Saturday, March 7, 2009

Late Pregnancy Preparations:
The Space and The Birth Supplies

By my measure it is my due date, by BVC (the swedish health clinic), it's not till Tuesday. But here I am. Pregnant, and braced for a possible two more weeks of it since my daughter was late.

I started feeling really clear baby can come any time now as of yesterday, and I have been having some tightening that makes me hopeful it may not be a full two more weeks, but like I said, I hestitate to get any hopes up.

We are planning for the baby to be born at home, and so have a few special preparations ready. Especially since I am a homebirth midwife, I like to have all my little remedies and comfort measures ready. I have way more home remedy stuff than a home birther in the US would need to have on hand, as the US midwife would bring many of these things along. I use a number of things not commonly used in Sweden, so it is comforting to have my familiar stuff on hand. I have these things because I had them for my midwifery practice.

We also are working on keeping up with dishes and laundry so the baby can make it's enterance into to a tidy and beautiful home. This is made much easier by SwedeDaddy's recent addition of a ***>;~DISH WASHER ~;<** to our home. So great.

And I have been busy making food to have snacks on hand for labor, to eat after birth, and for the first days postpartum. If the baby is late, this postpartum food stash will just grow, but we are OK in a minimum sense on the food front for now.

Otherwise, here are a few things we have
prepped for home birthin' ....

The extra Sheets and plastic sheets for the bed. When labor starts, you make the bed with old sheets on top, with a plastic sheet under it over a nice clean set of regular sheets. That way after birth you pull of the top sheet and plastic, wash it, and you are all set with fresh sheets to recover upon. There are also baby blankets for receiving the new one here, and a heating pad that will keep them toasty and warm before the emergence.
The all important birth pool!!!! Yes, its a kiddy fishy pool, but it's the right depth and height. We have a heat exchange system that provides infinite hot water, so I choose the bigger tub since keeping it warm will not be much of a problem for our water heating system. This gets set up with the shower curtain underneath, the hose attached to the sink to fill, and the pump to get it all full. DON'T FORGET to PLUG THE DRAIN!!!
Labor Box: This has my midwife supplies of doppler and BP cuff, because I thought I might as well get them out. But otherwise it has massage tools, a rice sock for warming and keeping on my abdomen, some underpads.
Here is the birth and postpartum box-
a peri bottle, a baby hat and diapers, a few other comfort measures.

And for remedies and herbs....

From Andy (thanks) the Rescue Remedy Pastilles- used for any occasion when things get intense and you feel like freaking out. Like perhaps, birth!

The essential oils I have gathered that are birthy- favorites, and a little battery powered diffuser. I like clary sage for making things STRONGER, lavender for keeping things calm, lemon and rosemary for pepping up a tired crew. And some of Earth Essentials blends from Light, Postpartum oil smells so good, and Peaceful Arrival for exactly that.

My homeopathic birth kit is ready. I have this from my midwife practice and for home remedies. Sweden is NOT big on homeopathics, in fact they are barely used at all and not widely available. Arnica is invaluable as a aid to swelling and bruising after birth, and for sore muscles that have worked hard. Hypericum (St. John's Wort) helps nerves heal, and there are others to help tissues heal fast. Some are good for stalled labor, or for minor bleeding. The remedies were useful to me in my practice, and while i do not know I will be in the space to self diagnose anything, I find them comforting to have on hand! And I WILL Use the ARNICA!

The Midwives here do not use herbs tinctures, so I pulled mine out- cotton for increasing oxytocin's power if things get sluggish, Wombstringe as a bleeding preventative, angelica if the placenta is slow in coming...and a mix of others for comfort and progress if need be.

After Birth, I used to give mamas Shepard Purse/ Pennyroyal tea. Shepard's purse staunches bleeding and acts as an astringent, pennyroyal empties the womb of any remaining bits and blood. I have mine ready for tea to be given right after birth. And I also have an herbal Sitz bath mix for soothing soaks after birth- for use in the peri bottle, in compresses, or in a bathtub. My mix consists of antiseptic sea salt, astringent yarrow and shepard's purse, and tissue healing comfrey and calendula.


Liquid Pen said...

Looks like all the makings of a beautiful home birth. Wishing you a magical one.

Nic's NEWs said...

You are well prepared - I look forward to hearing all about it - best of luck - will keep you in my thoughts!

Heidi said...

Good luck! Do you really find that Arnica works? I bruise freakishly easily and I've tried it many times to see if it would help either prevent them or make them heal faster...and NADA. Hmph. Tried Vitamin K, too, and also got squat. I guess I'm just destined to be black and blue.

Anyway, will be thinking good thoughts for you!

SwedeLife said...

Arnica- with homeos. it's all in how you use them. You have to know the 'rules'- the pellets should not be touched, but dropped into the cap and into your mouth directly. They can not be stored near strong smells/ vapors, or in extreme heat or cold. Lots of people who have bad experiences with homeos. are not using them according to all the weird little rules they require. Also, 'Traumeel' is a great arnica cream, too. Try it!

Susana said...

That's great that you have all the things that bring you comfort.

I have to say though, (not trying to be contentious, but share my experience) that I never used any of these things for my unassisted births. I only had a delee, pads, suction bulb, cord clamps.

I will share your informative post on my blog in case others feel led to use any of these products.

Happy birthing! and thanks for sharing,