What do I really need for a birthkit for unassisted homebirth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-14-2002, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am planning an unassisted birth in February. My husband is anxious for me to order the birth kit so we are all set. What do you think I really need?

I have: a birthing ball
a big deep bathtub
a few chux pads from last birth
a shower curtain to put under sheets

I was thinking of ordering:
a suction thingy
a plastic clamp for the cord (not doing the lotus thing)
maybe a tincture for hemmorage?/uterine contraction

What else? I'm pretty uninterested in a bunch of "just in case" stuff unless its really low tech and simple. Like, I was considering not getting a clamp and just using a shoestring to tie off the cord, but then a plastic clamp is just easy and cheap, so why not? Any thoughts? What have i forgotten?
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Old 12-14-2002, 10:26 PM
 
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Check out:
http://www.inhishands.com/html/birthkit.html
The basic "emergency" birth kit is $9, while the regular basic kit is $27, I think it is a nice list of things to have even if you don't get a "kit."

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Old 12-14-2002, 10:56 PM
 
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I'd say a bunch (4+) of soft towels that you dont mind getting bloody or poopy. I also used about 6 hand towels and something waterproof and movable, be it a shower curtain liner, a vinyl table cloth (warning, those things STINK), or chux pads, whatever, and just anything you'd normally have in the comfort of your home (ie good food and drink, comfy seat, pillows, blankets).

I recommend you skip the ucky plastic clamp, I *so* regret putting one of those awful hard things on my tender, soft newborn baby!!! It hurt us both whenever we were snuggled close for those first few days . If you must tie it (which, even if you don't do a lotus birth you might not need to do if you wait a few hours before cutting the cord, and believe me those first hours fly by), try a new shoe string, or braid a few strands of embroidery floss together. Birth supply stores also often carry something called umbilical "tape" I think, which is essentially string you can tie the umbilical cord with, that isn't so thin as to cut right through the cord (hence my suggestion to braid a few strands of embroidery floss together rather than just using one).

I used a spare ribbon fished out of my sewing box after the birth on my last baby's cord, it really isn't a big deal at home unattended, where there aren't any foreign germs to be afraid of. I think psychologically, the less "equipment" we use for birth, the better. Birth is not an emergency or illness, and though we should slow down and marvel at the miracle, it's not healthy to obsess with details to the point of bringing a medical atmosphere into our homes. There's a good reason we're not going that route! Love, Laurie
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Old 12-15-2002, 05:42 AM
 
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Something to put the placenta in- we are going to plant this baby's placenta with the christmas tree at New Years, so I got some 2 gallon ziplocks to keep it in the freezer until then. A copy of Emergency Childbirth- definitely. Last UC we used a ton of diapers soaked in the crock pot with warm olive oil for counter pressure to my perineum. It was heavenly! I also like herbs, and use them a lot, so for birth I use Motherwort, Skullcap, and St Johns for early labor crampy feelings. I also have a bottle of Sheperd's Purse that I could use in case of hemmorage. You can also just take a big bite of placenta to stop hemmorage I hear! What else? Scissors to cut the cord, a camera with film ready, a full fridge and a happy heart!
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Old 12-15-2002, 04:06 PM
 
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Hydrogen peroxide removes blood stains!
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Old 12-15-2002, 04:12 PM
 
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OH my gosh, there's a scapel in the In His Hands emergency birthkit!

We had:

white shoelaces
bowl for placenta
plastic tarp for under birth tub
lots of clean towels
suctioner (didn't use)
camera (with film of course)
sterilized scissors for cutting cord
thermometer (didn't use)
blankets and pillows
hair scrunchy
baby blankets
baby hat

I think that's it...
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Old 12-15-2002, 09:03 PM
 
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BirthWithLove.com has some basic kits. I think there's an emergency kit and then a Basic, Basic +, and some nicer kits. You can also just buy the individual items you need (ie. Chux pads, clamps etc).

I'm buying the individual items that my midwife wants. If we're not going to use it, I don't want it. LOL Good luck!

PS- I hear NOT treating the cord with alcohol makes it fall off much faster (in a couple days) so we won't be treating it unless it looks infected... I'll have to ask her about using something besides a cord clamp.
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Old 12-15-2002, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Alright...I think its pretty clear to me after looking at the birth kit web sites. I don't really need any of this stuff! I mean even the basic kits are just loaded with 'medical" accessories. Hello, there is no sterility issue in a homebirth, no big deal for me to wash a few towels, sheets whatever, and suction and all that is just me falling victim to misinformation and fears that I don't need to think about while in labor. So, yaaaay! You guys were really helpful in getting me to think about what I really need: to be in my own safe place and let my body do what it is designed to do and let my baby's body do what it is designed to do. Cool! I am so excited just thinking about it.

Laurie, I checked out your website and found it very helpful and positive and helped me to reaffirm all the reasons I am doing things the way I am anyway. Its silly how those old attitudes can sneak up on you unsuspecting. I am looking forward to reading more of your articles as I have the time. Thanks to all of you great mommas for your input. I appreciated all your thoughts!
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Old 12-16-2002, 02:49 PM
 
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I got a birth kit for my first birth - $40 worth - and was so disgusted because we used almost none of it! So wasteful!

By the way, if you are really concerned about minimizing waste, you really don't need the chux pads. I made do just fine with cloth menstrual pads, towels, and (for the birth itself) a square piece of cloth with a waterproof backing that can be washed and used over and over again. I've had it for five years and still use it. I think you can get them at medical supply stores or you could make one easily enough.
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Old 12-16-2002, 03:08 PM
 
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I know you don't want just in case stuff...but I bought one thing I did not use but am glad I got, anyway...

Bach Rescue Remedy...I read a few midwives say that even IF (a big if) baby is floppy, blue, even not breathing...a few drops in baby's mouth often brings baby around within a couple of minutes.

I also don't think it's healthy to obsess but having a non-medical remedy just in case isn't so bad...and it's useful later with babies and kids when they are having major freak outs or stress.

I loved my unassisted--I just wrote out my birth story on the homebirth poll, which I posted 10 months ago to help me learn more about possible challenegs during homebirth.

I didn't use much of what I bought...thermometer, gloves, K-Y, suction thing (tho my first child needed to be suctioned, probably b/c I had an episiotomy and that sweeping motion over his face did not occur to the same degree it would have otherwise).

I put essential oils (Tea Tree and grapefruit) into my pool for any germs (we had the pool up for a week previous, from false labor) and for the nice yummy energizing aromatherapy.

Oh oh oh! One thing I wished I had bought was the thing to put in panties that is an ice pack..yes you can make one (and I did) but it's only a couple of bucks and much less trouble than making your own.

GOOD LUCK!

joy
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Old 12-16-2002, 05:55 PM
 
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Just a comment on the shower curtain... be sure to wash it and put it somewhere it can air out before you use it. Otherwise the outgassing when it comes out of the package will be really nasty.
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:00 PM
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I had an unassisted birth in October and the only thing I used were old shower curtains (saved the carpet) embroidery floss, sewing scissors, towels, about 4 rolls of toilet paper, my jacuzzi tub (couldnt have done it without it- well maybe), and candle.

All stuff I had.....

Pm me if you want to discuss
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Old 12-24-2002, 03:45 AM
 
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I had

-Every towel in the house (water leaking everywhere in gushes the whole night lol)
-several layers of sheets and something waterproof sandwhiched on the bed
-two baby shoelaces for the cord
-hairdressing scissors for the cord
-tons of old recieving blankets

I think that's it! I think I spent more time getting the babies diapers and clothing ready than I did "supplies" for the birth.
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:15 PM
 
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I did order some stuff, but my last birth was almost three years ago and I honestly can't remember exactly what I got. I do remember getting the cord tape, but DH threw it out before it was ever used! I think I might have used some old chux pads left over from my previous homebirth, and I did put the placenta in one of our bowls, which I then transfered to a diaper (we didn't do a lotus birth, but did keep the placent attached over night). I cut the cord with a sterilized pair of scissors we already had.

The most useful thing IMO were receiving blankets. I wrapped DS in them naked and diaperless for a day or so after he was born while we snuggled in bed.

Deborah

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Old 01-22-2003, 04:37 AM
 
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If I ever get pregnant, I would do unassisted home birth.
But with the towels, sheets and cloth pads and shoelaces and such, I would wrap them in a paper bag, staple it and bake it in the oven for a few hours maybe one month before hand, to have some sterile items, even if it isn't necessary. It would help me to relax and trust myself to know that the necessary items were sterile.

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Old 01-22-2003, 06:44 PM
 
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We did boil the (white) shoelaces and scissors. (I can't remember now but there's a certain amount of time you have to do this for them to be considered sterile. I also dunked the scissors in alcohol, just to be on the safe side, then sealed both in plastic baggies.) But that's because there is a chance that anything on them could come into contact with the baby's blood stream through the umbilical cord.

But I guess I don't really understand the reasoning behind sterilizing linens -- I mean, would you sterilize anything the baby would come into contact with then, such as baby clothes, diapers, and your own skin and clothing?
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Old 01-23-2003, 02:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by busybusymomma
PS- I hear NOT treating the cord with alcohol makes it fall off much faster (in a couple days) so we won't be treating it unless it looks infected... I'll have to ask her about using something besides a cord clamp.
My midwives recommend putting GoldenSeal on the cord. It helps keep it dry, prevents infection and heals it faster. You just open up the caps and sprinkle a little on at each diaper change. But be careful it does stain so use a piece of cloth or tissue over it so that it doesn't stain all your new cute clothes!

I used GoldenSeal with the first 2 and then with my 3rd I basically used nothing and I do think it healed fast that way too.

Oh and I hate the cord clamp thing too! Took it right off!

Jennifer
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Old 01-23-2003, 02:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyberryjoy
Oh oh oh! One thing I wished I had bought was the thing to put in panties that is an ice pack..yes you can make one (and I did) but it's only a couple of bucks and much less trouble than making your own. GOOD LUCK! joy
What I had done by the midwives for my birth and I started to do for my friends was to make a strong Camomile Tea (I used fresh leaves). And then take the tea (and the leafs - if you have them available) and pour tea (place leaves) onto big/heavy pads. Then put the pads into the freezer and freeze. Once frozen I put them all into an old wipe container or ziplock bag and keep them in fridge or freezer. Then everytime you go to the bathroom - spray remainder of tea on your bottom (with peri-bottle) and use a fresh pad. They are HEAVENLY and make your bottom heal and feel better so much faster!

Gotta Love Herbs!
Jennifer
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Old 01-23-2003, 02:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by rainbrain
...I use Motherwort, Skullcap, and St Johns for early labor crampy feelings. I also have a bottle of Sheperd's Purse that I could use in case of hemmorage. You can also just take a big bite of placenta to stop hemmorage I hear! What else? Scissors to cut the cord, a camera with film ready, a full fridge and a happy heart!
I loved using Motherwort! Great for those early crampies!

I also highly recommend Sheperd's Purse. My midwives recommend drinking it as a tea a few weeks before labor to help with hemmoraging. Since they have done this - they have had almost no more hemmoraging. It is a horrible tasting herb but really one thing that I wouldn't skip for an unassisted birth.
And I have heard the "bit of placenta" under the tongue thing as well.

Ok, well I have gone on enought tonight - can you tell I LOVE this subject? :
Jennifer
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Old 01-24-2003, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot about the pads! I'm just so used to not menstruating...I like the idea to premake the frozen soothing ones too! And here I thought I was all set:

I have:

shoelaces (not sterilized...don't care)
shower curtain
left-over chux pads (might as well use them up)
bowl for placenta (in cupboard)
birthing ball (two sizes-I'm fancy)
bathtub
clean towels, blankets, baby clothes etc..
sewing scissors (in sewing room-I'd better throw them in the birth box so I don't have to run around later)
Sitz bath tea bags

I need: pads!!! Find old peri bottle (I think I kept it)

So, I'm more or less ready. Now the waiting! Arrrgghh! ( I still have like two or three weeks to go minimum. I am overprepared)
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Old 01-24-2003, 09:31 PM
 
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camera and film?

I know what you mean about being overprepared -- I had the birth stuff all set up way long before I could possibly need it -- and I ended up getting really sick of looking at it, lol.
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To me, camera/film seems intrusive and the whole point of going unassisted is to free myself of those encumbrances.

I think we will take some photos soon after the little bundle's arrival...but filming labor would make me think about what imagwe I was projecting etc.

Plus, I have a feeling I will be laboring alone primarily. I don't even want DH there (i think...we'll see) I do have film in the camera because I always do (photography buff) but it is not part of my birth plan.
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:48 PM
 
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Hi Chiromom,
I am so excited for you!
I have had my two unassisted and was due last week with number three again - UC!
I agree with all the posts on preparing, less is more! I still have some things to get together, like string and a placenta bowl, but its not like I don't have these items in my house, I just haven't put them all in the same spot! I guess I am weary of preparing early as I went 4 weeks "late" with the last one.....oh what a disapointing wait...I get sooo anxious to hold the new little one!
I didn't want to do the Chux thing this time, although they work great and you can toss them, I am getting more and more crunchy (if possible;-) and wanted not to throw anything away from my nifty little ecologically correct homebirth ;-) , so am using fleece squares with hemp laid on top of it (later to be turned into diapers) instead of chux pads. And we may do a lotus birth this time if it doesn't bother me too much with the cuddling aspect!
well enough rambling, good luck to you, hope you will keep us posted as to your birthing and I will do the same, I Just love hearing more UC stories!
love,
Augustine
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