Sunday, 19 May 2013

Making a birth mat

I feel very passionate about our baby being born in the safe, quiet and calm environment of our own home.
Planning a home-birth often gets met with two kinds of responses: either with disbelief (and entangled with a great amount of fear and anxiety) or with admiration.
For me it has never been a conundrum; I do not see why something as normal and natural as birth should be met with such fear, hype, impatience and often unnecessary medical interference. A good 7 years ago, a good friend and colleague of mine in Namibia told me that in her tribe, the labouring woman walks into the veld, squats, delivers her baby herself, buries the afterbirth and walks back to the village with her new baby. No big deal. Just another reason to be happy and celebrate life. This story will always stick with me.

I made the decision to have a home-birth long before I conceived and luckily educated myself very well on what it entails during the early stages of my pregnancy, so I did not get swayed or affected by the strong opinions that came from all directions.

Now we are almost there! Next week our Bambino will be 9 months old and we will be be expecting him throughout June. (Here in NZ, "to term" is considered anywhere between 37 and 43 weeks)

I am blessed to have had a healthy and normal pregnancy thus far. I feel very calm and confident about my body's ability to birth this little boy at home, whenever he is ready to come.
Of course I am keeping a very open mind about it, and if there is any feeling during labour that the baby or myself are in danger, we'll zip over to the hospital in a flash; but this option is really only for a genuine emergency. 

But I get carried away! The point of this post was to show you how to make a super easy and super cheap birth mat! Birthing at home means that there are many things that you need to think of and prepare for, and a birthing mat, even if not used during actual labour, is one of those things that is essential to have beneath you afterwards when you relax with your newborn to protect your couch/bed/carpet.

I spent a total of $3 on the two mats I made, as all of the materials (with the exception of the $3 shower curtain from the bargain shop) are things that one has at home.

You'll need:

Two old towels
A stapler
A cheap shower curtain

 1. Cut the shower curtain, leaving a lip big enough to fold over the edge of the towel.

2. Cover the shower curtain with newspapers. Stack a few layers; the idea is to make it as absorbent as possible.

 3. Place the towel over the newspapers.

 4. Fold the edges of the shower curtain over the newspapers and towel.

5. Staple the edge of the shower curtain onto the newspaper/towel layer. Make sure that the sharp little edges of the staples face downwards!

6. Fold the corners in and staple.

7. This doesn't take more than 10 minutes.
A finished Birthing mat!

8. The back of the mat.


  1. Rad. I like this. I'll keep this in mind for when I have myyyyy home birth :)

  2. Ek kan nie meer wag nie, my NZ-kinders. Klein patat moet tog net 'n bietjie vasbyt ... maar as hy soos sy mamma is, gaan hy 'n week voor die voorspelde datum kom! Pragtig. Ongelooflik om te dink in daardie magie (wat dalk groter is as gewoonlik!) ... maar steeds klein ... is 'n volledige mensie: alreeds met al die fisiese eienskappe en karaktertrekke in plek. Hy is net reg om sy koppie uit te steek. O, o ... as hy weet wat ek weet, sal hy nog 'n bietjie aanhang! Ouma x

  3. This is awesome, thanks, but one question.... Why do you need 2 towels? Have I missed a step?