I think it would be great if you all would share the things you did to prepare for your homebirth. I haven't had my homebirth yet but I'll share the things I've done so far.
Research, research and more research! I've been trying to find info online, from books and from other experienced ladies. I want to know as much as I can. I guess this would be part of the mental aspect.
I've hired a midwife. I have my first prenatal Monday. I was previously just her doula client so I still have to fill out all the papers and get examined.
... and I've also started looking into natural pain remedies and herbal supplements and such that will help with my labor.
What do I need to be doing?
It's been so long since I've prepared for my first homebirth, it's totally different when your preparing for your 8th. (my first was a hospital birth)
I've had the same midwife all along, so that's easy. I take the same vitamins pregnant or not, so that was easy, I start some supplements as we get rolling into the second trimester. The last month or so I gather birthing supplies and newborn essentials, I wash up the newborn diapers and soakers, etc...
Funny thing though, each time I start nesting earlier and earlier. Our house if for sale right now and I'm praying HARD for it to sell soon so we can move and I can start building my 'new' nest! LOL!
Your midwife will have a list of things she'll probably want you to have on hand for the birth.
You might look for an herbal called "After-Eze", for the afterbirth pains which truly are (trust me on this!) worse than labor. Although, I think the afterpains might not be as bad with your first.
Also, start filling your freezer with heat-and-eat meals. For the last month of a pregnancy I've always made double portions of everything and frozen the extras. However, you might not need that for just two of you, especially if you have friends or family close by who might bring meals.
Finally, my hubby and I studied the book "Emergency Childbirth". It was written as a manual for non-medical folks who might find themselves in a situation to deliver a baby (like firemen or taxi drivers, I guess). I would recommend having it just because you truly "never know" and you don't want to be in a panic if your labor comes on quicker than your midwife.
First off, ditto on the after-ease I used massive amounts of it my first day - the after pains (for me) were worse than any part of labor... Which is not to say that they were god-awful but it was like a bad period.
I used a plethera of different herbs all of them from Mountain Meadow (http://www.mountainmeadowherbs.com) and I would order any and all of them again in a heartbeat. I used the Gentle Birth Formula and well over half of my labor was completely painless. The last few hours were a bit harder but no worse than hard constipation cramps (sorry that's the best comparison I can think of).
I didn't do *any* childbirth classes like Bradley or hypnobirth. Take my advice, don't do that. I thought that they would be to expensive or time consuming or that I would know all the info they were giving but that's the one and only thing that I would change about my labor.
I would also look at essential oils, I used lavender, jasmine, and a custom blend with lavender, bergamot, geranium, rose, and myrrh. My favourite was the plain lavender but I would use the other two again in a heartbeat!
The only other word of wisdom I can offer is don't overdo it on the Shepherd's purse if you use any... I did a dropperful to much and had some problems passing clots on days one and two which made me physically uncomfortable and mentally nervous.
Sounds like you are doing everything you need to for right now. Can't wait to hear about your appt with the MW as a MW!
DH thinks I'm crazy for spending so much time researching and writing stuff down. I just wish he would research and prepare half as much as I have! Going to the childbirth class last week really got him interested more about what will actually happen. I'm also pretty sure that now we have chosen to plan a homebirth he will want to learn more.
My appointment is tomorrow and then another childbirth class. I'll let you know how it goes!
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