How To Set Up The Perfect Home Birthing Experience

The first thing to note when planning for a home birth is that the midwife you hire and those surrounding you are the most critical aspects of creating the ideal space. As a midwife, I have been to all different types of homebirths. Some individuals give birth in the water surrounded by fairy lights. Others give birth in the comfort of their bed, some on their bathroom floor, and anywhere else. I have found that how we decorate and prepare the space matters much less than who enters the space. 

I recently saw a quote: “If you cannot ugly cry in front of them, you shouldn’t birth in front of them.” I like the sentiment. I usually say, “If you cannot poop in front of them, you shouldn’t birth in front of them.” Because let’s be real, that’s happening too! Making sure you have a midwife or multiple midwives you trust wholeheartedly and a birth team you feel similarly about is a significant first step to creating the ideal birth space. From here on out in this article, everything recommended is considered extra vs. necessary. 

The Space

For some, creating a beautiful birthing space is a crucial part of preparing for their birthing time, while for others, it feels overwhelming and exhausting. If making an ideal birthing space is stressing you out, stop reading here and know you already have the perfect space for yourself and your needs. If you are searching for some homebirth inspiration, here we go.

Twinkle Lights

Twinkle lights or fairy lights are a common and charming addition to any birthing space. You can find these battery-powered lights just about anywhere, but if funds are tight, Christmas lights work in a pinch. I have seen fairy lights hung in the windows, draped through curtains, zig-zagged on walls, and placed between a birth tub and liner. I love fairy lights in the birth space because they can provide accent lighting and allow for the overhead lights to be turned off. Darkness is something that many individuals seek out during their labor, and twinkle lights are a great way to achieve that while not being in the pitch-black darkness.

Birthing Pools

Birthing pools are another thing that many of our birthing parents love for their space. Whether or not you want to have a water birth, laboring in warm water can provide immense relief, especially in the end phases of labor. Some midwives will provide a birth pool to clients who want it, while others require you to purchase your own. If money is tight, a kiddie pool or renting a birth pool works in a pinch. A new white birthing pool just came to the market, and many of our parents like how aesthetically pleasing it is in a birth space.

Affirmations

Positive affirmations can be a great way to give your care team specific phrases to say while they support you, provide a focal point during your contractions, and give a nice ambiance in any birth space. Whether you create your phrases or jump on Etsy or Pinterest to find already created ones, having some positive reminders around you can be a great aid during your birthing time. I love seeing positive affirmations strung on the wall or placed around a birthing space. They look great paired with fairy lights.

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A Birth Altar

A birth altar can be an excellent way to invite your ancestors spiritually and guides to support you during your birthing time. I have seen parents ask each person in their close friend/family group to send them something to go on their altar. I have also seen photographs of deceased ancestors upon alters. Some individuals enjoy lighting incense or candles during their birthing time as well. The best part about having a birthing alter is that it can uniquely be your own.

Snacks

Quick energy snacks and accessible water access greatly add to any birthing space. Honey sticks, crackers, cheese sticks, fruit, bone broth, and nuts are simple snacks that can quickly boost the birthing parent’s energy in a pinch. I also recommend having straws for your water bottle or cups because sometimes it’s best to keep it simple and easy to access. For some, eating large meals during birth feels good, and if this is you, I encourage it. A pre-made freezer meal to heat up while you’re laboring can make things easier for your partner or support person. Most of our clients in active labor are not in the mood for a big meal, so having small, easy-to-eat and ingest snacks makes for a suitable substitute.

A Nesting Spot

Finally, I recommend having a comfortable nest for you to enter after your baby is born or if you’re trying to rest during your birthing experience. A comfy couch or bed are two good options. Worried about a mess? I love using a shower curtain on top of your nice sheets but underneath a pair of less nice sheets to protect the bed. This way, if you birth on the bed and it gets messy, it can be easily stripped down to nice, fresh sheets. This is possible on a couch by tucking in the shower curtain or using chux pads. Make sure that this space is somewhere you can envision spending at least the first few hours in, and make sure it also has a lot of support with pillows and backrests. Support can help with nursing as it is challenging to nurse lying flat.

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Extra Supplies

Depending on your midwife team, they will either provide most of your supplies or have a list for you to purchase. The most typical supplies required are towels, chux pads, a bowl, garbage/zip lock baggies, postpartum items like a peri bottle, pads, witch hazel, and a drinking water-safe hose. I would not purchase any of these items until you speak with your birthing team to ensure they are not already providing them and to see if they have discount codes for specific products. 

Lastly, remember that this is your space, and only you can know how to make it feel right. Maybe you love essential oils and want those going during your birthing time. Perhaps you are a plant lover and want to be surrounded by your many plant babies. You might be someone who wants a party birth, or you might be someone who wants to give birth alone. Listen to your body as you assess your wants and needs for your birthing space. It is important that you feel safe and comfortable; everything else is extra.

 

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