This post is part of a mini-series on preparing for birth. You can see the other posts, or my home birth house tour video here.
If you are birthing at home, you’ll likely get a kit list or suggestions from your midwives. I won’t include the basics here, as that is likely covered. Instead, I’ll give you a run down of some essentials that may not be on the list, but will help your birthing experience!
As you can see, I have a “baby” kit, and a “mama” kit. The baby stuff is simply items that the midwives had on their birth kit list. But on the right, my “mama kit” has a few extra items I pulled them in a repurposed toy bin that I’m keeping in the space next to where the birthing tub will be.
Sleeping bra. I found this indispensable in my first few weeks postpartum. I didn’t want to put on a real bra, but I wanted to be somewhat modest in front of people too. I plan to wear this bra while in the tub as well, especially if there will be any photos or videos taken. It took me a long time to find one in a dark color – white seems to be the majority pick!
Coconut oil. This is for perineal support if I’m not in the tub, or as a carrier oil for an essential oil massage. (I tend to buy from either Tropical Traditions, when they have a free shipping promotion, or Mountain Rose Herbs.)
Birthing aromatherapy blend. I got this for my first birth and loved it. It’s basically a mixture of essential oils, including clary sage, bergamont, rose, and geranium, in distilled water, to be sprayed in the room to stimulate labor and energize mom.
Candles. I have both a patchouli jasmine candle I fell in love with a my local drug store months ago (clean burning – amazing!), and some battery operated ones in case I don’t want the scent.
Lavender sock. Yup, I filled my husband’s old sock with equal parts lavender blossoms and flaxseed, and used an elastic band to fasten it. I’ve used some version of this to ward off headaches, backaches, etc. It can be dampened and warmed in the microwave and placed on your forehead for relaxation. (Though keep in mind some people are stimulated by too much lavender.)
Snacks. I have a packaged larabar in the picture for now, but my 3.5 year old will likely eat it before Labor Day. I’ll probably bring out my homemade ones for labor. I also have a 5 pound jar of honey and some spoons. =)
Bottled Water. This is actually more for my team – our water filter pitcher is woefully slow, so I have two dozen water bottles on hand. I don’t normally buy water, but I thought it would be a lot easier than having to keep track of cups and wait for water pitchers to fill!
Straws. These are helpful for the midwives or my husband to put into my big gulp cup of homemade labor drink!
Scriptures. One of the ways I was able to stay focused and relaxed during the majority of my first labor was by memorizing portions of Scripture and meditating on them during contractions. I have four passages that I’ve “edited” to take me about 60-90 seconds to say in my head…approximately the length of a contraction! (Psalm 31; Psalm 62; Psalm 63; Philippians 4:4-7, 11-13)
Music. My mom bought me Childbirth in the Glory for my first pregnancy, but I didn’t really listen to it much. But after reading about Mama Natural’s experience with the cd, I thought I’d give it another go. I’m enjoying the Scripture declarations, and the instrumental music is SO soothing, so I have a playlist on my phone and some earbuds, should I so desire to listen!
Birthing Ball. This isn’t in the picture, but I found it really helpful during my first birth. My preschooler is really into bouncing on it all.the.time, so it’s hanging out in the attic for now!
Tennis ball. Thanks to a suggestion from one of our Facebook readers, I’ve added a tennis ball to use for counter pressure. (Thanks, Meg!)
I also have arnica, pads, mesh undies, and some comfy front-open pjs for afterwards!
What about you? What did you have in your birth kit?
Check out the rest of the series here!
Part 4: Creating a Nursing Basket
Megan McGrory Massaro is a mother, freelance writer, and author. She wrote The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year to empower women to make the best choices for their families.