Having a home birth was one of the most zen experiences of my life, but it required a fair amount of research, forethought and preparation. Think about all the little things a hospital keeps in stock for new moms: heat/cold packs, gauze, bed sheets, disposable underwear, disinfecting wipes, pads, diapers… the list is endless. Unfortunately, you’ll pay a pretty penny for any items you use in a hospital, and that’s one of the coolest things about home birth: you won’t be overcharged for supplies, since you buy them yourself! I did hours and hours of research in preparation for my home birth, and I found that I had everything I needed and wanted. This post does contain affiliate links, but there’s nothing I’ve listed here that I didn’t actually have on hand and use for my home birth. I’ve sifted through my order history and decided these were the products I’d buy again.
Before the Birth
1. Hello Baby
My midwife recommended this book to help me prepare my two older kids for the home birth experience. This book doesn’t pull any punches and even has an illustration of the baby exiting the mom, but if you plan to have your kids at home while you birth, this is an excellent way to introduce them to the experience. My 8-year-old and 4-year-old both chose to stay in the room when their little sister was born, and my oldest even took it upon himself to massage my shoulders as I labored. My mother and midwife were paying close attention to make sure my kids weren’t overwhelmed, but they handled it beautifully, and I feel this book helped make that possible.
2. Labor Prep Tea
This tea can help your uterus shrink back down to it’s normal size faster after birth, and supposedly it also prepares your uterus for delivery… though I must warn you that when I had some near my due date, I had strong contractions come on within 45 minutes. Proceed with caution!
For the Birth
3. Essential Oils
I am a huge essential oils fan and wanted to be sure I had some high quality oils on hand for labor and postpartum recovery. I didn’t have any, so I bought this Young Living starter kit to get a variety of oils plus a good diffuser. Some oils are even purported to help speed or slow labor, though I didn’t feel the need to mess with the speed of my progression. I definitely had a calming recipe in the diffuser for the entirety of my labor and several days afterward. I found the oils in this kit to be more than sufficient for my needs. I especially loved having lemon, lavender and frankincense in my bath during pregnancy, and Thieves is great to use to ward off illness as your baby’s immune system develops.
4. Birth Playlist
I’ve been a longtime Spotify user but I’ve recently switched over to Amazon Music and I’m liking it. I had a special playlist queued up in the room where I gave birth so that the first sounds my baby heard were some of my very favorite soothing songs. That plus the essential oils being diffused gave the room a really special vibe.
5. Coconut Oil
If you plan to use essential oils to create massage oil (YES PLEASE), you’ll probably want some fractionated coconut oil to use as a carrier.
6. Pump Bottles
And these pumps are great for dispensing said massage oil.
7. Spray Bottles
Several oils can be used to lessen labor pains, after-pains, or pain *ahem* down yonder. It’s recommended to keep those solutions in dark glass containers, and these are great for EO spray storage.
8. Labor and/or Delivery Gown
I loved this delivery gown so much that I couldn’t bring myself to actually labor in it, but I was in it as soon as I was cleaned up after the birth. The front panel unbuttons for easy nursing access and ISN’T IT SO DANG CUTE?!
9. Disposable Table Cloths
Birth is a messy business. Save your carpet by covering your floor with flannel-backed table cloths. The fuzzy side will help it stay put on the carpet.
10. Waterproof Mattress Cover
Of course, any waterproof mattress cover will do, but I’d used this brand before when my oldest was potty training and I knew it was comfortable and not too crinkly.
11. Phone Tripod
I wanted to have a video of the birth, so I cleared the memory on an old phone, plugged it into the wall, snapped it into a tripod and pressed record when labor started.
12. Coffee for Helpers
Your midwife and other helpers will likely be spending hours at your house, and possibly early-morning hours. Be sure to stock up on good coffee and high-protein snacks to sustain them as they sustain you.
A hospital will send you home with a few diapers in case you haven’t bought any yet, but a home birth means you need to be ready with all newborn essentials. Make sure you have diapers!
14. A Comfy Nursing Bra
This nursing bra by Coobie is my all-time fave. The One Size has a lot of stretch, but there’s also a Full Size option available.
The Fridet is like an upgraded version of the little bottles the hospital gives you to rinse off after using the bathroom. The water flows out very gently and the spout is angled to make it easier to reach. Fill this up with some warm tap water before each use and it’s wonderful. Some people even use a mixture of witch hazel and essential oils to create their own pain-relieving wash.
16. Pads Galore
Make sure you have plenty of pads on hand for when you’ve graduated back into your normal panties. Postpartum bleeding often lasts for weeks, so pads that are comfortable and stay put are absolutely essential. I had lots of these in Regular and Overnight sizes and I was really impressed with them.
17. Silicone Pump
If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll find that you might have an uncomfortable amount of milk when it comes in around day three. These little silicone “pumps” use light suction to catch excess milk without depleting your supply. Just pop it on one side while you feed baby on the other. I was shocked at how much I was able to collect this way!
18. Disposable Boxers
Having a home birth does not mean you have to forfeit those insanely comfortable and oh-so-flattering disposable briefs! In fact, they’re great for those last couple months of pregnancy as well. I won’t tell if you don’t.
19. Incontinence Underwear
Even better than the disposable boxers, if you ask me, are adult diapers. Yep, I went there. Why spend a couple of weeks trying to position gigantic pads in disposable underwear when ou can buy disposable underwear that have gigantic pads built in? I am somewhat petite at 5’4″ and I was just under 150 pounds before my little one was born, but I still loved having these in Large/XL for that first week postpartum. They were loose enough to be comfortable yet kept me free of leaks. How did it take me three births to figure this out?! Obviously, if you deal with incontinence after having the baby, it’s great to have these on hand in a couple different sizes.
20. Granny Panties
You probably will be sick of disposable undies way before you’re ready to slip back into your pre-pregnancy underwear, so have several pairs of comfy, stretchy oversized underwear available. Don’t spend a lot on these, since they’ll probably end up in the trash after you’ve worn them for a couple months.
My home birth was my third time giving birth but my first without any stitches (despite the baby being a whole pound bigger! water birth for the win!). So, I didn’t actually need this, but you’d better believe I had some on hand, because it’s a life-saver if you’re dealing with stitches down there.
22. Hydrogen Peroxide
If you move from one room to another at dome point in the first couple of days postpartum, you’ll very likely end up with blood on the carpet. Scrub a little hydrogen peroxide on the drips (well, make someone else do it, obv), and it comes right out. Science, right?!
That’s it! Those were the supplies I was most grateful to have on hand, besides the kit of supplies my midwife used. Have you had a home birth? What would you add to the list?