What supplies do I need for a home birth?

If you're planning a home birth, or tend to have fast labours, consult this list of home birth supplies as part of your labour and delivery prep.

Photo: Sherika Harris, Pic A Moment Photography

Home Birth Supply Checklist

General supplies: 

  • Digital thermometer
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Gravol (or generic brand) 
  • Washcloths
  • Water bottle 
  • Hot water bottle or heating pad
  • Ice pack 
  • Ice chips, ice cubes or Popsicles 
  • Fluid-replacement drinks or honey 
  • Bucket or bowl (some women vomit during childbirth
  • Comfortable clothes 
  • Mirror for watching the birth (optional)
  • Extra-large overnight pads (without dry-weave, which irritates stitches)  
  • Paper towels
  • Sturdy tray (like a cookie sheet) to use as a transportable work surface  
  • Two large garbage bags (one for laundry; one for garbage)
  • Three-prong extension cord or power bar 
  • Large plastic zip-top freezer bag (for the placenta)
  • Notebook, camera, music player, small bright lamp (all optional) 

For the bed: 

  • mom holding newborn by a window I was so judgmental about home births—until I had an unplanned home birth myselfPillows lined with plastic bags, with pillowcases over top
  •  Bottom layer: clean fitted sheet (this is the layer you will rest on post-delivery, when you’re tucked back in bed with your baby) 
  •  Middle layer: waterproof covering, such as a shower curtain or a plastic sheet
  • Top layer: clean fitted sheet (choose an old one, as it might get stained) 
  • Stain remover for laundry
  • Extra blanket

Note: Midwives will provide disposable underpads.

For the baby:

  • Newborn diapers
  • Newborn onesie and footed sleeper
  • Large towels (not your best ones!)
  • Two newborn hats 
  • Receiving blankets
  • Olive oil (good for cleaning meconium from baby’s bum)

Note: Even if you’re planning to have a home birth, you should still pack a hospital bag ahead of time, in case you need to transfer to the hospital. Make sure you have an infant car seat, too.  

Source: Association of Ontario Midwives

Read more:
What is a birthing pool?
Home birth: When the older siblings are there to cut the cord

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