Wondering what types of things you might need to purchase for a home birth? Often, midwives have a prepared list of supplies you will be expected to provide. Sometimes the midwife has already prepared birth kits, or arranged with a supplier, to allow you to purchase the full kit at once. Supply lists vary, but here are some common items.
Some women have used shower curtain liners to provide a waterproof barrier. Some midwives recommend using several old towels instead of plastic because the towels are absorbent and the plastic would leave a puddle of bodily fluids there for you to sit in. Which ever method you choose to protect your mattress (or chair, or floor), consider making your bed in the following manner: Prepare the bed with a fitted sheet and a top sheet. Adjust your waterproof barrier over the top sheet. Now place another fitted sheet over the waterproof barrier and make your bed as usual. This allows you to simply remove the soiled sheets and waterproof barrier revealing an already made bed.
Some women purchase puppy training pads, others purchase disposable pads from a medical or homebirth supplier. These pads are useful to catch fluids while pushing, and could be helpful if your water is broken and you want to keep furniture clean and dry. You may prefer to use folded towels which are just as easy to clean up.
These plastic clamps help prevent bleeding from the umbilical cord. They can be cut off after 24 hours, or left on until the cord falls off (although they could be cumbersome).
Sharp, Strong Scissors
Your midwife may ask you purcase a new pair or have a pair she uses. Alternately, you might use a new razor blade. Whatever you use, it is important the edge be sharp and the tool be sterile.
These soft water bottles allow you to squirt warm water on your perineum after you use the toilet. You do not want to use toilet paper on the tender skin after your baby is born, so you need some way to wash the area.
Oil and Gauze
The oil is for the perineum, to help lubricate it. The Gauze is used to give perineal support and to remove any waste that is expelled while pushing. You can use olive oil to lubricate, so do not feel you have to buy something special. Instead of gauze, you might find warm washcloth compresses to be more comfortable.
Your miwife will want to have suture material available in case you have a tear which needs repair. It may be part of the birth kit you purchase, or she may bring it.
Your miwife use bth sterile and non-sterile glvoes. Sterile gloves are for vaginal exams, catching the baby, and for doing any necessary perineal repair to help prevent introducing bacteria or other pathogens to you. Non-sterile gloves protect the midwife while she removes soiled linens or other materials.