At a dinner party the other night my friend, who recently had her second birth center birth, exclaimed, "Kat, when talking about home birth, you have to clarify that midwives bring the tools available to them at birth centers to a home birth." Apparently my friend thought that midwives brought little besides their hands to a home birth. Talking to my mother-in-law last night, it seems she had the same impression as well until a recent conversation clarified things. I suppose I am so immersed in the midwifery birth world that I forget that what I sometimes view as common knowledge certainly isn't common in our corner of the world. So here is a picture of some of the equipment a midwife might bring to your house. As midwife Ronnie Falcao notes in her captions, oxygen tanks are also brought into the house as well.
Don't get me wrong, a midwives hands are VERY important, but she brings a variety of tools to a birth that help her handle emergency situations should the need arise.