Home Birth Prep: Making Your Bed

When you think of home birth, you might imagine that it is a pretty messy event. The truth is, if you prepare your birth space to help your midwives stay on top of “fluid control”, your home birth can actually be very tidy. It’s true! 

One of the most important things you will want to do as you get ready for your birth is to make your bed. Shortly after you begin labor is the perfect time to do this, so that it will be ready when you need it later on. 

  • Start with making your bed the way you normally would, with a clean set of sheets, on top of your normal, soft mattress protector, if you use one. 
  • Next, cover your clean sheets with a plastic, waterproof mattress cover. It is important that this layer is not just “water resistant” – waterproof is a must. As an alternative, you can use a shower curtain liner. 
  • Then you will place a fitted sheet over the waterproof cover. This sheet will likely get wet from the birth fluids, so this one should be old, or purchased at a thrift store. 
  • Lastly, you can add your pillows and a light blanket for you to take on and off during labor. 

During your baby’s birth and the birth of the placenta, your midwife will place waterproof chux pads underneath you to absorb fluids. If these events happen on your bed, these pads will catch most of the mess, but there may be some splashing onto the old sheet that is your bed’s top layer.  Your midwife will frequently change out your chux, and when you are ready to get up and move to the bathroom, clean up, and put on comfy clothes, she will strip that top sheet off for laundering. The plastic layer will come off next, and will be discarded. The mess is gone, likely before you ever see it. 

This leaves your comfortable, clean sheets at the base layer. Your midwives will replace your regular blankets and help you get settled in with your new baby, ready to get to know one another in those first magical hours.