The short answer is just yourself!
There are many misconceptions around homebirth and what things you might need to have. For the most part, if you are planning a home birth with midwives, they will bring the essential items. People are sometimes concerned that there may be lots of mess or expense involved but with planned homebirth, this simply isn’t the case.
There are many ‘nice to haves’ so we have included some of the ones that seem to come up as favourites when we ask the question ‘what was the best or most useful thing you had for your homebirth?’
Here’s a list of our Top Ten.
- Birth ball – a cheap fitness ball works well
- Birth pool – available to buy new, used or hire. Support groups will often loan pools for a very small fee or free
- Towels – lots and lots especially if you’re having a pool
- Straws – for drinking undisturbed in awkward positions
- Maternity or incontinence mats aka toddlers disposable bed protectors or puppy pads!
- Shower curtains or old dust sheets to cover anything that you want to protect
- Favourite snacks & drinks
- Playlist of favourite music
- Face cloths
There are many more ‘nice to haves’ but it really need not cost the earth as most things can be borrowed, picked up on recycling websites or bought cheaply second hand.
Should I pack a hospital bag?
A question that comes up regularly is ‘should I pack a hospital bag in case I need to transfer in?’ This is a personal decision as some people believe that it focuses on something that you do not want to happen and can be a negative thing.
One mindset is that in the unlikely event of transfer, essentials can be quickly grabbed and anything forgotten can be easily collected after the baby is born. This lends itself well to those with a more casual approach or who wish to focus on what they do want to happen rather than what they don’t.
Regardless of the place you ultimately end up giving birth, it can be helpful to have certain items in one place. Some people choose to gather things together in a ‘birth bag’ or ‘birth box’ so that their birth partners can easily put their hands on things they’re likely to want during or immediately after their baby is born. In the event that you decide to change location everything is easy to find. This can be a helpful approach for those who like to feel all boxes are ticked.