Commonly Used Supplies in a Midwife Home Birth Practice

Homebirth supplies

Commonly Used Supplies in a Midwife Home Birth Practice

Homebirth supplies
Homebirth supplies
Homebirth practice supplies
I get many questions from new homebirth practices what are exactly is needed and optional with homebirth supplies. For Certified Nurse Midwives that just left the hospital setting, they can relate to the reference of all those Labor and Delivery Unit supplies being brought with you to a client’s home. You will want routine care supplies like a doppler, gloves, gel, stethoscope, and instruments and also all the rare emergency supplies like medications and resuscitation supplies. The amount of each supply will vary greatly by how many families you serve and the radius that you serve. With a smaller volume practice where it is much easier to restock between births, less is carried. For large volume practices and large birth radius, carry enough supplies to do 2-3 births in a row is wise. Our goal is to be safe, anticipate needs, and not break our back in the process!
 
Here is a list of commonly recommended home birth supplies I have heard across the country. Some midwives carry more or less depending on their state regulations, comfort level, and skillsets. Most midwives do Basic Life Support certification with a few that do have Advanced Life Support certification. If a midwife doesn’t have the skills or training to do an advance maternal or newborn resuscitation, it doesn’t make sense to carry advanced airway intubation supplies (that would be role of EMS upon arrival).
 
Some midwives do all the newborn care the first month of life while others only do the initial examination with a referral to pediatrician or family practice physician for continued care. That will impact which newborn screening supplies you have for follow up postpartum home visits. I typically have three bags with me. One bag is for prenatal visits that holds my doppler, gel gloves, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, and urine dipsticks, pens, and charting paperwork. Largest bag, we called “Goliath” for a good reason was all the birth supplies and heaviest to carry (oxygen tank was in there). Last bag was typically left in the car with spare goodies that are nice to know they were available, but rarely needed (spare clothes, extra batteries, extra birth supplies and supplies didn’t need to carry for every birth). My style was feeling comforted by having many extra items and rarely needing them than wishing I would have brought one more birth set since I did those three deliveries in a row prior to restocking.
 
Here is a recommended home birth supply list (some people take more or less things so use this as a reference guide):
  1. Maternal Equipment
  • Doppler
  • Maternal Stethoscope
  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Thermometer
  • Reflex Hammer
  • Adult Ambubag
  • Nasal Canula
  • Oxygen Tubing
  • Delivery Instruments (blunt tipped scissors, clamps, ring forceps, rectractor)
  • Suturing Instruments (needle driver, scissors)
  • Suture Materials (chromic, vycril)
2. Maternal Supplies
  • Peribottle
  • Flashlights
  • Headlamp
  • Sharps Container
  • Gloves (sm, med, & lg)
  • Sterile Gloves (sizes 6-8)
  • Lubricant (single packs)
  • Gel for Doppler
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Sanitizing Wipes
  • Needles (22 gauge & 27 gauge – mother & newborn IM injections)
  • Syringes (1mL & 5mL – Pitocin, Vitamin K, & antibiotics)
  • Alcohol Swabs
  • Underpads (usually family provides, but I always have extra)
  • Plastic Bags for Placenta (family provides)
  • Trash Bags (family provides)
  • Bowl for Placenta (family provides)
  • Cookie Sheet for Newborn Resuscitation (family provides)
  • Towels (family provides)
  • Fishnet for Waterbirths (family provides)
  • IV Supplies (IV start kit, tubing, Lactated Ringer bags)
  • Wrist Watch with Seconds
  • Charting Paperwork
  • Pens
  • Back up Batteries
  • Phone Charger
  • Spare Clothes
3. Medications
  • Pitocin / Oxytocin
  • Cytotec / Misoprostol
  • Methergine / Methylergonovine
  • Tylenol / Acetominophen
  • Motrin / ibuprofen
  • Bendryl / Diphenhydramine HCl
  • Antibiotics for GBS pos clients
4. Essential Oils / Herbs
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Peppermint
  • Crampbark Tincture
  • Ginger
  • Ginseng
  • Red Raspberry Leaves
  • Chamomile
  • Echinacea
  • Nettle Leaves
  • Blue Cohosh (use with caution)
  • Black Cohosh (use with caution)
5. Newborn Medications
  • Vitamin K
  • Erythromycin
  • Oxygen Tank
6. Newborn Equipment
  • Baby Stethoscope
  • Otoscope
  • Newborn Ambubag
  • Laryngoscope
  • ET tubes (various sizes)
  • Pulse Oximeter
  • Heel sticks
  • Metabolic Screening Cards
7. Newborn Supplies
  • Cord Clamps
  • Tape Measure
  • Baby Scale (clothe hangers with hanging weight scale)
  • Heating Pad (usually family provides)
  • Baby Blankets (family provides)
  • Diapers (family provides)