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Smart Parenting

Practical advice about raising children


Preparing for Your Home Birth

home birth
Photo via Flickr

Many people think that having a home birth is a huge burden on your household. I’ve heard all kinds of silly reasons why people don’t want to have a home birth. “What about the mess?” or “I like being waited on at the hospital!” While I can understand why people, who are more than likely uninformed, might have some of these concerns, but these easily resolved issues certainly shouldn’t be someone’s main reason for forgoing a home birth.

Home Birth Space
Photo via Flickr

Prepare Your Space

It’s likely that your midwife will have you order a birth kit (or provide you with one) but it’s a great idea to go one step further and stock up on some essentials. I recommend extra towels, a couple dozen chucks pads, a few cheap shower curtain liners (used to protect the carpet and bed), and plenty of hydrogen peroxide (use it on all of your dirty laundry after the birth).

If there are things that you can do ahead of time, you should definitely take advantage of the calm before the storm. Go ahead and set up the birth tub, move any furniture out of the way and create a calm and peaceful space to labor in. Take into consideration where you feel the safest in your home. Often times, birthing moms prefer the tiniest room in the house so be prepared to change your mind and your location during the birthing process.

Birthing Team
Photo via Flickr

Choose Your Birth Team Wisely

When planning a home birth, your birth attendants might simply include your partner and your midwife but if you are feeling like you need extra help, even if it’s just with simple things like keeping the freezer stocked with ice cubes, then ask a friend or family member who you feel 100% comfortable around and whom you can trust to be an extra pair of hands when needed.

An essential member of the birthing team is someone who can watch older children, if you have them. Whether you choose to have them at home during the birth or not, it’s always a good idea to have a designated helper to explain things to them or help with their basic needs so your partner can remain at your side throughout your labor and birth.

Post-Birth: Enlist Help

Just like with a birth that takes places outside of the home, you should call in reinforcements to help out around the house after the baby is born. Have a friend set up a meal train, accept offers to help with housework or running errands, set up play dates (not at your house!) for any older children, and just focus on getting to know your new addition.


Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize and nurtures her HGTV obsession. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Decor and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker, Scary Mommy, About.com and on her personal blog, Her Own Wings.