So is this a homebirth or UC? Not that it really matters but I don't think I am giving my labor supporters due credit by calling it UC and want them to know how important their presence is at my side. Though I will not have an attending CNM or CPM on the team.
Also what items did you feel you absolutely had to have on hand? Seems there is so much disposable stuff that I won't likely need and what else will it ever be used for. Am I being naive that I can use some silken string and blunt tip scissors to cut the cord and that the rest is just for in case or other convenience. Obviously a lot of towels and blankets will be soiled and cleaning supplies for after. I just don't want to be underprepared or blasé about the required items nor do I want to waste time, money and effort on unneeded items.
This forum is so wonderful by the way. Every time I pop in I feel the strength of women birthing their babies! It's incredibly empowering!
Thanks to all who respond!
I am no expert in UC, but I will bump your thread. Where are you giving birth at? Your midwife does not attend homebirths, so does she meet her mothers at the hospital?
From what little I have been researching, you will want to use sterilized scissors to avoid infections getting into the umbilical cord, and even your string needs to be sterile. Chux pads, like what the elderly use to catch pee in the bed, come in handy to keep from staining the sheets after the birth. A plastic drop sheet like what they use to cover furniture from paint was what I put under my sheets on the bed so I would not stain the mattress. I had some old picnic blankets/Quilts laid out on the floor so I could move around on the floor without making a big mess. My midwife had me sterilize towels and baby blankets/clothes in the oven in paper sacks. I cannot remember the oven setting, but maybe someone else will tell you what it is here. I know I kept the paper sacks wrapped in yarn to seal them, then I cooked them for 25 minutes with a pan of water on the shelf underneath them in the oven. Once they cooled down we put them in trash bags and stored them in a closet until birth. If you want to keep your placenta (like to plant a tree for baby) then you will need a large bowl or a sack to put it in. (I froze mine in my freezer until I was ready to plant the tree.) The midwife also had a scale that held the baby in a small hammock to weigh him, as well as a sucker for his nose if needed. I did not see everything she had in her bag either. I cannot think of what else that may be needed, but hopefully someone else will have some input. Good luck!
Our midwife used dental floss for the cord, worked fine. We used a lot of towels & half of a package of chux pads for the pushing. There was also a shower curtain liner under the sheet to protect the mattress. We never sterilized clothes & blankets, just washed & dried them. The dryer had a pretty high heat setting. We had the aspirator (snot sucker) & a digital thermometer & the midwife had the hanging scale too, but you could use a regular scale.
I think that the best thing you can do is learn a bit about resuscitation. It is different for newborn babies than for any other person. Should your baby need any help the big thing is to get some air into the lungs. Learn how to do this if necessary. Rare but you don't want to be caught with out knowledge. Learn what is normal and what is abnormal with labour, birth and the baby. That way you can be proactive with your progress and care.
Do lots of research on birth complications, even better if you could have a labor support person who knows these things as well. I'd recommend having at least one other person with you even if just in another room because if you start hemmorhaging or some other major complication comes up, it'll be essential to have another set of hands and a phone to call for help. I personally don't like the idea of solo birth. It's up to the mom, but I think it is taking an unnecessary risk.
Happily married Christian SAHM of 2 boys, DD1 , and DD2 July 2013
It would be wise to do a lot of research on the normal and abnormal around birth. I agree also with another person around even if not in the room, this person should be a responsible type of person with knowledge of the normal and abnormal. Have a good back up plan in case of emergency and then you probably won't need it.
With the best will in the world and a healthy mum and baby, sometimes things go wrong, don't be unprepared. I am a retired midwife and have done many home births and rarely had a major complication but have had to transfer in several times.