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Home Births: Who Washes the Sheets?

Tide with Bleach

Do you need to buy stock in Tide when you decide to have a home birth?

There have been lively discussions recently about the safety of home births, and what happens when something goes wrong.

I’ve read them with mild interest at best. I say “mild” only because a home birth is the last thing I would ever consider, and even then I think I’d rather give birth somewhere more exotic or dramatic, like in a post office or the backseat of a cab (but only if the driver turns off the meter first).

I have nothing against my house and I rather like it, in fact, but if I’m giving birth at home, whose job is it, exactly, to wash the sheets when it’s all said and done?

I mean, do you go out and buy a new set of sheets just for the occasion and then throw them out afterwards? Do you splurge for a high thread count or go less luxurious since chances are you won’t want to use them again? Or would you? Do you actually reuse the sheets that you gave birth on? Do you choose a colored sheet that’s particularly pleasing to newborns (despite the fact that they’re only supposed to see black and white)? And that’s to say you’d just need one set of sheets. If you’ve given birth before in a hospital then chances are you know how often someone comes in to change the sheets because, as you know if you’ve given birth, it’s not exactly a tidy process.

I’ll admit I’m on more of the extreme end of the OCD spectrum, but my water broke in the middle of the night before my first daughter was born (although I thought for four hours that I had just peed) and in the time before we left for the hospital, I wasn’t in the mood to change the sheets, nor was I willing to give my husband a hall pass so he could do it, but I was acutely aware that the sheets needed to be changed. So when I arrived home a few days later, newborn in tow, I wasn’t thrilled that it was among the first chores I performed. Sadly, the stork doesn’t drop off the baby at the hospital and then go to your house immediately afterwards to straighten up for your big homecoming.

So who does it during a home birth? Does the midwife or doula offer? Is that really what they’re getting paid for? Do you have to do it yourself? Because giving birth wasn’t enough of a chore?

Does the husband or partner do it? Do you just go out and buy an extra big bottle of Tide Plus Bleach? Either way, it’s so the last thing I’d want to worry about when I’m giving birth.

Just another reason I’m looking forward to giving birth in the hospital.

Who washed the sheets during your home birth?

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