Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homebirth: The Birth Box

We are very excited to be having our second home birth!  You can read my other birth stories on my blog: number one, number two, number three, ... and number four soon to come.  I had a difficult hospital birth with my first, an unmedicated hospital birth with my second, and an amazing (fast!) homebirth with my third.  Ross and I both loved the homebirth and are excited to have the experience again.  He ended up catching Esther because I gave birth so fast, and this time around he wants to catch the baby again.  I love this!  He is NOT one who does well with blood or even talk about blood.  There was something special about him being the one to catch Esther though, and the midwife agreed he could catch this time around as well.  She commented that if she catches the baby, she is wearing gloves.  If Ross catches the baby, his skin is the first thing baby touches.  Hopefully he and the midwife arrive on time.  They are both about 45 minutes away from me during the day, and last time my total labor was not much longer than that!

Anyway, on to the birth box.  If you saw my post about our "nursery", I mentioned the birth box sitting in the corner of my bedroom.  This contains all of the items necessary for the birth that I have gathered together.  Some of these are required by our midwife, others are things that I added for my own comfort.

I have:
lots of disposable bed pads
disposable padded underwear
(in the bathroom I also have Seventh Generation pads for use after the birth)
gauze pads
olive oil (for perineal massage as baby is crowning)
trash bags
comfrey leaves (for soothing afterwards)
Emergen-C packets
baby nose bulb
a tennis ball (for massage during labor)
two old towels
receiving blankets
squeeze bottle (from the hospital, for rinsing after the birth)
after-ease herbal tincture for after pains
newborn outfit, diaper, and hats

Earth Mama Angel Baby stuff, soo nice to have on hand:
postpartum bath herbs
nipple butter
bottom balm
bottom spray
booby tubes

Other/ not pictured:
waterproof bed pad
set of old sheets to put on the bed
small mirror
arnica tablets
arnica massage oil (Weleda brand)
large water bottle with a straw

I put witch hazel on a couple of maxi pads and put them in ziploc bags in the freezer.  These will be for postpartum use and soothing those sore parts.

We have an exercise ball in the living room that I will use for getting comfortable during labor.

My bath tub!  Esther was born in the tub, simply because I couldn't get out and she was coming fast.  It made clean up easy and birthing in the water was quite comfortable.  I think I will end up going that route again, depending on how fast things are moving.

Is there anything else I should have on hand?


  1. We didn't use half the things in our kit. I do wish I had been more specific to dh and the midwife on where the towels were (the pile next to the container) since they used my good ones. Fortunately, they cleaned just fine.

    Do you have peroxide around for washing towels afterwards?

    An energy bar for a quick labor snack?

  2. After the birth of my last baby in August (3rd birth, 2nd homebirth) my midwives gave me an elastic/neoprene excersize band thingy (that is the technical term!) to bind around my belly and hips. I'd never heard of this, but apparently in many cultures, the mother is wrapped tightly in bands after the birth to ease afterpains. It worked crazy well. I had absolutely zero pain while wearing it. I could feel that my uterus was contracting, but it didn't hurt. I wore it for about a week. I bought one to have around, and have lent it to several friends postpartum. Best ten bucks ever spent!

  3. @AmberLou, wish I had known about that! I had terrible afterpains this time around (my third child, third homebirth, was born four weeks ago)
    Anyway, back to the list...
    how about some kind of eletrolight replacement like Recharge by Knudsen or some other natural "gatorade"? Great fast energy during and after labor. And I definitely would add some kind of energy or granola bar.
    How exciting! I sort of wish my husband was up for catching our kids, but it was all I could do to get him to be in the room for this one.

  4. i have no experience. so i have no advice. but can't wait to see/hear about the new little one!!