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Blog posts of '2015' 'April'

What to Consider When Buying Your Home Birth Kit

One of the greatest resources available to midwives is the opportunity for them to create specialized birth kits that include everything an expectant mother will need when the big day arrives. Since each midwife is unique, so is her birth kit, and choosing where to purchase your birth kit takes a little extra thought to make sure it arrives as you want it, when you want it.

Here are the top 5 factors to consider when choosing where to purchase your specialized midwife kit or fully-equipped general home birth kit.

1. Quality

When midwives design their birth kits, they develop a list of items they want included. From there, each company that carries their birth kit has the freedom to choose the brand and quality of each listed item. Choosing the cheapest birth kit isn't always the best route if you want quality items.

For instance, you definitely want your birth kit to have a high quality underpad. Low quality underpads have poor absorbancy and leave you with the risk of leakage if there is a lot of liquid during the birth. Be sure to identify these features before you choose a kit, and if the details aren't listed don't be afraid to ask.

2. Shipping Time

When you're pregnant it can seem like the to-do list is never ending and sometimes ordering your birth kit seems to slip through the cracks! Be sure to identify how long a company takes to ship your order and when it will be shipped by.

If you are ordering your birth kit close to your due date, it is important to make sure you know the estimated date of delivery, since a lot of companies do not accept birth kit returns for sanitary reasons. If you are really nervous, expedited shipping is an option but it will cost more. Better yet, choose a company that offers prompt shipping. Birth Kits don't take long to assemble and at Cascade we have them sent out within 24 hours of you ordering them.

We recommend that you order your kit approximately 6 weeks prior to your due date to ensure that no matter when your baby arrives, you are prepared and ready!

3. Accuracy

 There is nothing worse than having your due date approaching only to find your birth kit has been assembled incorrectly! Dealing with the hassle of having the problem corrected or even paying extra to just purchase an item that was forgotten, is an unnecessary waste of time and energy.

If you are choosing a birth kit from a company you haven't purchased from before, ask your midwife, doula or another mother what their experiences as a customer were like with the company. Also, don't be afraid to call the company and ask how they check their orders before shipping them.

At Cascade, we have a thorough 3 step process: one person assembles your  order; another does an accuracy check for correct numbers, colors and products (with a checklist!); and finally once everything is boxed, we have someone check that the order corresponds with the address and order number. When you've been assembling birth kits for over 30 years, finding an efficient checking process is inevitable!

4. Be an Efficient Shopper

Most companies that carry birth kits will also carry a variety of items you will need once your baby arrives. From breastfeeding products like nursing pads and natural creams for soothing and protecting nipples, to newborn basic blankets and clothing, take a moment to think ahead for items you will need after birth.

 

Why? Two good reasons:

  • Depending on what you're buying, you're probably going to save money on shipping. Most postal options in the US are based on the size of the box being shipped, not the weight. So the more you can fit into the box, the better!

  • Time. When you have a new baby, looking through products, reading ingredients, doing price comparisons, all feel like luxuries. Even if you get prepared with the basics for breastfeeding or perineal care (i.e. the cold pads that help reduce perineal swelling after birth), that will save you precious time better spent with your baby than in a store or online.

 

 

5. Talk to a Person, Not an Automated System

One of the most precious aspects of choosing a midwife and the option to give birth at home or at a birth center, is the personal, intimate touch every step of the way. The right company will offer you the same personal care. Being a part of the midwifery community means more than selling a product, it is a unique opportunity to be a part of a support system that values the importance of individuals and not just sales.

 

So choose a company that connects you to a knowledgeable person who can answer your questions and guide you if you need assistance. Because the more you know, the better prepared you will be!

At Cascade HealthCare it is our guarantee that the birth kit you purchase is comprised of quality items that are packaged with careful attention and shipped within 24 hours of being ordered. Our goal is to be a helping hand and invaluable resource whenever you have questions, so don't hesitate to call or email us! You can find our email and telephone number in our Contact Us section by clicking here.

If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'Why Water Birth?', 'Why Do We Use Fetoscopes?', and 'Why Do We Use Plastic Cord Clamps?'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products

Why Water Birth?

Water births are not just an option for home or birth center deliveries, there are hospitals that also offer women the option of a water birth with a trained midwife. With each pregnancy being unique, the first step in deciding whether to have a water birth and where to have it, is to consult with your midwife. A midwife will be an invaluable resource for helping you choose the best birthing option for your labor, while offering insight into the best birth and delivery options available to you.

Why choose a water birth?

The general theory behind water birth is that being born into warm water is a gentler transition for babies who have been in the amniotic fluid sac for 9 months. Water birth pools also offer a soothing, warm environment for laboring women. Delivering in water is not the sole purpose of a water birth pool, it can also be a therapeutic space that women use during labor with the option to get out for their delivery if they choose to.

Be Informed

Being informed is the most vital part of any birthing process, and understanding the pros and cons of a water birth will help parents decide what the best route is for them. So here are some great points noted by the American Pregnancy Association on the Benefits and Potential Risks of Water Birth:

Benefits to Mothers1

  • The effect of buoyancy lessens a mother’s body weight, allowing free movement and new positioning.
  • Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and improved blood circulation resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
  • Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, reducing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
  • Since the water provides a greater sense of privacy, it can reduce inhibitions, anxiety, and fears.

When Water Birth is Not Ideal2

  • If you have Herpes: Herpes transfers easily in water. Discuss this risk thoroughly with your healthcare provider.
  • If your baby is breech: Though water birth has been done with bottom or feet first presentations you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your healthcare provider.
  • If you have been diagnosed with one of the following: excessive bleeding or maternal infection.
  • If preterm labor is expected: If a baby is pre-term (two weeks or more prior to due date), water birth is not recommended.
  • If you have toxemia or preeclampsia: You should thoroughly discuss this risk with your healthcare provider.
  • If you are having multiples: Though water births have been successful around the world with twin birth, you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your healthcare provider.

Choosing a Water Birth Pool

With a variety of water birth tubs available for sale and even the option to rent them, choosing the right birth pool basically comes down to understanding what features will make you most comfortable. From Birth Pool in a Box to La Bassine, each option has unique features to suit your needs.

Tips for Easy Set-Up, Use and Clean-Up

  • Test your birth pool by inflating it before your due date to make sure no air is leaking.
  • Use a liner to ensure good sanitation. Plus, liners make it easy to clean up, eliminating the need to dry the tub.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary supplies to fill up your pool - air pump, drain pump, hose.
  • Choose a tub with handles comfortable for you.
  • Use a cover to keep the water's warmth in once filled and for times when you aren't in the tub.
  • Choose a tub with a built-in seat or use a stool for comfort during labor and for ease while holding your new baby without sumberging her/his head in water.

At Cascade HealthCare Products we offer Birth Pool in a Box in both mini sizes, ideal for tight spaces and full sizes that can fit birth partners and midwives inside too. Why we exclusively carry Birth Pool in a Box is easy:

  • It's the only tub designed with a built-in seat for comfort during labor & bonding with your baby after birth.
  • The handles are placed on the outside, out of the baby's way and ideal for a good, sturdy grasp.
  • It is adjustable and can be adjusted to the right height for you.
  • They are reusable and easy to clean when you use a disposable liner, eliminating the need to dry the pool.
  • 100% backed by the manufacturer for quality. We have never had a complaint about the quality of these tubs in the 6+ years we've carried them!

To see our selection of water birth pools by Birth Pool in a Box, just click here!

If you enjoyed this post, the topics covered in the following blog posts may also be of interest to you: 'What to Consider When Buying Your Home Birth Kit', 'Entering the New Age of Midwifery', and 'Why Do We Use Plastic Cord Clamps?'. Click the post title to view the full article, or scroll through our complete archive of posts by clicking here.

Written By: Samantha Darling for Cascade HealthCare Products

 

 

Resources

1,2American Pregnancy Association, Water Birth

Waterbirth International

OHSU Center for Women's Health, Benefits of Waterbirth

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Immersion in Water During Labor and Delivery