The Essential Supply Guide for Home Births

The Essential Supply Guide for Home Births

Jul 26th 2023

Home births are a unique opportunity for families, midwives, doulas, and birth parents to come together under one humble roof and await the arrival of the next generation. The birth parent can make themselves comfortable in the safety and stillness of their bed, a birth pool, or wherever they choose. While the midwife and doula work together to handpick the company the birth parent keeps with the parent’s care and needs in mind.

Families must understand that the home birth experience will unfold as intended, whether they’re ready or not. But a significant part of what helps things unfold with ease is having a well-equipped stash of essentials to help everyone, newborn included. Below, we take you on a deep dive into our essential supply guide for home births so you’re ready and informed whether you’re a birth parent, midwife, doula, or attending family member.

Supplies for the Birth Parent

The birth parent’s comfort is a top priority in the home birth environment. The space they labor and ultimately deliver their baby in must meet their emotional, mental, and physical needs for success. As a birth parent nears the end of their pregnancy, their hormones can create a sense of urgency within them. Typically, medical professionals refer to this feeling and behavior as nesting. During this time, the birth parent will feel compelled to prepare the home to the best of their ability for birth and postpartum. Care providers and family members can offer their time to ensure the birth parent maintains their resting measures and has everything they need. A list of common items includes:

  • Comfortable wardrobe options
  • A drinking water supply
  • Overnight and heavy-flow feminine products
  • Pee pads (if preferred)
  • Heating pad
  • Birth pool (if preferred)
  • Old towels and washcloths
  • Personal comfort aids

It’s essential to note everyone’s personal comfort aids will vary, and these items can range from plush objects to photographs or objects that bring them peace.

Supplies for the Newborn

Supporting the birth parent with comfort measures and safety is easy to accomplish because the birth parent can speak for themselves and weigh in on the topic. But when it comes to the newborn’s needs, care providers should step in and showcase their expertise, so birth parents and families feel prepared to welcome this tiny new being into their home. Becoming parents and nurturing the newborn’s needs will grow over time through postpartum, but some items are essential as they equip the home with things the newborn can benefit from. We list these essential supplies below:

  • Newborn diapers
  • Receiving blankets
  • Old towels
  • Newborn onesie, hat, and booties
  • Bath supplies (if bathing shortly after delivery)
  • Food supplies (formula-feeding and breastfeeding, birth parent’s choice)

Supplies for the Home and Birth Space

The home and the birth space will require supplies that not only assist the birth parent and their process but create an environment of warmth and love for the newborn as they transition from womb space to birth space. Generally, birth parents use their nesting surges to spend their time meticulously preparing their home—washing, cleaning, organizing, rearranging, and stocking, and all these initiatives lend a hand in bringing the birth space to fruition.

It’s advantageous for care providers to offer their expertise when the birth parents begin diving into their home and birth space provisions so the provider can gain familiarity with the space they’ll be working in and offer support on dos and don’ts for the space. A care provider can guide the birth parent on proper setup and use if they wish to have a birth pool. Water temperature and having appropriate supplies for the pool is also a matter of priority.

Home Provisions can include:

  • A birth pool and accompanying supplies
  • Large garbage bags
  • Freezer meals
  • Appointed in-home care for pets or children
  • Additional bedding and pillows
  • Feminine care station in the nearest bathroom
  • Postpartum station

Birth Space Provisions can include:

  • Care provider’s birth kit
  • Newborn essentials
  • Birth pool (if preferred)
  • Old towels
  • Drinking water and a snack (if cleared by the care provider)
  • Small lamp
  • Handheld mirror
  • Pee pads
  • Cord kit

It’s essential to note the supplies gathered for the home and birth space may be subject to personal preferences and demands. Our essential supply guide for a home birth is not definitive, and each family and care provider may pick and choose the supplies needed to achieve successful and healthy labor and delivery in the given space.

Additional Supplies for the Experience

It’s common for birth parents to want these sacred experiences captured in some manner so they can reflect on or show their child or children what these moments looked like. Families can capture and store these memories in a variety of ways, including photography, videography, a memory book with handwritten details, or a simple notebook that tracks the journey. Care providers may not be able to assist in these efforts if holding onto the experience is something a birth parent or family wishes to do, so families should consider hiring or appointing a trustworthy individual to oversee these duties. A doula may take over these responsibilities, so the family may want to consider hiring one for their support and helpful hands.

A few additional supplies that can support and foster a safe and healthy birth experience include:

  • Music
  • Essential oils
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever
  • A robe
  • Extension cords
  • Tech charging devices
  • Herbal tinctures
  • Nipple shields

Consider Preparing a Hospital Bag

Regardless of birth plans and visions, birth unfolds as it wishes, even when it turns out in a way the birth parent and family least expect. Planning and preparing for home birth is a special time, but it’s essential to have a backup plan and prepare for it. Care providers can partner with the expecting family to discuss risks and potential outcomes and may advise them to prepare a hospital bag for peace of mind.

Should something turn out unexpected, or the overseeing provider determines it’s best to transfer, having a bag prepared will allow for optimal efficiency and security when at the hospital. Additionally, birth families should not forget to take the infant car seat along with them if they make an immediate transfer. The goal is to always take their baby home, regardless of when that is.

Cascade Health Care works diligently to value and uphold all birth processes. We proudly carry a comprehensive selection of home birth kits and supplies that suit a range of home delivery methods, from water births to bed births and everything in between. We have something for everyone, whether you’re a birth parent, family, or care provider. Shop with us today to receive quality items for a quality experience!

The Essential Supply Guide for Home Births