Pack Your Bag(s)...

If you're planning to give birth outside your home, you'll most likely want to pack some items to help make your labor and postpartum hours spent in the hospital or birth center more comfortable and as homey as possible. Take some time to think through what kinds of things you'd like to have around you and on you. Below are some suggestions... feel free to comment if you have other suggestions- I'm willing to add to this list :)

Things for Labor & Room
  • Pillows (think nest... hospitals have limited supply of pillows & they're typically plastic coated) use a pillow case that is NOT white and bring clean extras to put on your pillow for your postpartum stay
  • Hot water bottle (fill it before you leave home... if you need more hot water, ask your doula, labor companion, or nurse to get some from cafeteria or coffee cart)
  • Electric heating pad (keep in mind some hospitals don't want you to use outlets in the room... a hot water bottle solves that problem)
  • Birth ball (some hospitals have these... but again, limited supply. I suggest bringing yours anyway, that way you have one for the shower and one that is dry for the room)
  • I-pod & charger
  • Sound dock w/ batteries
  • Camera & batteries/ charger
  • Video camera (ask hospital's policy on recording... some require and some restrict use of tripod)
  • Cell phone & charger
  • Laptop & charger
  • Olive oil (instead of mineral oil for perineal massage... include this in your birth plan. A handy way to bring it is in a sterile urine specimen cup- grab one from your OB's office the next time you're there.)
  • Massage oil for yourself (if you're wanting massage during labor at all)
 ** If you're a client of mine, I have two hot water bottles, an ice pack and my birth ball that I bring to every birth, so no need to pack your own

  • Robe & slippers (may I suggest treating yourself to a new set?)
  • Night gown (WONDERFUL to labor and birth in your own loose-fitting, short tank-style nightgown)
  • Nursing tank (for postpartum)
  • Sleep nursing bra (for postpartum)
  • Labor bra (if you plan to labor or deliver without a gown on and don't want to be naked... but you can be naked too, it's ok)
  • Pants or skirt (for postpartum)
  • Underwear (for going home)
  • Swim suit for hubby or birth partner (if you'd like them to join and/ or help you in the shower or tub)
  • Warm clothes for hubby or birth partner (good chance you will want the room on the colder side while laboring... and YOU get to control the temperature)
Paperwork, Etc.
  • Photos of special people (other children, family, pets, etc.)
  • Any labor notes or birth class handouts, etc. that you might want to have with you
  • Copies of birth plan (more than one so that you can give to nurses if shifts change)
  • Pediatrician info
  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance card
  • Cash (some hospital cafeterias/ vending don’t accept credit cards)
  • Call list
  • Baby book (when your baby is getting foot printed, ask the nurse to print a set in your baby book as well)
  • Pretzels/ crackers (salty helps with nausea)
  • Nuts (PROTEIN!!)
  • Vitamin water, coconut water, or juice
  • Peppermint or citrus candy (helps with nausea)
  • Snacks for hubby or birth partner (watch your breath though… DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get close to a laboring woman if you have strong breath… brush your teeth)
  • Shampoo/ Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Hair stuff
  • Head bands
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush/ toothpaste
  • Make-up
  • Soft tissues (the ones in the hospital are thin and rough)
  • Coming home outfit
  • Bath soap for first bath (if you prefer to use something other than standard hospital soap)
  • Car seat & base (already installed in the car and checked at your local Sheriff’s station)
 (Below is all personal preference if you want to bring any of this from home at all... it's not needed in a hospital since they're all provided, but you can if you want to)
  • Long sleeve onesies and/ or long sleeve t-shirts (side snap for both are the best)
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Receiving/ swaddling blankets
  • Burp cloths

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