Alright, mama, it’s finally time to start preparing your home for the birth of your precious child! In this post, I will provide a complete home birth checklist so that you can be fully prepared for the most magical occasion life has to offer! ✨
Items To Prepare Your Space For childbirth:
Birth Candle: Lighting a birth candle at the beginning of labor is sentimental and a sweet way to start labor.
Birth Affirmations: Affirmations can shift your thoughts which then shifts your actions (and vise versa), I love using birth affirmations for labor because they encourage our hearts, focus our minds, and remind us of our intention for choosing natural childbirth.
For my home birth, I hand-wrote several different quotes and scriptures and hung them on string lights around the house. I then asked my husband to read them out loud during labor.❤️
Fairy String Lights: Fairy string lights add peaceful mood lighting to the birth space. They’re also meditative to look at during labor.
Birth Music Playlists: Creating a few birth playlists is a wonderful way to empower you throughout your labor. (think-instrumental, spiritual, and/or upbeat music.)
Diffuser: Diffusing essential oils adds a beautiful birthing aroma and can provide great benefits to aid with labor.
Clary Sage Essential Oil: Clary sage is known to kick us into labor and help us to feel grounded. I truly love this scent! Now, whenever I smell Clary sage, I am reminded of the birth of my baby. ❤️
Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender is a calming essential oil that is great to have on your home birth checklist as well, it aids with anxiety and helps slow down your breath and feel calm.
Photographer/Camera: I know what you might be thinking when I mention having a photographer at your birth, “Umm, no thank you, why would I want someone taking pictures of me during the most vulnerable moment of my life?” Well, sis, I agree with you completely, but trust me when I say you will want some pictures to remember this remarkable event in your life. You might be surprised how unphased you become during the thick of labor.
I ended up giving my doula a small camera (here is the camera I use for all special events) and asked her if she could take a few shots. I look forward to sharing the birth story/pictures with my child one day.
Essential Items DUring labor:
Birth Tub/Liner: Having a birth tub at your home birth is a MUST-HAVE, in my opinion. It feels amazing to be in a warm tub of water when contractions get strong and more frequent. I seriously can’t believe I was ever on the fence about having it at my home birth.
P.s. I rented mine from a local birth center. Note: If you rent your tub you’ll probably be required to purchase a liner for sanitary reasons.
Hose: You’ll need to purchase a hose that is long enough to reach your birth tub to the kitchen faucet or bathtub faucet. You will also need to buy a hose adapter (may sound like a challenging process, but it’s not). You can take a picture of your faucet and show it to an associate at miners, home depot, or any other hardwood store, and they can help you find a suitable adapter.
Heating Pad: This is another ESSENTIAL item you will want to have in your labor basket. Applying heat to your lower back and abdomen is gold during labor.
Crock Pot + 5-10 Wash Cloths: Placing washcloths in a crockpot is another instant way to apply heat. My doula frequently put heated cloths on my back, and it helped a ton!
Tip: You can purchase an affordable crockpot from a second-hand store.
Chinese Fan: I love me a good Chinese Fan. I ended up using my fan a lot, well actually, my husband fanned me, which kept me cool and made me feel cared for 🥰.
Snacks: It’s time to hit up trader joe’s snack aisle and load up on all your favorites! I’d also get some extra for those who will be attending the birth party 🥳.
You might also want to stock your fridge with fresh food because it could be the only thing that sounds good. I lost my appetite during the transition phase, and the only thing that I could stomach was fresh pineapple, smoothie, and yogurt with a touch of honey.
Coconut Water/Electrolyte Drink: The best way to stay hydrated is by consuming beverages with high electrolytes. I linked my favorite brand of coconut water (it tastes best when chilled).
Quality Water Bottle: Staying hydrated will be vital to keeping up your stamina during labor. It’s a good idea to purchase a quality water bottle. A friend of mine gave me this advice before my homebirth, and she was totally right.
Drinking Straws: At some point, your birth team might be offering you sips of water here and there. Drinking from a straw makes that job more manageable.
Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea: You can make a giant batch of raspberry leaf tea (hot or cold). Mom’s swear by this tea to help with labor and delivery.
Hand Mirror: Using a hand mirror helps some mamas see the progress of what’s going on down there. I personally wasn’t all that into it, but you might be!
(Cute) Sports Bra: I say “cute” only because you will likely have many pictures taken on this day. But when you’re in the space of labor, the last thing you are thinking is “do I look cute?” heck wearing clothes at all might be of zero interest to you 😅.
Box of Tissue: Giving birth brings out all the emotions, at least it does for me. It never hurts to have a few extra boxes of tissue lying around the house.
Labor Ball: There are some great exercises and stretches you can do to ease the discomfort of contractions. It feels amazing to simply bounce on the labor ball, to keep everything loose & open, as they say, 😀.
Side note:Spinningbabies.com has great exercises for helping with the baby’s position and preparing your body for delivery.
Preparing your bed for labor & delivery
Shower Curtain/Mattress Protector: You will need a plastic shower curtain, tarp, or some type of mattress protector.
I bought a cheap shower curtain liner from Target.
2 Sets of Sheets: 1 set of old sheets and then 1 set of your regular sheets to prepare your bed for birth.
8-10 Towels: You’ll want anywhere between 8-10 spare towels. You will use these to protect the bed (see graphic above on how to make your bed for birth), dry off when you get out of the birth tub, wrap the baby in, and clean up after birth.
Items you’ll want on your home birth checklist for Post Birth:
Disposable Underpads: Chucks are handy and they help to prevent unnecessary messes. Your birth team will put them e-v-e-r-ywhere right before you deliver.
BABY GOWN: Time to pick out baby’s first outfit! I found a gender-neutral gown on Etsy.
6-8 Receiving Blankets for Baby: If you have access to a dryer, you can place the blankets and towels in the dryer to add some extra warmth and coziness for the baby. We want the baby to be as warm as possible once she makes her initial appearance in this world!
Baby Caps: Set aside a few baby caps to keep baby’s head warm after birth.
Baby Socks: Also, you’ll want socks ready for baby to keep those itty bitty feet warm!
Plastic Laundry Basket Covered in a Garbage Bag: Covering your laundry basket with a garbage bag is a little home birth hack to keep everything easy to clean after delivery.
Disposable Underwear: Your body will require some healing after delivering the extraordinary tree of life (placenta). Wearing disposable underwear (depends works great) and pads are helpful during those first few days when your body is still bleeding.
Pajamas For Mama: One lovely aspect of laboring at home is that you can wear your choice of comfy clothes. I recommend finding maternity breastfeeding pajamas for post-birth, because let’s be frank, you probably won’t leave the house for a hot minute after giving birth and your world will revolve around feeding the baby.
Magnesium: I’d check with your doctor before taking any supplements, but I found magnesium very helpful after giving birth for digestion and muscle relaxation.
I hope this home birth checklist is helpful! Please reach out if you have any questions when creating your home birth checklist, It brings me deep joy to help mamas create a meaningful and comfortable birth space! ❤️