If you are pregnant or an expecting mother, you might be considering having a home birth. It’s important to know how to prepare for labor whether you plan on having your baby in the hospital or at home. We will focus on things to think about if your birth plan includes your child being born at home on the big day.
1. Take classes or read books on home births.
As soon as you realize you want to have a home birth versus a hospital birth, it would help if you started reading up on the process. From hiring a midwife to preparing your home with necessary supplies, you will want to be well versed in what you can expect before, during, and after childbirth. Many hospitals offer free birthing classes such as prenatal massage and Lamaze to help with pain during labor and delivery.
Of course, you can’t know exactly what will happen on your due date, but if you anticipate anything that might occur, you will be better prepared at the moment.
2. Maintain and repair faulty appliances around your home.
If you plan on having a home birth, you will want to make sure all necessary appliances in your home are up and running in good condition. You might be surprised how a properly running furnace, dishwasher, washer, air conditioner, and dryer will come in handy on the big day.
If you suspect something is wrong with a major appliance, such as your HVAC system or furnace, you should get it checked out as soon as possible. For example, if you have smells continuously coming from the vents in your home, you should contact an HVAC technician to come to check it out in advance of your due date.
3. Connect with a reliable midwife.
Having a midwife and/or doula to attend and assist in your home birth is one of the most important steps of the preparation process. A midwife will help you prepare for childbirth, provide prenatal care, provide technical expertise during labor and delivery, as well as provide postpartum care and support.
If you haven’t chosen a midwife for your home birth, be sure to check online and see who is available locally. Having a midwife close to your home is important so they won’t have to travel far when you go into labor. They should also have some backup plan if things don’t go as smoothly as you anticipate during labor and delivery.
4. Finish any incomplete home renovations.
If you have any home renovation projects that aren’t completed, this is the perfect time to get them done. Not only will you feel more organized while preparing for your home birth, but you will have fewer things to worry about when the time comes.
It’s a good idea to try to get home renovations completed as early in the pregnancy as possible because many projects can be risky in the second and third trimester. Renovations such as painting, laying hardwood floors, and moving large appliances are risky in the later stages of pregnancy.
5. Make a postpartum care plan.
Most expecting mothers focus on prenatal care and childbirth when they are preparing for the big day. There is something many people call the fourth trimester of pregnancy, which is the postpartum period. You will want to prepare for things like breastfeeding, caring for a newborn, sleeping situations, and their first trip to a doctor’s office for a newborn checkup.
Many mothers describe the fourth trimester as trying, exhausting, and a big learning experience for both baby and mom. Everyone parents newborns in different ways, so try to find out what makes you comfortable while caring for your baby.