Your midwife provides everything medically critical that is found at the hospital, however, if you are planning a home birth or hospital birth, it is most important to have certain things on hand for cleanliness and comfort to be prepared for birth.
You can purchase a birth kit, which will provide you with some essentials from your midwife, and then can purchase other items easily with a trip to Longs, Savers and Mana.
Birth is juicy so it is helpful to have many towels, wash cloths, disposable underpads as well as a hamper and trash bag close by. A shower curtain for protecting furniture/floor makes cleaning up easy, and an extra set of clean sheets, are great for getting cozy in a fresh bed with your baby!
If you are planning a hospital or home birth comfort items that can be invaluable are comfy clothes, pillows, easy to digest foods, Recharge/ coconut water, massage oil, and any pain coping tools you have decided upon (birth ball, focal point, hot water bottle, etc).
Don’t forget the whole purpose of birth is to welcome your baby, so baby clothes, receiving blankets, diapers and car seat will be needed.
After the baby is born, it is nice to have a sitz bath and/or peri bottle to speed healing and reduce swelling. Also plan to have your kitchen stocked with healthy healing foods and a reliable supply of drinking water; breastfeeding requires many calories and fluids, you have plenty of time later to get back into shape.
The most critical thing you need postpartum is time. Try and take two weeks (or more, if you can) completely free of any work not essential to bonding, breastfeeding and healing. You will find that you will return to your pre-pregnant energy and body much quicker if you take this crucial time to heal.
Image Credit: Janice Fransisco