As we’ve already established, I’m a big lover of lists. Like, I looooove them. They can help us feel more in control (I like being in control, okay?), they help us clear our mind of erratic thoughts, and they help us communicate our wants and needs.
When it comes to your home birth, having checklists can help so much! There are a lot of factors to consider, a lot of things to organise, and you’ll want to be able to be methodical about it all so when the time comes, you can surrender and switch over to your birthing zone.
Just as your body knows how to grow your baby, it knows how to birth your baby.
Regardless of whether you’ve arranged everything from this list, your body knows what to do. Remember this when preparing for birthing at home and be kind to yourself.
The Empowered Mama Project’s Home Birth Checklist is intended as a guide to help you put together a smooth-running, practical and relaxing environment to welcome your babe earthside.
Take these checklists to your Midwife and talk with her about what she would recommend you add, and add to them what you want to add too. They are a template, a guide, a starting point.
You can download your free copy of the Checklists here to print and use for your own home birth.
1 – Practical Needs Checklist
These are the things that you often don’t think of until the very last minute, but can have a huge bearing on how smooth the practical side of your home birth goes.
As mentioned, whether you have these things organised or not, your body still knows how to birth your baby, and will do so regardless of if your phone is charged and your camera is ready.
These practical things can simply help you be more comfortable in your birth environment, help you enjoy the process more, and give you beautiful reminders to look back on (like photos taken).
2 – Labour and Birth Supplies
Labour can be a long, enduring, and somewhat ‘messy’ event. There are things you might use to help you through this time (such as a birth ball, heat packs, a TENS Machine) that can all be included on this list.
Also, if you’re planning to labour and/or birth in a birth pool, then there are supplies that go along with the pool such as liners, connectors, hoses and all the physical things you need.
This list will help you keep track of what is needed, what you have ready and what you might need to get.
It’s also a good idea to keep all of your labour and birth supplies together in one place so when the time comes, you’re not looking all over the house for them.
3 – Environment Tools
These are the things that set the mood, that helps you create a relaxing and blissful environment for you to bring your baby earthside.
Think sounds, smells, textures (blankets, pillows), lighting, affirmation cards.
Keeping a list of these tools is super handy for your birth support people who can help set up your birth space with these things while you’re in the early stages of labour and gives them a guide on what it is you want in your space.
4 – Transfer Bag
I have to stress, this list is very optional and there are opposing thoughts on whether or not packing a transfer bag is beneficial or not.
Personally, I didn’t pack one because a) I was so set on having my baby at home I wanted that to be my focus, b) I knew if we did need to transfer, hubs and my mum would be all over getting what needed to be packed within minutes, and c) I just didn’t want to.
However, if packing a transfer bag makes you feel more comfortable and confident and prepared, then by all means go ahead and do so. This is YOUR birth, there is no right or wrong way to prepare.
This checklist provides a guide on some basics of what you could pack if you wanted to. You can keep this bag simple, or go all out and pack everything you feel you might need. Again, it’s whatever makes you feel confident and prepared.
5 – Post Birth Recovery
The first few days/weeks after having your baby, while exciting and all wrapped up in the oxytocin high, can also be somewhat painful and uncomfortable. You did just give birth after all.
Which means there’s going to be some things you need to help you recover and help you stay comfortable.
Every Mama you talk to will have her recommendations, and this list is just ours. You can add to it whatever you want, and you certainly don’t need everything on here we suggest.
As we’ve mentioned, these checklists are just a guide, a starting place for you because sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do – start.
Hopefully, there are some things on here that you may not have considered and can help you too!