All the Supplies You Need for a Home Birth

Doula helping mom push

Andersen Ross / Getty Images

When you are having a home birth, you know that you don't have everything that the hospital or a birth center offers. This may even be why you're having a home birth. One thing that the hospital provides is basic medical supplies that are used during the birth. To get that in a home birth, the midwives could go through the expense and hassle of purchasing it in bulk, but transportation and money become an issue. It is much simpler to have each family order a birth kit which contains the basic supplies needed for the birth.

A birth kit contains items like cord clamps, sterile gloves, mesh underwear, plastic-backed pads, and other basic medical supplies. Your midwife will carry reusable, sterilized supplies to supplement what you have purchased.

In addition to this birth kit, there are some normal things to have around when giving birth that can aid in the birth process.

Sample Home Birth Supply List

This is a sample list used by some midwives for the things parents will need to gather for a home birth.

  • Pint of 91% alcohol (or 99% alcohol, grain alcohol, or 180 proof Golden Grain)
  • Bottle of isopropyl rubbing alcohol (70%)
  • Cotton balls
  • Plastic drop cloth or plastic sheet (an old shower curtain or large plastic tablecloth works wonderfully)
  • Plastic trash bags (AT LEAST 4 large) dark colored
  • 2 fitted bed sheets to fit your bed
  • 2 flat bed sheets to fit your bed (4 flat sheets is acceptable)
  • 4 bath towels
  • 4 washcloths
  • 8 receiving blankets
  • Large mixing type bowl
  • Small mixing type bowl (prefer bowls not be glass)
  • Working flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra toilet paper (at least 2 6-roll packs)
  • Several kinds of juice (at least one citrus and 1 non-citrus)
  • One extra bag of ice
  • Protein you like that is easy to fix (peanut butter, cheese, or eggs for example)
  • Clothes for you for during and after the birth (gown and panties)
  • Clothes for the baby (2 pair socks or booties, 2 onesies, 2 sleepers)
  • Diapers for the baby
  • Large cookie sheet
  • Silver duct tape (preferably new roll)
  • Thermometer (if digital, include probe covers)

Most of these things have a very obvious use (hello, bed sheets). The cookie sheets? They double as trays for the midwives to carry their things on should you decide to change rooms quickly.

Instructions for Preparation

Linens and clothes may be old or new. All should be freshly washed and dried in a hot dryer 10 extra minutes. Bag items in brown paper bags (NOT plastic bags), tape shut, and label clearly in large letters. This helps to ensure that they are clean and as close to germ-free as possible.

Bag in this combination:

  1. Sheets
  2. Towels and washcloths
  3. Receiving blankets
  4. Baby clothes
  5. Mother’s clothes

Please have your birth kit and other supplies purchased, prepared and ready for 3 weeks before your due date. Have everything in one place in the room you plan to give birth.

Was this page helpful?