People often ask if homebirth is messy. The simple answer is that it can be, but homebirth midwives and nurses know how to “manage” the mess and clean it up afterwards! The same plastic-backed pads or “chucks” that are used in the hospital are used at home, and plenty of these are spread around underneath you to catch any fluids. Your midwife will give you instructions on how to protect your bed, couch, floor, and pillows.
A really handy thing to make is a special pad that can be picked up, moved around, and laid down on the sofa, floor, bed, or wherever you want to be laboring or pushing. We suggest getting two sheets and a quilt from a thrift store, something that you don’t care about getting messy. Layer one sheet, a thick piece of plastic (like a shower curtain), the quilt, and the other sheet all together, then get your friends together and with tapestry needles and some colorful yarn, punch through all four layers from top to bottom, then back up through all the layers about a quarter-inch away, and tie a knot to hold the layers together. Space the knots about 18 inches apart so that the layers don’t slide around or bunch up. You can even roll up the edges and baste them in place to catch any fluids that want to slide off. After the birth, it can be rolled up, sealed in a trash bag, and thrown away!
During the labor and birth, garbage bags are set up, one for trash and one for soiled laundry, and the space is kept neat as labor progresses. After the birth, your midwife and nurse will throw the bag of garbage away and start a load of laundry. By the time they are ready to leave, you will be tucked in bed with your new baby in a clean and tidy room!