A home delivery can be frightening for a first time mom, its important to know that child birth is a completely natural event and allow your body to take complete control. Keep in mind that home births is a common practice in most rural areas and developing countries. For example, the Netherlands a majority of births are done at the home. A 2013 study, in the Netherlands, found that planned home births were actually safer than hospital birth, since women at home suffer fewer unnecessary medical intervention.
So as you get closer to your due date do the research, put together a birthing kit with your supplies ready, labeled and organized. Also, go over a birth plan and supplies list with your birthing partner (if you plan on having someone with you).
Once you hit about 32 weeks, order your birth kit (supplies). It may seem earlier but this gives you time to organize, time for delivery and any returns or any other issues that need to be addressed.
First, how do you know real labor versus false labor?
Birth is imminent when your contractions are very strong and only a few minutes apart, if your water broken, or when you have strong urges to push.
Get as comfortable as you can! If you plan in setting yourself up in tub, its not very comfortable, so I also recommend creating a space either on the floor or the bed. Lay out a plastic table cloth (shower curtain or plastic bed protector), have a few towels and chuck pads near by.
” …prepare the bed whether you want to birth there or not. Labor is a funny thing and may not go the way you planned (as I found out myself!). The most convenient way to prepare the bed in my opinion is to make what I think of as a bed sandwich. When you go into labor, have your partner strip the bed. Then put on a fitted sheet and flat sheet that are clean and nice. Over this, put the plastic mattress protector (or large plastic shower curtain liner). Then over this put the crappy/holey/old fitted sheet you don’t mind messing up.”
Squatting and kneeling are very good positions to go through your labor. If you want to lay down, lay on your left side, this takes pressure off the vena cava, a blood vessel that helps deliver oxygen to your baby. In this position, you can also easily reach down with both hands and help ease your baby out. Remember to breath and keep your neck muscles relaxed, if your neck is tense so is your uterus muscles. Panting during contractions helps you from bearing down with each push, avoiding an explosive birth with tearing.
Once baby is out, towel him/her off (careful not to wipe off vernix) and bring them to your chest/belly with skin to skin contact.
Rub baby’s body and nostrils to stimulate breathing (First cry). Run your fingers down the outsides of baby’s nostrils from the corners of the eyes down to help drain the amniotic fluid. Most babies will breath on their own with out intervention, if need be you can use your mouth or suction bulb to help gently clear airways. Also it helps to keep baby’s head slight lower than the feet to help fluids clear.
“Once baby is calmly breathing on his own, guide his mouth to your nipple to initiate breastfeeding. This will prompt your body to release more oxytocin, a hormone that will cause your uterus to contract further so it should expel (birth) the placenta on its own in about 20 minutes.”
Wait at least 30 minutes to cut the umbilical cord, once the placenta and cord stop pulsating.