Tips for Cleaning After a Home Water Birth

Tips for Cleaning After a Home Water Birth

Oct 27th 2023

Home water births are becoming an increasingly popular choice for expecting mothers who want to experience a more natural and intimate birthing process. In this birth approach, the mother gives birth in a tub or pool filled with warm water, providing a calming environment that mimics the amniotic fluid in the womb. While there are many benefits to having a home water birth, one of the main concerns for many mothers is the cleanup process after the delivery. Follow these tips for cleaning up after a home water birth to help ease any worries and ensure a hygienic environment for you and your new bundle of joy.

Preparation Is Key

Before giving birth at home, it’s important to prepare the space where you plan on delivering your baby. Make sure to have all the necessary supplies on hand, including clean towels, a plastic sheet or tarp to protect surfaces, and a large container for the birth pool. It’s also a good idea to have a designated person in charge of cleanup, whether it’s your partner or a hired midwife or doula.

Preparation is key when approaching a home-based delivery method, as these notions and provisions will assist everyone in the space to better serve the expecting mother and newborn baby. A few other ways you can prepare yourself and the space include food preparations, diaper changing stations, and a bathroom postpartum kit with feminine care products and additional clothing.

Below, we begin exploring some common steps you can take to help with the cleanup process. These steps should make things easier for the new mother as she enters an ever-expanding phase: postpartum.

Step 1: Remove Any Debris

After the birth, you’ll want to remove any large debris, such as the placenta or umbilical cord, that may remain in the birth pool. Your doula, nurses, or family members can scoop out the debris with a clean ladle or strainer and dispose of it in a plastic bag or container. Finding debris in the birth pool is common, so avoid panicking if you see anything besides your baby. Investing in proper home water birth supplies will help immensely with these smaller details. Supplies such as gloves, nets, strainers, and liners will make cleanup a breeze.

Step 2: Drain and Disinfect the Birth Pool

Next, drain the birth pool and give it a thorough cleaning with a disinfectant solution. This measure will help eliminate any bacteria or germs that may be present in the water and help you prepare the pool for proper storage. It’s beneficial to clean the pool whether you intend to give birth again or not so you can use it at a later date if the need arises.

Step 3: Clean Surfaces

Even the plan to give birth in the pool can change, and sometimes things happen. If you gave birth on a plastic sheet or tarp just outside the pool, that’s OK; your birth team can carefully remove and dispose of the sheet. Wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner, paying special attention to areas where bodily fluids may have come into contact. Tackling these surfaces right away will help create more space to move around the environment and eliminate the risk of spreading or breeding bacteria.

Step 4: Wash Towels and Linens

It’s important to wash any towels or linens used during the birth in hot water with detergent. You can also add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle for added disinfecting power. Even if you have no intention of using these linens ever again, it’s still worthwhile to wash and then dispose of them to avoid placing bodily fluids in garbage receptacles.

Step 5: Cleanse Yourself

One of our best tips for cleaning up after a home water birth is to include yourself in the cleanup process. Take a shower or bath using warm water and mild soap to cleanse the perineal area. This shower will help prevent any infections or complications post-birth. Hiring a doula is something to consider so that you can more comfortably achieve this step. They can help watch over your newborn while you tend to yourself after this life-changing event. Never underestimate the power of a good self-care moment!

Step 6: Dispose of Medical Waste Properly

It’s crucial to dispose of any medical waste, such as used gloves, gauze, or other supplies, in a sealed bag. You can contact your local health department for specific guidelines on how to dispose of medical waste in your area. You can also speak with your certified nurse midwife about the disposal demands based on what you used. Often, they will have the answer or be able to find it for you.

Step 7: Air Out the Space

Once everything is clean and organized, open up windows and doors to let fresh air circulate throughout the space. The extra ventilation efforts will help eliminate any lingering odors and promote a clean and fresh environment. If you don’t feel ready to take a few steps outside, opening the windows can also help you receive some well-deserved fresh air as you begin recovering.

Step 8: Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the cleanup process or any other process during or after delivery. Giving birth is a physically and emotionally taxing yet rewarding experience, so make sure to take care of yourself and delegate tasks to others when needed. You may feel as though asking for help is a burden on others, but remember that giving birth is a village event and not an independent one. Ask for help. You deserve it!

Cascade Health Care Cares About Your Birth Experience

Having a home water birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience, but it’s important to plan for the cleanup process beforehand. By following Cascade Health Care’s tips and steps and taking proper precautions, you can ensure a clean and hygienic environment for you and your baby before, during, and after the birth. Remember to ask for help when needed and take care of yourself during this special time. Congratulations on the newest addition to your family!

Shop our comprehensive inventory to prepare your space with all the necessary home water birth supplies. We proudly offer our items sales tax-free!

Tips for Cleaning After a Home Water Birth