanting to repaint and redecorate for a while and this was like the final push I needed!) so I’ll be buying new towels for the re-design, so all our previous sheets and towels can be used for the birth, and where necessary, thrown away afterwards.
Plastic sheets – we’re opting for shower curtains as they’re pretty cheap from Asda. These are to help protect our floor and sofa, alongside the towels. Although a tarp is also provided with the pool.

We’ll also need buckets and jugs for topping up the pool (though must come with hoses etc to do this more easily) and for taking water out too, as well as bin bags for dirty towels, and a separate bucket for the placenta to be put, which I am very keen to check out properly this time. This isn’t absolutely necessary as your midwife should provide a ‘birth box’ which includes all the midwifery bits they need including placenta boxes. We were also recommended duct tape to secure the plastic sheeting to the floor so it cantc slip. We’ve also been asked to provide a hand mirror so the midwives can check babies progress in the pool. I’ve also bought maternity mats to place on the sofa. I’m also probably going to have a spare duvet downstairs, which we’ll cover with the shower curtains, so I have something soft to lay on if/when I need it.

Aside from that, we’re going to pack hospital bags, and a go-bag for Henry, as if we were going to hospital, and place them in the living room, just in case we need to be transferred to hospital. I’m also going to be packing the larder with biscuits and jelly, and making sure we have plenty of tea and drinks for the midwives too!

I have to admit, I’m actually now really excited about this birth.
I was super nervous, knowing the pain, but I think doing something different to last time has helped me focus on the positives of labour, plus it’s all going to be worth it for my second little boy.

Did you have a home birth? Link me your stories in the comments below, or any advice and tips! 

Some of my favourite home birth stories:
Home Birth After Caesarian
Home Water Birth
Home Birth of Beetle – from Dad’s perspective
A Last Minute Home Birth
Two Home Birth Stories

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