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The Ultimate List of Home Birth Supplies (+ free checklist)

If you’re planning a home birth, it’s a good idea to have certain supplies on hand. Keep reading for a full list of items you’ll need, including supplies for a water birth and a few things you’ll need postpartum. Plus, download a free checklist to keep track of what you still need.

pregnant woman checking birth supplies off a list

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If you’re here because you’re planning a home birth, I’m excited for you. Giving birth at home can be a beautiful, sacred experience.

If you’re here because you’re curious about home births but still aren’t quite sure what you think, you may want to check out these blog posts:

In order to be prepared for a home birth, you’re going to want to gather some supplies beforehand. Some of these supplies will be for you or for your husband or partner during labor. Others will be for your midwife to use. Some are for cleanup. And some are for postpartum healing and care.

If you need a list of items to gather for a home birth kit because you want to give birth unassisted or because your midwife doesn’t provide one, you can find that in Everything You Need for a Home Birth Kit (According to a Midwife). That’s where you’ll find things like cord clamps, gloves, and plastic coverings.

This list is all the household items a midwife wouldn’t provide but that you’ll want on hand and easily accessible before labor begins.

Let’s get to it.

All the Supplies You Need for a Home Birth

Like I said, there are a few categories of things to gather in preparing for your home birth. You’ll probably already have most things on the list.

If there are things you don’t have, check with your midwife before you buy anything, just so you don’t spend money on things you won’t need.

Get this home birth supplies list as a PDF:

Supplies For Labor and Birth

Giving birth is natural and beautiful. It’s also intense, and it can be messy. That’s why you need the items in this section.

  • 6-8 clean washcloths
  • 6-8 clean bath towels
  • 2-3 receiving blankets
  • 2 fitted sheets, preferably old
  • Plastic shower curtain (to protect your mattress)
  • Protective coverings for pillows (plastic trash bags work well)
  • Olive oil (for lubricating your perineum and for getting meconium off your baby’s bum)
  • A mirror, if you want to be able to see the birth
  • Crockpot (for warm compresses)
  • 2 large bowls (one for the placenta, one in case of vomiting)
  • Gallon-size plastic zipper bags (for placenta and for padsicles)
  • A large pot (for making perineal tea)
  • A strainer (also for the tea)
  • 2-3 large mason jars (for extra tea)
  • Paper towels
  • 1 cookie sheet (to set up and carry supplies)
  • Fresh ginger root and other herbs of choice, if desired for tea or compresses
  • Home birth kit, if your midwife doesn’t supply one

Note 1: With the shower curtain: you’re going to put that in between two fitted sheets. Put a clean fitted sheet on your mattress. Then spread the plastic shower curtain over that, as far over the edges as possible. And then put another clean fitted sheet on top to hold it in place and make it more comfortable.

Note 2: I included the items for making tea because my midwife made perineal tea for me while I was in labor. She made “padsicles” with it, then I used the rest in the next few days to clean up after bathroom trips. You can ask your midwife if she does something similar.

Note 3: I didn’t end up using a crockpot during labor because I didn’t use any warm compresses. I did tear, though, so maybe I should have.

Additional Supplies For a Water Birth

If you want to give birth in the water, specifically in a birth pool, you’ll want 4 more things: 

  • 1-2 plastic tarps (for floor)
  • 50+ foot water hose to empty the birth pool
  • Wrench for faucet adapter
  • 1 small fish net

What you need and what sizes will depend on the pool you use and the areas of your house that you’ll need to keep dry and protected. And, of course, that’s assuming that your midwife provides the birth pool. If she doesn’t offer rentals, you’ll need to find a pool to purchase or rent on your own.

(By the way, I know it might be cringy to think about but the fish net is to clean the pool out if you poop while giving birth. It’s normal and won’t bother your midwives. Now you know.)

Food and Drink

During labor it’s important that you stay hydrated and keep your energy and blood sugar up. For that reason, you’ll want a few food and drink items on hand.

  • Juice or electrolyte drink
  • Easy-to-digest snacks for you
  • Snacks for your husband and other support people
  • Fresh or frozen fruit for making smoothies (to help with blood sugar after the birth)

Note: Labor can be long so it’s polite to have a few things for your midwife or doula to grab quickly if they need a bite to eat.

READ MORE >> Snacks for Labor: Why and What You Should Eat During Labor

Optional Items to Help During Labor

In addition to the home birth essentials, you can also gather a few other things to create the kind of birthing atmosphere you want.

These kinds of things fit into the “environment” and “movement” categories of the different ways you can cope with labor.

Supplies for Postpartum Care and Healing

Once your baby is born, you’ll need some more supplies to keep things going well.

After birth, you’ll bleed like you’re on a heavy period for a week or two. At the same time, your perineum and uterus will be healing and returning to pre-pregnancy and pre-birth states.

Plus, your time is going to be taken up with caring for a baby, so you won’t have much time or energy for cooking for a while. That’s why you need these items.

*use code “givelife10” for 10% off

In addition to physical supplies, I also recommend you prepare a volunteer coordination sheet. Having a digital sign-up sheet will allow you to manage visitors and people who want to bring meals or help around the house, without you having to do much more than send each person a link.

To learn more about how to use a volunteer coordination sheet and to download a template for FREE, go here.

Last Things

There are a few last things to be aware of when gathering supplies in preparation for your home birth.

First, in the off chance that you transfer to the hospital, you’ll want a hospital bag packed and ready to go.

Second, you likely won’t be leaving the house for a while after birth, but you’ll want to have a car seat purchased and installed in your car before your little one arrives.

Finally, I didn’t include any baby supplies on this list because I have a full list of things you need in The Baby Registry List I Wish I’d Had.

If you have questions about anything, let me know in the comments!

Until next time,


Wondering if a home birth is right for you?


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