Are you planning a home birth or considering trying to deliver at home? Every birth is beautiful in its own way, no matter how you birth. What's important is that you birth the way YOU want to! As a birth doula and mother of two, I have experienced many hospital births and many home births, each of which have their own benefits and risks which parents should research ahead of time. If you choose to have a home birth, there are some things you should know, some things you should plan for, and some things you may need to purchase to have on hand.
Having a home birth does not mean that you are birthing unassisted, or not attended by a medical professional, unless that is what you desire. There are many articles and podcasts about free-birthing, or birthing at home without a medical professional present, a great website to find out more information about that topic is at https://www.freebirthsociety.com. However, if you do choose to have a home birth with a medical professional, it is a smart idea to research the midwives in your area and interview a few different ones to find the best fit. Ask them any and all questions you have, they are all always more than happy to help. In addition to having a wonderful midwifery team, it is highly recommended to hire a birth doula as well. Doulas are a wonderful loving presence whose main concern is mama and holding a sacred space for the mother to fully dive head first into her birth with no fears. They provide emotional support and relaxing physical support such as massages or different body positions, and so much more. Doulas are similar to your midwife in the sense that you should interview various doulas and find the best match for you and your family. However, their job is completely different than the midwife's job and their roles should not be confused.
When it comes to preparing for a home birth, it is not nearly as complicated as many think. One could surely purchase many different items to have all options available during labor, or one could keep it very simple, it's your birth and you can birth any way you'd like. When having a home birth, you have the option of using a birth pool. There are many companies who sell them, but https://labassinebirthpools.com comes highly recommended. If they are out of your budget, look into finding a birth pool rental service in your area. Hydrotherapy has been known to have many benefits for laboring mothers to help them relax and ease any pains. The birth pool kit comes with any hoses, attachments, and pumps to set up your birth pool. Your birth team is who will worry about the clean up and put away of the birth pool after the birth.
Some great tools to have for easing the pains of labor and promoting different positions are simple items such as an exercise ball, peanut ball, yoga mat, birthing stool, rocking chair, yoga hammock or hanging rope or scarves. Small household items can be used to help ease the pain by applying pressure using tennis balls on the lower back, hot/cold compresses, massage tools, or rebozo scarves. It is also equally as important to make sure you create the environment you ideally would like to birth in, such as dim lights, warm temperatures, quiet sounds, gentle music, soothing smells, and any of your favorite ways to help yourself relax. Setting up a calming environment for yourself is a wonderful way to connect to the upcoming experience, help prepare yourself, and to create a safe space for you to feel relaxed in and to birth in.
Always have lots of clean water available to drink and healthy snacks such as granola bars, chia pudding, peanut butter, fresh fruit, cut up vegetables, miso soup, bone broth, or other nutrient dense snacks that you love. Other great beverages to help keep your body sustained are coconut water, electrolyte beverages, and red raspberry leaf tea.
Have fun, remember to not be afraid to ask any questions no matter how silly you might feel, release any fears and work through any personal or family trauma, educate yourself with a good childbirth education series, and remember this is your body, your baby, your birth---you do it the way YOU want!