Skip to Main Content

Preparing for a Home Birth Part III: How to Prepare Your Children for a Home Birth

 Back To Blog

Preparing for a Home Birth Part III: How to Prepare Your Children for a Home Birth

Jan 8, 2024
A mother holding a smiling child. The text reads, "Preparing for a Home Birth Part III: How to Prepare Your Children for a Home Birth"

Mama, we understand that preparing for a home birth can bring a whirlwind of emotions for you and your partner that are both exhilarating and intense.  As parents already, it can feel daunting preparing yourself and your children for a home birth, when you are already balancing a lot of responsibilities that seem to be never-ending.

Rest assured; joy can be had during this extremely busy time of your life. We have written a three-installment guidebook to help you prepare yourself and your family for a home birth.   

This is the third and final installment. The first and second parts are linked here. In this part, we will explore practical and compassionate strategies to help your children understand and become comfortable with the idea of a home birth.  

We will offer tips on age-appropriate explanations, ways to involve your children in the preparation process, and techniques to make sure that they feel secure and included during this significant family event.  

At Stork Helpers, we want you to create lasting memories with your family and be prepared for this new journey in your life.  


Activities to Build Your Children’s Excitement and Knowledge for the Birth 


As a mama, you want your children to welcome the new baby into the family with open arms. It is exciting for you and your partner, but for your other children, they may not fully understand why it is a big deal, or how it will change their lives as well.

To help your kids build excitement, we have constructed a list of activities you can do with them:  

  1. Tell your children about their birth story.
    • This provides an opportunity to be vulnerable with your children and will give them an idea of what they can expect, even if the experience is not exactly the same. In addition, your kids may ask you more questions.  Be honest! Yet, it is important to know that their ability to comprehend depends on their previous knowledge or age.  

  2. Give your kids a craft or gift when you tell them about the baby for the first time.
    • There are several ways you can announce to your kids that they will have a new sibling. Be creative! Use your kids' interests as inspiration. For example, if your son or daughter loves Star Wars, gift them a plastic lightsaber and say, “It is now your duty to protect your new sibling.” In turn, they will be happy about the new toy, but they will also begin to process what their role will be as a big sibling.  

  3. Have your kids give the new baby a present.
    • Request that your children give the baby something that is meaningful to them. Keep it simple! It does not need to cost anything. For example, your daughter could pick a flower from your garden and give it to the baby because she thought it was pretty. Let the gesture come from your children's heart if possible.  

  4. Have your kids draw pictures of the family and the baby.
    • Drawing a picture will help your kids to visualize what a new addition to the family will look like and they can begin to develop their own role in the family and relation to the baby.  


Give your Children a Responsibility in the Birthing Space 


Mama, if you allow your children to have responsibility as you give birth at home, it will show that you trust them, and it is an opportunity to create a life-long memory that demonstrates your bravery and love for them.

Of course, your decision to let your children help is up to you and your comfort level. It is also important to consider the age of your kids before assigning them a role.

Some simple responsibilities you can give your kids include, but are not limited to, providing cool cloths for Mama’s forehead, checking the birth pool temperature, holding mama’s hand for encouragement, keeping mama’s water bottle filled and bringing snacks, and taking care of younger siblings.  

If you cannot give your kids responsibility for any reason, we suggest that you coordinate having a babysitter to watch your kids so that your partner and doula can be there for you.  


Discuss the Difficult Parts of Home Birth 


Discussing the difficult aspects of giving birth to your children may be the last thing you want to do, but it is essential. By preparing your kids with what they can expect, you can prevent them from having a meltdown during your home birth.  

We recommend that you and your partner sit your kids down individually and have an open discussion about all the phases of home birth and how Mama may react to each. By having a one-on-one conversation with each of your kids, you can decide what is and what is not as important for each of your kids to know. In addition, this conversation can give your kids the opportunity to share their feelings and concerns with you in a more intimate setting.

In your conversations with your kids, we encourage you to talk about the loud noises they may hear from you and the reality of postpartum bleeding.  You can explain to your kids that, “Mama is brave, prepared, and can handle the birthing process. She loves you and is thrilled to see you take on the role of an older sibling soon.”  


How to Make Postpartum Enjoyable for your Children 


As you are handling postpartum, your children are also going through a life-changing experience. For instance, if your child is an only child, they are learning how to navigate what it is like to not be the center of your attention. Even if they are thrilled about the new baby, they need to know that you still see them as the apple of your eye.  

We know that you love all your children equally and are ready to do everything you can to show them that they are secure and well-taken care of!  

Here is a short list of ideas to help you bring joy to postpartum with your children:  

  1. Asking big kids to fetch diapers, choose baby outfits, sing lullabies, etc.

    • Giving your children a role will help them to feel connected to their younger sibling and learn responsibility.  

  2. Let your children hold the baby.
    • By holding the baby, your children can show their affection to the baby and begin their sibling relationship. The baby will begin to recognize their sibling and can grow fond of that sibling connection.  

  3. Ask your partner to take the big kids on special outings.
    • The outing does not need to be a large or expensive event. It can be a simple outing to one of your kid's favorite museums or playground. The goal is to demonstrate that your children’s interests are still important and valued even though Mama is busy with the baby.  


Prepare Your Home Birth with Stork Helpers  


Mama, we want you and your partner to feel fully equipped for your home birth! 

We have a deep understanding of family dynamics and birth processes and want to help you! We can be a valuable resource for making this beautiful and life-changing transition as smooth and positive as possible for the entire family.  

If you are looking for a doula in the Cincinnati or Dayton area who listens to your needs and supports you throughout your entire pregnancy and birth journey, then it is time to reach out to Stork Helpers.  

Tamara and Skylar are the doulas you can trust. Always listening, never judging, Stork Helpers is here for you.   

Click here to start a conversation with Stork Helpers today!  

For more fertility and pregnancy tips and support, follow Stork Helpers on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!  

Happy with the difference Stork Helpers made in your birth journey? Leave us a quick five-star review here! 

loading gif