1: You need more towels and cloths than you think. Almost every home birth I attend, by the end we are running out of towels and cloths... we use them for everything.
Our suggestion is to go to goodwill, or value village and get as many used linens as you can... sheets for your bed, even a comforter. It is so nice to not worry about soiling any of that stuff and just toss it after OR keep it in a tote for the next birth.
2: If you're doing a water birth, keeping that big tub warm is a task. First, crank up your water heater to the max. Second, make sure you have a kettle, and many pots ready and available to boil water. Thirdly I actually love when there is a grandma at a home birth. Even when you hire a doula, there is so much to be done at home, it is nice to have an extra set of hands (if they are someone who you don't have to host or worry about)
3: Plan for 24 hours at home. What food would you need? Can your birth team Uber Eats stuff? Is there coffee? Is there a place people can rest? These things seem like you're hosting but you don't want to think about them in the moment. Its lively to set out a snack basket, leave out coffee instructions, and have a quiet place for midwives or doulas to rest, or have a break. A well taken care of team takes great care of YOU.
4: Expect wanting to quit. Most people have a moment in labour where they want to quit. At the hospital they ask for an epidural. At home they ask to go to the hospital, or say things like "I am DONE" or "I can't do this anymore". This is your way of explaining to your team this is incredibly hard. We work with our clients to know them deeply and understand how hard they want to be pushed in this scenario if avoiding the epidural is the goal (which obviously in home births it is).
5: Take a prenatal class. If you are having a home birth you NEED your partner and yourself to know everything you can about the birth process. I once had a midwife say to me that it should be illegal for anyone have a first time home birth to not have taken education, AND hired a doula. This will be a test of your physical, and emotional strength. A doula and a solid prenatal class will set a strong foundation for understanding the human body, and how to optimize labour.
We're offering a special deal for anyone who reads this blog post; use the code HOMEBIRTH to get 25% off the prenatal class! It's a 6 hour class designed to teach you about pregnancy, birth AND postpartum. We are physiological birth biased, and teach in a way that will absolutely prepare you for a home birth!