This is it! Are you prepared? Well, it isn't as hard as you think. If you feel the need for all the usual supplies a midwife might carry, there are some great places to order birthing supplies, online. They are listed on my links page, so don't forget to check them out!
Okay, now on to the event at hand! I will list what I had at Sinéad's birth, and what I found I actually needed.
Towels...lots of nice cozy warm towels! They came in really handy.
A drop sheet for the bed, or the floor, or the couch...wherever you plan to give birth, unless you are birthing in a tub or outside. I don't know a whole lot about waterbirth as I haven't yet had one, but I have provided some links to great pages on it, so do check them out if you are considering this. I highly recommend it as I loved labouring in the water.
Sterilised Scissors if you plan on cutting the cord, if you are planning a lotus birth then this will be unnecessary. I have provided links for this as well, as again, this is not an area of expertise for me.
Music....Anything you like! Preferably peaceful music.
Soft lights. Candles are great and provide a terrific atmosphere.
Container for the placenta, a bowl, whatever you feel you want, depending on how you plan to use it....bury it, whatever you decide.
Herbs such as Nettle, Alfalfa leaf infusion, Motherwort and Shepherd's Purse are terrific helps for preventing hemorrhage.
Chux Pads are also a must.
To tie the cord you will either need shoelaces ( keep them in the package until you use them or boil them to sterilise them beforehand) or you can make your own cord ties out of embroidery thread. I plan on doing this from now on. Do not use dental floss, as those who have used it found that it cut right through the cord, and you do not want that. Some birth supply places sell clamps as well.
Olive Oil is also great to have on hand to massage and support the perineum.
If you like aromatherapy, there are some scents that can facilitate the birthing process, and just make things...well, smell nice! I have heard that a great one for labour is lavender. But I have been told on good authority that basically anything you like will help.
Books that inspire or assist you in your birth. Unassisted Childbirth by Laura Shanley was one I found very beneficial, along with Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin and Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis. Other helpful texts and readings are contained on my Suggested Reading page.
There are other
necessary items depending on your area of comfort or need. Rh
negative mothers will have other considerations to make. Links are
provided on my links page for those who need this