Labor and birth is the portal through which you become a parent (or become a parent again). You’ve likely spent some time preparing your space to accommodate the baby and to get all the supplies you need. Maybe you’ve taken a childbirth education class (check ours out here!), created a birth plan, and hired a doula. Now, it’s time to pack your birth bags!
You deserve to be comfortable and have the items that make you feel your best during this big transition! Sometimes folks worry about talking too much stuff; however, we suggest you focus on your sense of comfort and let that guide what you need and want to take. The lists below offer some ideas for you to consider and customize.
Note: If you are birthing at Sweet Child O’ Mine, you’ll be headed home the day of birth and your bags may be a bit lighter. Folks who are birthing in a hospital may need a few extra items for postpartum, as the stay is typically longer. Some families prefer to have a hospital bag packed even if they are planning a home or birth center birth, just in case.
What to Pack for Labor:
- Birthing clothes or gown, sports bra or bikini top for water. Hospitals will have standard gowns, but some people prefer to use their own clothing for comfort.
- Slippers or sandals that are easy on, easy off
- Pillow. It can be nice to have your own pillow that smells like you/home. Plus, sometimes hospitals run low on pillows. Consider using a colorful case so it’s easy to decipher from hospital pillows.
- Cozy blanket. Again, this can be an added comfort item that makes your birthing space feel more like you.
- Speaker + Music. Creating a playlist can be a sweet activity to do in preparation for baby. The birth center provides a bluetooth speaker in each birth suite, but hospitals do not
- Twinkle lights and/or affirmation cards. Lights and/or affirmation cards that can be anchors or focal points during your labor. Plus they make the space feel cozy and calm.
- Phone charger
- Hair ties or headbands
- Chapstick and essential toiletries. Keep it simple, but do bring products that make you feel good!
- Cooler with hearty snacks/meals for birthing person and partner. We recommend light carbs like fruit or granola bars for labor, as well as electrolyte beverages, coconut water and fruit juice.
Items for Partner:
- Change of clothing
- Bathing suit + bath shoes
What to Pack for Postpartum:
- 1-2 comfy outfits that are loose and offer access to your chest for feeding.
- Nursing bra or tanks
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Postpartum Meal. We recommend a high protein meal to eat about 1 hour after you deliver at the birth center. You will need fruit juice as well to build your energy and blood sugar before walking to the shower.
- More snacks! Hospital snacks don’t cut it for most people. Plus, it’s nice to have some of your favorite snacks around.
- Baby clothes and blanket for the trip home.
- Clothes for partner. 1-2 easy, comfy outfits.
- White noise machine. This will be helpful for baby AND you. Hospitals, especially, can be loud.
- Car seat. You will need the car seat installed in order to leave your birthing location. We recommend installing the seat a few weeks before your due date. Also note that you can leave the car seat in the car until it’s time to go home.
Hospital Birth Bags
If you are birthing at a hospital, we suggest packing two separate bags. When you arrive for labor, bring in just the labor bag. After you move to postpartum (typically a separate unit in the hospital), your partner or family can bring your postpartum bag to your room.
Things to Leave Behind
Anything that is in the realm of “medical” will be provided by the birthing site. This includes baby diapers, wipes, peri bottle, pads, and mesh underwear. However, you will need diapers and maxi pads for home use. We encourage you to ask for what you need while you are in postpartum/recovery and get yourself as comfortable as possible.
Sweet Child O’ Mine Is Here For You
Your team of midwives is here to support you in planning for birth and postpartum. Check out all of our services here. We would be honored to be part of your team!