FAQ Set up Clean up

Midwifery services
Safety and Outcomes
Paying for Care
Set up and Clean up

"Ugh! Gross! What about the blood?!?"

These are commonly heard comments, especially from dads.  You might be expecting to have to replace your carpet after the birth or buy a whole set of new bed linens.   You are probably thinking about all those births on TV where fluids spray across the room.  Or maybe you’re thinking about your kid’s birth where mom’s bottom hangs out over the big red biohazard bag and everyone has blue gowns and face masks.

This is MUCH different!  Rest assured, birth is not like it is portrayed in the movies or like the images you have in your head.  First, most of the birth generally takes place in the tub.  Second, we have lots of absorbent chux pads to help keep things clean.  Third, we’ve got a plan and lots of experience!  We’ll walk through it all with you.

How much plastic do I need?

Plastic is our friend, but only up to a certain point!  You will want 3 mm painter’s plastic to use 1) to protect your mattress and 2) on an 8’x8′ square under your tub.  Do NOT cover your entire floor as this causes a tripping and slipping hazard.  It is best to use bath mats or thick towels as a walkway from the bed to the bathroom since plastic slips.

When does the midwife check my home?

Your midwife will do a home visit at or prior to 37 weeks to make sure she know how to get to your house in the dark, assess it for safety and services (like water and cell service), and to answer your questions about set up.

Where in my house should I plan to birth?

Most people prefer to birth in their master bedroom, either on the bed or in the tub.  Sometimes there’s a master bath attached–this is convenient and comfortable.  This keeps mom and baby close to the bathroom and the bed.  But sometimes due to space and preference, the birth tub is in bedroom close by (i.e. kid’s room) or living room.  You need to prep your bed and the tub area.

What do I need to prepare ahead of time?

It’s actually not expensive to get prepared for a homebirth.  Most of the items you already have in your house or can get at a grocery store.

Check out the handy checklist of items and procedures.  The procedures include how to cover your bed with plastic and make sure there’s access to all sides of your bed and tub.  You’ll also buy online a birth kit with disposable supplies we use at the birth.  You’ll rent or buy your birth tub and we go through how to use and prep it.  It is best to have a clear surface available (such as the top of the dresser) for us to lay out our supplies and stack clean towels.  All these items should be in the birth space so we can access them easily.

How does the birth tub work?

This water birth thing is pretty magic!  Most moms say it relieves about 50% of the pain, which is considerable.

Prior to birth, you’ll buy or rent your tub if you want one or don’t have a big enough tub in your house.  We’ll go over how to use and prep it.  Remember to get the hose and adaptors hooked up and tested PRIOR to labor starting!

After the birth, when mom and baby are resting in bed, we will drain the birth tub into your tub, shower pan, laundry sink, or outside.  Then we dispose of the plastic liner.  You’ll leave the tub inflated for the tub company to come check, clean, and pack up.

What do I need to do to clean up after the midwives leave?

Part of our job is to make it look like a birth didn’t even happen!  We empty and straighten the tub, remove the plastic liner from the bed, replace the sheets, take out the bag of garbage, and start the first load of laundry.  We can move the birth tub into another room if needed.  Most of the time there are just  some supplies stacked on the dresser and a new mom and baby in the bedroom when we leave.

So you really don’t have much to do!

After a homebirth, it’s hard to tell a birth just happened there.  Well, except for the new mom and baby!


Use the handy CHECKLIST of household items and to-dos

Rent or buy your birth tub

Order your birth kit of disposable supplies