Planning For My First Home Birth

Todays topic has come highly requested! This is my third baby, but this will be my first home birth and I couldn’t be more excited. I had my two boys at a birthing center located inside a hospital, and I had two successful unmedicated births with them. I didn’t get induced, have pitocin, an epidural and with my first son I didn’t even get an IV. Both births were such a dream come true and now that I have two births under my belt, I’m ready to stay home for my third. 

I figured I would share the steps I’ve done and am going to take in the final weeks to plan & prep for a home birth. All things pregnancy, baby, birth and postpartum are topics that I LOVE to talk about and am super interested in, so I could chat with you about it all day. I’m going to backtrack to the beginning of this pregnancy and start from there, and work my way to the end (since we’re practically almost there…eeek!). 

And of course, a little disclaimer before I start. Keep in mind please that this is stuff that I am doing, based off MY personal preferences, needs, wants, desires, research, etc. Every mama, family, budget, location, and a lot of other factors are different and unique for each individual. Ok, let’s get started!

FINDING, INTERVIEWING & CHOOSING A MIDWIFE

This part was luckily a no brainer for me. With my first son, the midwife that attended my birth I loved and adored. She has since broke off from the hospital setting and opened her own home birth midwifery service, called My Little Light Midwifery. Since I have already had her as a care provider, seen her at prenatal appointments, labored with her, AND delivered with her, I didn’t need to interview anybody. I loved her and there was simply no one else that was going to take the job. 🙂 I texted her pretty much as soon as we realized we were moving back to Orange County so I could get under her care. 

If you are looking to have a home birth though and don’t know where to start when it comes to interviewing/finding a midwife, I highly recommend you RESEARCH! Let’s say you are like me and you live in Orange County. Get online, search “Orange County Home Birth” and watch as a plethora of options come up. Make a list of everyone’s websites or socials that interest you—take their name, email, phone number and plan to reach out. Schedule an interview! Get to know them, their schooling, talk life with them, see if there’s a solid connection. And then go from there! If you are in an area that’s more rural, besides just googling, also see if there’s any local facebook mom groups that you can post in to see if anyone has any feedback. Chiropractic offices (that specialize in babies and mamas) are also a great place to ask too!

HIRING A BIRTH DOULA & PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER

A must for me is to have a birth doula. Since this is baby number three, this will be my third time using my good friend Jen for birth doula services and also photography. Some people may say it’s “extra” to have someone taking professional photos of your birth, but you know what? Let the haters hate. I’ve had both of my births photographed, and they are the most precious photos to me that can never be replaced. My birth photos capture moments in time that I was quite literally, born again. I love looking at them and I am SO happy that we paid the money to have them done! 

Ok, that’s the photos. Keep in mind some birth doula offer joint packages like mine does—birth doula services AND photography. Others do not, and you will have to hire both individuals separately. Again, research!

There are SO many benefits to having a doula at birth, the list is honestly a mile long. Here’s a list of personal reasons why I love having a doula present at my births:

•A calming presence in the room. 

•An extra set of hands. For so many things. 

•Labor help. Getting into different positions, almost like a coach but for you and your partner. 

•A cheerleader. I think knowing my doula had given birth unmedicated and having her with me, it was like an extra layer of reassurance.

•Your partners buddy. Tim said that he loves being able to go to the bathroom when needed, or take a breather, and know that I’m not being left alone. My doula can take over helping me breathe and holding my hand while he takes a minute. 

•Photos! We were able to sit back and enjoy newborn bliss while knowing everything was getting captured. 

I feel like there’s more, but these are the first things that come to mind! 

CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION

I decided to go the Hypnobirthing route with my first son, and have continued to do so since. I took the Hypnobirthing course offered by Mind Body Baby OC. If you aren’t local, I don’t think you have to be! I enrolled in my class and we did ours via Zoom.

I feel like I honestly owe a lot of my success to this course. The book I read, the classes, the information I learned regarding interventions at the hospital, the different positions, breathing techniques…the list goes on. After delivering two babies unmedicated, I can tell you if you’d like to do the same–you HAVE to prepare. Going in and “wishing for the best” will almost never work. Please, please, please–if you do anything throughout your pregnancy, let it be childbirth education.

MENTAL PREP

This one is big. Mental preparation. Only listening to positive birth stories–specifically home birth ones. Watching videos of births, and reading positive birth stories as well. I know it sounds silly, but I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes. If all you are hearing about is horrific stories of births that went south, and you are trying to have an untouched birth with little or zero intervention, this will impact you big time. Positive vibes only!

HOUSE PREP

I feel like this category is mainly a personal thing. Making sure everything is in order and that we’re unpacked, and my home is a calming environment that I’m able to properly relax in come the time of birth.

COLLECTING SUPPLIES

So far I’ve purchased an extra set of bedsheets that we are totally fine with ruining, should things get messy! I got mine from Costco for $17 I think it was? Such a steal. My midwife is also supplying me with a lot of things like the pads, peri bottles, and everything else. I prefer to wear diapers after a few days, so I’m gathering those as well as pulling everything out that I’ve used in the past for labor. My birth ball, my eye mask, head massager, headphones. The essentials!

BACKUP PLAN

Although I’ve had two births with absolutely zero complications, it’s still smart to have a backup plan. We have one in place that Tim and I agree on should anything go south. 

TINY DETAILS

And I mean super tiny, but still important. I like to do cute photos of the name for an announcement, so gathering the props I’ll need for that is on my list. 

And that’s about it! Is there anything I’m missing? Of course, there’s baby prep (like laundry, setting up the nursery and bedroom) but I mean specifically prepping for birth. Let me know–pregnancy brain has really been getting the best of me lately!

XO,

Danielle

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