How to Keep Your Home Birth Tidy

One of the most common protests (oddly) that I’ve heard to home birth is, “I wouldn’t want to clean all that up!” The idea that home birth will leave your dwelling looking as though a murder just happened is actually a myth. You can have quite the tidy home birth- so long as you prepare for it. Here are some tips for you to remember when preparing to have your baby in your own house.

1) Make your bed- really well!

Make your bed in the following order:

  • Put on sheets that you like.
  • Cover it with a large sheet of plastic. Tuck the ends under the mattress, if you can.
  • Put on sheets that you don’t like that you’re happy to throw out.

Then, after the birth, have your midwife strip the top layer of sheets and the plastic off and throw them in a garbage bag. Voila! You now have a clean bed, all ready to snuggle in with your newborn.

2) Purchase a birth kit, or make sure your midwife brings everything you need.

My own midwife had me purchase a birth kit (from Precious Arrows) for about $70 that included everything for the birth that we would need- gloves, cord clamps, chux under pads, a thermometer for the baby, peri-bottle, pads, peri- cold packs, mesh panties, etc. Having these supplies shipped to you well in advance can ensure that your midwife will have the supplies she needs to keep the mess and all procedures managed in an orderly way.

The disposable chux pads are the key to a clean birth. (They’re those giant rectangular absorbent thingers that soak up all the blood and goop that comes with having a baby.) Keep one under you on your chair, on your birth ball, on your bed, or wherever you go. If your water breaks, you can also try a mesh panty and a heavy-flow pad for when you are up walking around without a chux. This should help to keep the drips contained! (Granted, you may have to change the pad frequently, but it will help to protect your home.)

3) If you’re having a water birth, rehearse it once!

Practice filling and emptying the tub once well before you go into labor. All the way. You can read the saga of our attempt to use a birthing tub here in my son’s birth story. It was really rather ridiculous. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, I’ll cut right to the chase- basically, we didn’t test our pump before hand. And we didn’t try to fill the tub. Our hot water heater was apparently empty at the bottom, and the pump we had chosen to empty the pool didn’t work properly- SO we had a tub full of lukewarm rusty water to clean up and a myriad of different jury-rigged equipment laying about to try to get the tub empty- all in the middle of labor. Not ideal, to say the least.

So learn from my lesson. Rehearse your water birth early to identify any problems before your baby is coming. It will make your labor much more pleasant, and easier to clean up afterwards.

Also, make sure that if you’re using your own tub that you get a tub liner. This will really cut down on the amount of clean up post-birth. If you’re renting a tub specifically for water birth, they usually come with these already to maintain sanitary conditions from customer to customer.)

4) Ask your midwife or doula to do a double check before they leave.

Have your birth team walk through the house once to see if you missed anything before they leave. That way you won’t find a mess when you’re by yourself at home for the first time with the baby.

The key to having a tidy home birth is to prepare ahead of time. If you have done this, then any left over mess should be minimal and easy to catch later. Home birth doesn’t have to be a disgusting mess!

Okay, home birth mamas, what else would you recommend doing to keep your home nice and clean for your birth? Leave a comment!

Photo Credit



One response to this post.

  1. I’m keeping this bookmarked! Never thought of having a run-through with midwife and doula!


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