Home birth supplies

Everything on this list is only a recommendation and you can pick and choose what suits you best


  • A waterproof mat – this can be a blanket over the top of tarpaulin or a plastic drop cloth, a waterproof backed picnic blanket, a birth mat (instructions on how to make one here), etc.
  • Two buckets – one lined with a plastic bag for rubbish and one in case you need to vomit.
  • A laundry basket lined with a plastic bag or similar to put soiled/wet laundry into.
  • Old towels.
  • A container for the placenta.
  • A cord tie, muka or items for lotus birth/umbilical non-severance.
  • Baby blankets.
  • Comfortable clothing such as a towel robe.
  • Healthy snacks
  • Drinks such as water, coconut water, red raspberry leaf tea (can also be pre-frozen into ice cubes to suck), etc.
  • A source of heat if it’s cold.
  • Support people who love you.

Optional extras you may want to consider

Birth space set up (just in case)
Birth space set up

Waterproof absorbent pads (get before labour from midwife). Torch Mirror A method for warming hot towels, such as a slow cooker/crock pot, boiling water and container, etc. and thick rubber gloves to handle them. Alternately hot water bottles or wheat packs. A container with cold or frozen face cloths Decorations such as affirmations, photos of loved ones and special memories, fairy lights, candles, birth flags/pennants, birth beads, etc. Music Hand held fan Acupressure items including acupressure point info,  a comb to squeeze during contractions (acupressure points). A TENS machine Homoeopathic remedies such as arnica or a homoeopathic birth kit. Flower essences such as Rescue Remedy or Stress Med Spray Essential oils such as Tea tree oil, a birth mix and carrier oils (if not premixed) and/or an oil burner. Camera, charger, spare batteries, memory space, etc. or a birth photographer.

After the birth

  • Baby blankets, wraps and optionally baby clothes.
  • Nappies or EC (Elimination Communication) potty and clothing.
  • Comfortable underwear and clothing for yourself.
  • Maternity pads and/or disposable underwear such as Tena for the first day or two (usually bottom shelf of the sanitary goods aisle in the supermarket).
  • Perineum healing mix/spray.
  • Homoeopathic remedies such as Arnica, Weleda Chamomilla/Nicotiana Comp (for afterpains), etc.
  • Fresh made bed for sinking into with baby – nice fresh sheets and comfortable protective underlayer and everything you need nearby (e.g. lamp/ torch, water, snacks, nappies/potty, wipes, wraps, etc.).
  • A message on your answering machine asking people to call back later/leave a message/send a text or email instead.
  • A list on the fridge of things visitors can do when they ask “what can I do to help?” Ideas include: laundry, vacuuming, dishes, reading stories to children, taking the dog for a walk, taking out the compost, etc. It can be hard to ask for help, or hard to think of what needs to be done. If people can choose a task they will probably enjoy it more, and everyone likes to help.
  • A sign for the door or gate to say mum and baby are sleeping, or express your wishes around visiting for friends and family calling by.
  • Lots of easy-to-make frozen meals in the freezer or organise friends and family to make meals each night for a week or two.

Waterbirth items

Further Reading

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