Home birth is an experience like no other. Intimate, empowering and natural are all words you might associate with your home birth. But, like those who’ve birthed at home before you, it’s natural to feel a bit of anxiety and nerves as your due date approaches.

The emphasis in home birth preparation often falls heavily on preparing the space and people. You’ve got your home birth kit, your essential oil blends, a birthing tub, your amazing midwife, and maybe even a doula.

But what about preparing YOU? Preparing mentally for your home birth is one of the best gifts you can give yourself before this life changing event. Be intentional in your mental preparation, and you will feel more confident and prepared as the big day draws closer.

So, how do I prepare mentally for my home birth?

In short, you want to focus on education, peace of mind, and boosting your confidence.  Keep your personal motivations for having a home birth ever present in your mind.

You want to remove any sense of doubt or anxiety through careful physical preparation of your space, but also spend time getting educated, connecting with your support people and looking within.

Ready to learn more about preparing mentally for home birth?

Let’s explore these mental preparations a little more in depth. We’re going to dig into:

  • Exactly how to gain confidence through education before your home birth
  • Talk about the people you want to connect with, and those you should avoid
  • Learn how to practice self-care and reflection
  • Explore exactly what physical preparations are going to lead to mental preparation
  • And more!

Prepare mentally for your home birth through education and planning

When it comes to birth of any kind, nothing is more powerful than education. Home birth represents a huge unknown for first time mothers, or mothers preparing for their first home birth. The single best way to remove this unknown and mentally prepare for your home birth is with research and education.

Birth is construed in the mainstream media as painful, medical, and scary. This does not have to be your reality, and in fact, it wasn’t until modern medicine came around to make money off of it. Here are some key ways to get yourself educated about your home birth.

Create a well-researched and realistic birth plan

Your birth plan, or as my midwife refers to them, ‘birth wishes’, is something to take your time thoroughly creating and understanding. You want to fully understand all of the decisions you include on your birth plan from labor to newborn care procedures. You want to explore and learn about any and all pain-management strategies available to you.  Then, make them a reality in your own home.

Take the time to include elements in your birth plan beyond the birth you desire. Discuss at length with your midwife when and what might cause a hospital transfer for you during labor or after birth. Understand what it might look like if baby needs to be transferred after birth.

Taking the time to prepare mentally for the birth you don’t want is one of the most important things you can do in your mental preparations for your home birth. Knowing how a worst case scenario will play out will keep you calmer and give you a sense of control should the event arise.

Watch home birth videos and documentaries

So many mommas say that birth is something they just can’t envision themselves doing. The fact of the matter is, in our society birth is very private. It’s unlikely you’ve ever attended a birth before your own.

One way to help yourself prepare mentally is to watch other people’s home births! Nothing will help you envision your own birth and motivate you better than seeing others who’ve experienced the miracle of a home birth.

YouTube is actually a great starting point for this.  You can also ask your midwife for home birth video and documentary suggestions.

Take a natural childbirth class

Taking a childbirth class focusing on natural birth taught by a birthing expert will give you the greatest sense of confidence before your home birth. You will fully understand the timeline of birth and what to expect. Many teach pain coping strategies, involve partners, teach breathing and include practice sessions as well.

Don’t skip a childbirth class. Especially if this is your first home birth! I know it can feel difficult to get to a scheduled class at a given time with your partner in this busy world of ours. But you don’t have to! Online childbirth classes offer the perfect solution and allow you to choose a class specific to the type of birth your desire (hello, hypnobirthing and natural birth specific classes!).

Ask your midwife ALL the questions

Ask, talk, listen, and ask some more questions to your midwife! Seriously, the more you can discuss and hash out before the big day with your midwife the better.

Midwifery care is unique because of its emphasis on preparing the whole woman for birth. Your midwife is there for your mental and emotional care and well-being as much as the physical aspects of pregnancy and birth.

Prepare mentally for your home birth by connecting with your birth people

Who is in your birth “tribe”, so to speak?

By now, you’ve likely chosen the perfect midwife for your home birth, but who else is going to be a part of your big day? Take some time to really think through who you’d like to be present during your home birth.

Maybe you are a private person and want to be with only your partner. Perhaps you thrive on other people’s energy? In this case, you would benefit from having other special women in your life there to support and cheer you on. Would having individuals with experience and training make you feel more comfortable? Then definitely look into hiring a doula!

Now spend some intentional time with these special people

Once you’ve made your short list of your birth tribe, carve out time in the weeks leading up to birth to connect with them. Spend time with the members of your birth tribe free from distractions. Open up about where you’re at mentally regarding your home birth. Allowing them to hear about and understand your mental space will prepare them to better support you.

Get your partner on board and prepared

Believe it or not, your partner is probably experiencing their own emotional roller coaster as the big day approaches. Talk to them. Male partners in particular are often not as willing or comfortable with expressing their feelings. They want to act cool, calm, and strong.

How can I help my partner prepare?

Find out what your partner’s fears are about the home birth, brainstorm ways to boost his confidence, remove his doubts, and get him prepared. Some of the same things you are doing to mentally prepare will help him, such as completing an online childbirth class and watching others’ home births.

Remove and avoid people who bring toxicity into your home or life

It should go without saying that anyone that will bring toxicity into your home birth experience should definitely not be in your birth “tribe”. But you may want to take it a step further than that.

If there are people in your life that are doubting your decision to have a home birth, are vocally unsupportive of your home birth, or generally bring you down, do your best to avoid them in the weeks leading up to birth.

What if I can’t avoid these kinds of people completely?

This might get complicated if this person is your mother in law or co-worker you see every day, but you need to protect your mental confidence as your home birth approaches. If you must interact with these people, avoid the topic of your birth at all costs. Keep conversation light and impersonal. And when in doubt, talk about cute baby clothes or the nursery 😉

Furthermore, do not feel pressured to give birth updates to anyone during the birth, and especially not those who haven’t shown support to your home birth decision.

Explore where your postpartum support lies before your home birth

While the bulk of this article focuses on mental preparations for your home birth, I think it’s important to touch on postpartum support as well. Many mothers often overlook the chance to prepare for breastfeeding and researching where to get postpartum support ahead of time.

Consider this another step towards mental preparedness for your home birth. Learn where you can find breastfeeding support, new mother support groups, and postpartum care before your little one arrives. It’s one more way to put your mind at ease.

Prepare mentally for your home birth with self-care and reflection

Take some time out just for you before your home birth

The to-do lists related to preparing your home for birth and then actually having a baby can feel never ending. Many of us take this on while working right up until our due dates and coordinating maternity leave plans and an eventual return to work.

Take a step back and breathe, momma.

Schedule time for you! Take a day to pamper yourself and be present with your bump. Get a prenatal massage, splurge on some amazing items for your home birth space, like new aromatherapy candles or essential oil blends. Spend time in nature. Revel in your amazing body, what it has accomplished in growing a human, and the amazing feat it will soon accomplish (birth!).

Reflect and journal about your pregnancy and home birth motivations

Pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life and it goes by in the blink of an eye. Take some time to journal about your experience. Write down your fears, excitement and special moments. Reflect on how extraordinary your body is.

Keep your motivations for a home birth at the forefront of your mind. Write them down and say them out loud. Why do you want a home birth? Who is this for?

Create a motivation board to have in your birth space

Creating is good for your heart and mind. With such a life changing event on the horizon, consider tapping into your creative side by making a motivation board. Hang it up in your birthing space as a motivator and reminder of how important a home birth is to you.

There is no wrong way to do this! Some considerations for your motivation board:

  • Images of places that put you at ease (beach, park, places in nature)
  • Birth affirmations and quotes
  • Quotes from your own pregnancy journal
  • Motivational phrases collected from loved ones
  • Photos of loved ones or women who’ve inspired your home birth
  • Colors that evoke a sense of calm within you

Another idea along the same lines is to create other things that will aid in your emotional well-being during birth, such as:

  • A birthing soundtrack
  • A special blend of essential oils for burning or mixed with a carrier oil for massage
  • A homemade herbal blend

Keep yourself moving and your spirits alive with physical activity

Movement is always good for our mental health, and pregnancy is no different. If you are the type who enjoys fitness and work-outs, this isn’t the time to let it fall to the wayside. Keeping your mind calm and releasing endorphins is important in your mental preparation for home birth.

If traditional exercise isn’t your thing, incorporate daily walks, swimming, or stretching into your day when possible. You also might enjoy some gentle prenatal yoga as well.

Prepare mentally for your home birth via physical preparations in your home

Aim to have your home prepared for your home birth by week 37

I don’t know about you, but nothing eases my mind more than a completed to-do list. With your nesting instincts in overdrive, it will feel even better as birth approaches.

Try your best not to leave things until the last minute. Create a timeline based to-do list that spreads out important tasks involved with readying your home for the big day.

Knowing everything is taken care of well-ahead of time will mean the final weeks of your pregnancy will be filled with calmness and self-care.

Lean on your loved ones for support in your physical preparations

Do not fall into the trap of taking this on alone! Pregnancy is a time when people really want to be helpful but often don’t know what they can do. Ask for help, opinions, and suggestions.

Having your village help create your home birth space will make it even more special.

Vocalize your needs for support postpartum

On the note of leaning on your people, don’t be shy about telling them how they can help postpartum as well. In fact, one of the best things they can do is bring you healthy, nourishing food!

When people ask if there’s anything they can do (and you don’t need anything else), tell them you want to have your freezer stocked for your first weeks with a newborn. They will happily hop in their kitchens.

Always focus on the positive and remember just how amazing you are, Momma!

If you take nothing else away from this article on how to prepare mentally for birth, keep your mindset positive and remember just how amazing you and your body are!

You are strong, capable, and extraordinary. Your body intrinsically knows how to birth, don’t let your mind create a block.

Whether you’re reading this article in the early days of your pregnancy in anticipation of your home birth, or with just a few weeks to go, start employing these strategies. You will be more mentally prepared for your home birth because of them.

Get educated, connect with your birth people, practice self-care, and lean on your support system. You’re going to have the most amazing home birth!

Help other mommas out by sharing this article so they too can beef up their mental toughness in preparation for their very own home birth.

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