It’s time for a new tablecloth in our playroom which means this one gets cut in half and recycled as a pair of birthing mats
Lots of people recommend shower curtains as a barrier to mess for homebirthers but shower curtains are rarely waterproof. They are designed to redirect the flow of the water, not to withstand a puddle of water sat on top of it.
I’ve been at a birth where the puddle of amniotic fluid and blood started to shrink as it soaked into and then through the shower curtain mum was sat on! Yikes!
Others suggest getting plastic decorators sheeting from a hardware store. These are thin and rip easily. They are also slippy to walk on and make an irritating rustley noise that is not ideal in the birthing environment.
I always suggest oil cloth because it’s cotton backed and most definitely waterproof so you can use it shiney side down and have a nice warm, soft, non slippy surface to stand, sit or walk on. It’s also washable on a 30-40 degree cycle so you can pop it in after the towels and then reuse it or make it into aprons or bags for the children (or you!)
You can buy it from most markets, haberdashery shops or places like Dunelm mill or John Lewis. You just need 1m off the roll so it doesn’t cost a fortune.
Cut it down the middle to make two square-ish mats and you can place one, shiney side down next to the pool with a bath mat on top for a very definitely waterproof and yet non slip place to get in and out of the pool if you’re using one.
The other square can be your portable birthing mat. Because of its small size your birth partners can just pop it under you wherever you choose to birth with a towel on top.
It can go under a towel wherever you make your nest to snuggle with baby after the birth to protect your sofa, chair, bed or floor
It also works well shiney side down on top of your mattress and under the bed sheet to protect your mattress over the first few days and nights.
So there you go, my top tip for homebirthers