If considering a home birth it is important that you consider your home and how you will prepare it for this occasion.
Prior to the birth your midwife will come and complete a check of your property to ensure that it offers a safe place for you to give birth and to ensure that you can get further medical assistance if needed and that your property’s access can support this.
For myself, the great news is that their criteria was met and the option for a home birth is viable.
That said, giving birth is messy, so although we have had medical approval there are still additional steps we will be taking to ensure our home is suitable for a home delivery and to try and keep the mess to a minimum.
Steps to get your house birth ready
- Declutter the room that you plan to delivery in. It is important to make sure that when in active labour you are as relaxed as possible. For this to be possible have your space cleared before hand so all you have to hand is what is needed to make you comfortable and to aid the delivery.
- Have the house cleaned before – You’re nesting instincts will probably of kicked in and this will of been done, but it helps to have a clean space to bring your child into the world.
- Put protective sheeting over your carpets. This could be shower curtains, puppy training pads, the plastic sheeting tradesmen use (my partner is a decorator so this is what we will be using).
- Make sure you have protective sheets available for any other furniture if needed such as your bed or sofa.
- Ensure you have good lighting in place for your delivery room. The midwifes will bring torches to but it is still helpful to support them further by ensuring you have good lighting in your house. They need to be able to see what they are doing clearly and this will assist them greatly.
- Make sure you have petrol in the car and hospital bag at the ready just in case.
- Ensure you have prepared a plan for the possibility of any pet or childcare if needed – this includes packing any essentials for them too.
- Make sure you have snacks in and energy drinks to help you keep your energy up.
- Always handy to have a couple of ready or pre-made meals to hand for later on when your energy levels are low.
- Get/order any additional birthing essentials you want to have available. Some people like to hire our buy a birthing pool for their pending home birth. I personally have made the decision not to hire one due to the space required for it, however will be using my bath as tool to help manage any labour pains.
- Get a birth ball ready.
Hopefully by now any current children will be prepared for the addition of a new sibling but still be mindful, if you are keeping any current children at home for the birth, you may also want to enlist another person to be present. Labour can be long and you and your birth partner’s focus will be on the pending delivery so it is worth having someone else available to give all relevant attention to your child/children. This could be taking them out, feeding them, bath and bed or just general supervision, but it is worth having them there to take that additional pressure off you.