Well, it’s week 41 and 2 for me, and little dude shows no signs of coming imminently…shocker. So, I figured it would be a good idea to take some time and prepare a meal plan for the family for the next month because one way or the other he will certainly be here soon and I don’t want to have to think about much else past that =0)
Today I went food shopping, gathered the necessary food stuff to provide our sustenance over the next month and then went to work prepping as much of the meals as I could to stock the freezer full. I’m one happy super prego woman! Seeing the freezer well stocked with ready to cook meals that I know will provide for our needs during the next four weeks plus just makes a girl so happy!
Day 10 Family Life: Home Birth Kit Supplies
I thought I would share today some of the specific items I consider to be imperative in my personal home birth kit. Many of these are actually required by the midwife’s supply list that I needed to have prepared by week 36, but I have a few additions that I have learned throughout the years.
The initial supplies are obvious: items for the newborn baby. These include receiving blankets, baby hats, newborn clothing, a jar of vaseline or unpetroleum jelly (to be used on the baby’s bottom to help the meconium poos not to stick so badly for the first few bowel movements), a digital thermometer (to make sure baby’s temperature is kept at a desirable level and does not drop too low), and newborn diapers. My midwives also ask for a heating pad and pillow case, with which they proceed to pre-setup by inserting all the receiving blankets and hats into the pillow case with the heating pad, so that while I am in labor the heating pad will be on and warming all the baby items so that there is a warm environment to place them right into and help keep their body temperature stable.
Other items include those for the labor portion, such as underpads (which are often used to help with collecting the leaking bag of waters throughout labor), garbage bags (for trash collection), paper towels (as needed), a small hand mirror (often used when pushing to have a better view of baby’s descent if mom is not laying in a position where this is easily visible), clean wash cloths (used to provide cool or warm compresses for mommy during labor), a flashlight (helpful to more easily view the baby’s descent for a water birth), extra set of sheets for bed (this is one that you don’t mind getting messy during labor), plastic cover (for bed during labor, which goes under the extra set of sheets to protect the mattress), video/camera equipment as desired, and snacks (for both mommy and midwife team to make sure everyone’s energy is kept up). Another item I keep on hand is a homeopathic anti-nausea remedy, Ipececuana (pictured below). I tend to get very nauseous during labor, so these help it to pass quickly so that I don’t get too dehydrated. A final item set I now have in my home birth kit is blue and black cohosh herbal tinctures. These tinctures are used to induce or assist in regulating uterine contractions. I have only needed to use this one time in my fourth birth, but it was very effective and I have just kept it on hand ever since (pictured in the next picture sequence).
**Just to be clear, I am not a fan of inducing labor in general. It is definitely my belief that labor goes best when it comes on its own time. My son’s labor was an exceptional case for me as my water broke first and then contractions did not regulate or intensify over the next 30 hours, so the cohosh mixture was taken simply to regulate the contractions, and it worked just fine. This is NOT a medical recommendation for others to follow suit, or to use herbal induction just because. Please, do thorough research before using induction methods, including herbal ones, so that you are well aware of the risks, pros, and cons.**
And then finally, the supplies needed for after the birth. These include a bottle of hydrogen peroxide (AMAZING ability to remove blood stains! They just disappear), a small bottle of white vinegar (another cleaning product), red raspberry leaf tea (this is actually one of those before, during, and after items because it is such a great plus for the uterus. After birth it helps with uterine contractions to help make things contract back down and reduce blood loss), oral vitamin K if desired (in place of this I take Alfalfa Leaf Capsules throughout my pregnancy, which increases vitamin K levels in newborns as well as assists with milk production. I have never had a poor clotting baby, but on the contrary have had a hard time getting the babies to bleed sufficiently to collect the blood for newborn screening tests, though we eventually always get enough), gallon sized Ziploc bags (for placenta disposal), snack bags filled with ice in the freezer (used to help reduce swelling and pain in the perineal area after birth), bottle of witch hazel and a peri bottle (helpful for healing the perineum after birth), maxi pads (obvious), comfy and loose clothing to change into, clean set of sheets for the bed, and clean towels to take a nice shower after the birth. Other items I have on hand that I think help immensely are Afterbirth herbal tincture (helps to ease the contracting of the uterus to make it a bit less intense and shorten the length of time that the afterbirth pains continue and reduce the bleeding faster…pictured below), Homeopathic arnica (helps with healing after “trauma”…pictured below), and an electrolyte drink (to help rehydrate after labor).
This about sums it up. Along with my birth tub of choice, these supplies make sure that we have our side of the necessities on hand. Of course, the midwife team brings whatever items they will need to make sure the baby and I are as safe as possible, within legal limitations, so between the two sides, we are covered. Now, it is just a waiting game for when we get to put all these wonderful things to good use! Stay tuned….