I’ve been noticing in The Netherlands midwives are telling clients that all they need for their home birth is the Kraampakket but then at the birth they are asking for a lot more than what is inside the kraampakket.
At the birth of my son I was a bit annoyed with the interruption this causes. And then recently I found myself doing this as the Kraamverzorger didn’t show. I felt terrible! There they are having a magic moment and here is me- where can I find a clean sheet? If midwives were truthful and realistic with clients and provided a true list of supplies they are going to ask for then clients can have more peace. I have heard the reason they say this is because you cannot plan for birth but I believe you should plan for and work towards the birth you want. Perhaps also by controling what you can it is easier to accept what you cannot control.
So I have composed a list based on my experience here and also what a beautiful midwife in Pennsylvania requests her clients collect for their home births.
List of Birth Supplies:
A flat work surface
Nappy Changing pad or firm cushion with washable cover
6 large trash bags (bonus points for two somethings to put them open in- think trash can or laundry hamper)
Small container salt
1 roll of paper towels
Large mixing bowl (not plastic)
extra waterproof mattress cover (if you intend to give birth on the bed)
2 fitted sheets/ flat sheets (on bed lasagna style or one spare folded and put inside the pillow case)
Infant- metal hot water bottle
1 Pajamas/ comfy clothes
Baby’s clothes: hat, bodysuit or similar, diaper
6 towels (bath) (more if it’s a water birth; see below)
4-6 towels (hand/kitchen)
6+ receiving blankets (flannel or cotton)
All above supplies should be kept in one location, ideally in the room you intend to give birth. However, you may not end up in that room and that’s why everything is grouped together. For example: top of a dresser, one dresser drawer, a clothes basket. Alternatively I would recommend showing your doula where all these things can be found so you are not bothered while in labor or while bonding with your new baby.
Some other things I have found to be helpful to have during labor and in the Postpartum are:
The good toilet paper (>6 rolls and don’t be cheap)
Fan- you may be hot then cold then hot...
Single-layer blanket (easy to wash material such as fleece)
Hot water bottle
Hand held mirror
Waterproof picnic blanket
exercise ball, inflated (optional but recommended)
Labor snacks (ex raisins, dry cereal)
Electrolyte beverage (sports drinks, juice, popsicles, coconut water, homemade labor-aid!)
Snacks for the birth attendants
Additions for a Water birth
Pool (should be able to be filled to at least 46cm in depth and length should be sufficient for you to lay down in)
4 additional Towels
Two hoses (new)
Sports bra or bikini (optional)
Swim attire for your partner (optional)
Anti slip mat/ bathroom mat/ extra towel for floor
Postpartum optional materials
Red raspberry leaf tea ( Mg, potassium, b vits, iron; also to ease afterbirth pains and restore uterus size)
Nettle tea (high in iron; to replenish)
Dandelion root tea (high in vit k,c and a; to repair, decrease water retention, and constipation)
Instant cold pack (<https://www.medline.eu/uk/perineal-instant-cold-pack>)
alternatively- Frozen: sanitary pad soaked in witch hazel (alcohol free) or 50/50 alcohol-water filled condom(tied)
Lanolin cream for nipples (or wool breast pads)
Peri bottle (Thin sport bottle/ diner-style condiment holder)
Make sure to have a carseat ready to go in case of a sudden need to be transported to hospital. Perhaps make up a small bag with fresh clothes for the parents and baby, and leave it in the car seat so everything is together and ready to go.
Is there anything else you’d like immediately PP if you should be transported? Have a brainstorming session so you can have an optimal experience.