My Must-Have Home Birth Items


I often hear first-time home birthers ask the question, “what items do I need for my home birth?” There are so many checklists and opinions out there on what to buy, so how can you know what you really need? Your midwife will probably provide you with a comprehensive list, and that is a great place to start. Now that I’ve experienced a home birth myself, here are my must-have items that I will buy/use for future births (if I have more kids…haha). Some of these items may not be on your midwife’s list, so make sure you snag them!

Zip-front sports bra and robe

After being a doula for many women and having four births myself, I have learned that the quickest and most convenient way to get baby skin-to-skin after birth is to have a bra that zips down in the front. If you are okay going completely naked during your birth (after all, it’s your house!) then you can skip the bra altogether. I knew I would be having a videographer and photographer there, so I opted to keep a bra on for most of my birth. I absolutely love the Knockout Sports Bra by Victoria’s Secret. It has hidden, built-in underwire for great support, but it’s still super comfortable. I use it for my workouts all the time, and I loved it for my birth.

I also wanted something to give me more coverage for when I was not in the tub. Lots of women like to order beautiful birthing gowns online, but I opted for a Black Rose Delivery/Nursing Maternity Robe because it was easier to throw on and take off. I loved the feminine, floral print and the soft, flowy fabric. I feel sexy and beautiful in this robe and I still wear it all the time. It’s great for breastfeeding and lounging around the house after baby comes, too! Hint: if you order from PinkBlush Maternity, follow them on Instagram and wait for a sale. They have sales all the time! I think I got this robe for 30% off.

Pink Blush Maternity Robe









If you are looking for an actual gown, there are LOTS of great options here.

Adult diapers

I know it sounds terribly embarrassing, but adult diapers are actually the BOMB for a home birth (or when you get home from a hospital birth). No more fidgeting with those awkward mesh undies, trying to keep two giant pads inside and not leak everywhere every time you get up! TRUST ME on this. I found that the Depends Silhouette were a good size and absorbency. They are great to have on during labor, too, if your water breaks (or all the time, if you want to anticipate your water breaking) and catching all of that fun birth show (HypnoBirthing term for bloody show or spotting). I bought a pack of 6 and wished I’d had a few more, so a dozen should be about right.

Absorbent pads (AKA Chux)

Absorbent pads are an absolute must for a home birth. They keep hospital rooms fully stocked with these, but they aren’t something you normally have at home unless you are potty training or caring for someone with bladder issues. These things have a waterproof back and lots of absorbency in the middle. You’ll want to put them down on any surface you will be laboring on–bed, birth ball, floor, etc. I bought a pack of 20 and my midwife covered everything with them…we didn’t end up using the whole pack, but my labor was only 5 hours. For a longer labor, you might want two packs of these.

Flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth

Your midwife’s list probably included a couple of plastic shower curtains. They are great for waterproofing floors and mattresses, but there is an even better solution for your mattress. I got a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth like this one and put it underneath my fitted sheet with the flannel side down. The flannel keeps it from sliding around under the sheet, and the vinyl protects your mattress. Order one that is close in size to your mattress size.

Bluetooth speaker

I always use soft music to help me focus and relax during labor. It makes such a HUGE difference to have background mood music. I never leave for a birth without my trusty Sound Kick Bluetooth Speaker, and I loved it for my home birth, too. The reasons I love this particular speaker: it’s small, lightweight, and wireless and can hold a charge for several hours, making it super convenient to move around with you as you labor; it has GREAT sound quality; it works with Bluetooth so I can connect my phone, iPad, or iPod to it in seconds; and it also works with a USB cable to connect a device.

Inflatable bath pillow

Even if you’ve rented one of those amazing birth tubs, you may find that you want to labor in your own tub before the birth tub is ready. That’s what happened for me, and I was glad I had my Inflatable Bath Pillow to help make my hard tub more comfortable. This is a cheap, easy fix for making your own bathtub more home birth-friendly.

Rescue Remedy

This item was on my midwife’s list, so I bought it. It is absolutely amazing! It’s an herbal remedy for stress and anxiety and can help you stay more calm during labor. It can also be used for dads, doulas, family members, kids, and even pets!

Snacks and drinks

Don’t forget to stock your pantry with energizing snacks and drinks for labor! I had my fridge stocked with string cheese, yogurt, fruit, berries, coconut water, and gatorade. I had crackers, granola bars, protein bars, and fruit leather in the pantry.

FYI: it’s also great to have some of those bendy straws so you can drink from any position.

Of course there are many more supplies that you will need, such as towels, washcloths, plastic sheeting, pillows, duct tape, baby wipes, Tucks pads, witch hazel, etc. Don’t forget about all these essentials, too. It’s a good idea to budget another $200-$300 for home birth supplies in addition to what you pay your midwife.

Hope this list helps you have a happy home birth!

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