What you’ll need to have with you at home for your homebirth:
In addition to the birth kit your midwives will supply you with, you’ll need to obtain the following supplies and linens before 37 weeks. They should be kept in or near the room you plan on birthing in.
If you’re planning on having a water birth, make sure you have your birthing pool kit as well. With my midwives, it’s a $100 deposit for the birthing pool kit. You sign up to be added to the list for one, and then during your prenatal appointment somewhere between 37 and 38 weeks they give you the kit to take home.
I’ve also created a FREE 3 page printable for you, for everything home birth. The first page is a home birth checklist, the second page is how to prepare your home for your home birth and the third and final page is a page for you to take notes. I love having a physical printable option of the checklist to be able to cross off everything as it gets done!
Homebirth Supply List
Linens and Blankets:
- 2 sheet sets. I don’t bother with flat sheets, but rather make sure I have two sets of fitted sheets.
- 2 plastic drop cloths, mattress protectors, shower curtains, or other big plastic sheets to protect your mattress. It should be medium weight, so it won’t tear, and big enough to cover most of your bed. A tip: depending on the size of your mattress, you could just buy one large drop cloth and cut it in half!
- 6-10 bath towels
- 6 washcloths
- 6-10 cotton receiving blankets. The fabric being cotton is an important aspect! I’d recommend having a bulk set of inexpensive cotton receiving blankets, and then 1 or 2 cute swaddle blankets that you want to put on the baby once they’re all cleaned up.
- 8 newborn diapers
- 2 cotton baby sleepers. With our summer babies, we tend to use a gender-neutral onesie since it’s so hot out.
- 2 baby hats
You will need two sheet sets, don’t try and skimp and only have one. Trust me. Birth is beautiful but messy, like very messy. And the set for labor and birth, in particular, should be ones you will feel comfortable soiling. Thrift stores and buy nothing groups on Facebook are good places to find inexpensive linens and towels to use for your birth.
After you’ve collected the linens etc, make sure they are cleaned very well. We normally wash with cold water, but everything we use for the home birth we wash on hot/a high heat. After washing and drying, store everything in labeled paper bags/garbage bags/totes. Then staple or otherwise seal the bags/totes to keep your home birth items clean, dry, and organized.
Label the bags accordingly so that your birth team can find things easily:
- Bag #1: 2 sets of sheets. One for labor and birth, and one set for after the birth.
- Bag #2: towels (preferably white or light colors) and washcloths
- Bag #3: cotton receiving blankets, newborn diapers, baby clothing, baby hats
Other Supplies needed during your homebirth:
- 1 large unopened bottle of hydrogen peroxide
- 1 large bottle of Witch hazel
- Ice chips (optional, but if you’re looking for a reason to splurge on the nugget ice maker here is your permission to do so.)
- 2 cookie sheets (not disposable, larger sizes preferable)
- 1 medium-sized, shallow bowl for the placenta
- 1 small/medium-sized bowl for hot washcloths.
- 2 large plastic bags for trash and laundry
- A laundry basket or some kind of container that can be lined with a trash bag to hold dirty linens
- 1 large pot (or crockpot) with a lid for boiling water
What you need in your home birth kit for immediately postpartum:
- 1 rapid read (6-10 seconds) digital thermometer that has an underarm or forehead reading. Be sure to read the label carefully!
- Flashlight with good batteries
- Your favorite, easily digestible, and nutritious snacks.
- Recharge, Nuun tablets, juice, or Gatorade.
- A good supply of pads, although I do prefer to use adult diapers myself. They are far more comfortable and incredibly absorbant. Always Discreet and Depend Silhouette are my favorites.
- Cold pack or bag of frozen vegetables to put on your bottom after the birth. For a better and more sustainable option that will last you a lot longer and you’ll get infinite uses out of, I loved these reusable perineal ice packs.
- Ibuprofen for after the birth
- Arnica tablets
How to prepare your home for your home birth
What to do 2 Weeks before your Due Date:
- Wash all baby clothes, sheets, towels, etc. with a mild soap or detergent and rinse extra well. This includes all packaged new clothes. Place these items in the aforementioned large paper bags/totes and label them.
- Clean your house, with special attention given to the bathroom and the birthing room. Have a desk, table, or dresser top clear for us to use for our equipment.
- Make sure your birth team knows what your house looks like, what door(s) will be open, and any important information about your home
- Make arrangements with your pediatrician to see the baby within the first 72 hours. Ask if s/he will do a home visit.
Prepare your kitchen with drinks and food to keep your energy up during labor including:
- Ice cubes, juice, electrolyte drink, or tea.
- High protein snacks, honey, fruit, and yogurt.
- A meal you would like to eat postpartum should be ready to eat after your labor and delivery.
During early labor, double make the bed:
- Make the bed in the usual manner: waterproof mattress pad, bottom sheet, and top sheet.
- Cover the entire bed with the plastic-backed sheet or shower curtain liner, plastic side down.
- Cover the plastic-backed sheet with another bottom sheet and complete making the bed.
Download your free “What You Need For a Home Birth Supply List and How to Prepare Your Home for a Home Birth Checklist” pdf here, or click on the pic above!
For more labor and birth information, you may also be interested in:
- What is a birth doula? Benefits of using a doula
- 8 Tips to Prepare your Body for a Labor, Naturally
- Birth Center Supply Checklist: What to Pack