It feels SO crazy to have a corner of our living room that is piled with stuff to take to car as soon as I give Todd the word that it’s time to head off to the birth center here in Nashville. It’s only been recently that I finally finished packing my bag and I thought I’d share what’s inside (I love reading what other people packed and then what was helpful or not for them afterwards…). We sort of have a “two scenario” bag since we are planning on being at a birth center but we know there’s always a possibility we could end up at the hospital in case of a complication so we want to be prepared for either. You can stay at the birth center for up to 12 hours after birth, but most people go home around the 6 hour mark so it’s a little different need-wise from being at the hospital for 2-3 days. We definitely have some things that are only useful in one of the scenarios but it never hurts to have options just in case!
Long t-shirt for laboring
Slip on shoes (flip flops please!)
Change of underwear and socks
Sports bra for birthing tub
Nursing sleep bra and deep V-neck tops that are easy to nurse in
Pajamas (nursing friendly)
Going home outfit (I added a button up cotton dress and leggings and stretchy tank top as options)
Toiletries bag (have lots of giant pads and adult diapers at home for post partum but birth center and hospital provide those types of things along with peri bottle while there)
Essential oils (the birth center has a diffusor in each room so I’m taking lavender and orange oils)
Headphones for playlists, relaxing music, etc (birth center also has speakers for playing tracks out loud too )
Rice heating pad (they also have electric heating pads at birth center but you have to stay near the outlet to use that)
Pool noodle (sliced down one side to put over rim of birth tub for softer surface to lean on)
Washable bath pillow for birth tub
Battery-operated candles for mood (aren’t allowed to have real ones!)
*Birth center has a ton of stuff already there like birth balls, rebozo scarves, birth stools, wall-mounted rungs to hang on, water birth tub, etc.)
FOOD + DRINK:*
Snacks for during labor (I have protein bars, almond butter packets, honey sticks, popsicles, and chicken broth as options and then coconut water and electrolyte water to drink)
Meals/snacks for Todd during labor (he needs to keep his strength up too!)
Frozen meal for after labor
*Definitely something that we would use more or less of certain items if we were at birth center (where Mom can eat and drink) vs. hospital (where they are a lot more restrictive on that and would serve meals while we were there). Birth center has fridge and small kitchen area where we can keep and prepare food.
Charger for phones and camera
Change of clothes/toiletries bag for Todd
Swimming suit for Todd (birth center has a walk in shower for hydrotherapy)
Cooler for placenta (doing placenta encapsulation)
Dermoplast for pain relief and stool softener (hey, no one said this was a glamorous process right? I also have organic sitz spray, but I’ll probably use that more once at home)
3 outfits/hats for Baby
2-3 receiving blankets/swaddlers
Car seat (love that this one is really safe but also really light to carry!)
Coconut oil (putting some on her bottom right away will help get the meconium off easier during those first diaper changes)
That’s basically it! It is really hard to know what you will want or feel like in a process that you’ve never gone though before, but I think we are about as prepared as we can be for first-timers. If there was something that you loved having in your bag the most let me know, I’d love to hear about it!
Your own pillow, lightweight robe, if you end up at the hospital it may be helpful to have change for vending machines. Hoping you have an easy and amazing birth center birth!
Also I have laminated birth affirmations on notecards for our upcoming homebirth.
Good ideas! I added in a robe last minute, but the birth center has nice ones in each room there 🙂
Remember a chapstick or what the name is in english. My lips got so dry during labor, but I do not normally use something on my lips. Luckily the hospital had some, because I was going crazy about it. Hah! Those hormones.
(In Denmark you only can have a home birth or at the hospital. I was 12 days over, so I had to give birth at the hospital because my little girl would’nt come out.)
I wish you and Todd all of the best!!
Oh good thought! I keep one in my makeup bag so I should be good on that one. Thanks Julie!
Good call! I bought some from the hospital gulift shop on the way up to my induction :).
I’d recommend your own shower stuff, clary sage essential oil, and a treat food for you. You’re going to be ravenous!
I used my boppy pillow quite a bit when trying to get the hang of nursing. This was in a hospital, a regular pillow would have worked but the boppy was really handy to have. Also, a notebook for notes in case there’s anything the midwives/nurses tell you that you think you’ll forget or tracking feedings/diaper changes/sleep schedule. An app would work for that too!
For your first time, i reccommend a big batch of iced red raspberry leaf tea (maybe you’re already drinking it) to help keep the uterus toned and working optimally! ?? I really believe it helped shorten my all natural labors for my two babes. Wishing you all the best! You are made to do this!
Hi doula here! i would suggest a front opening or a clasping sports bra for laboring in the tub. It can be a pain to get a soggy sports bra over your head and sometimes they end up being cut off. Looks like you have everything covered!!
I came to the comments to say “LIP BALM!!”, but apparently someone beat me to it 🙂
Chapstick and heavy flow pads (and comfy underwear). Good luck!!
Nursing pads 🙂 helps keep the cream on & I used organic cotton reusable ones so the softness helped with beginning days of nursing. Praying for your l&d! It’s amazing & empowering!
I highly recommend an easy to inflate “donut” pillow for postpartum recovery. I was SO glad I brought one. I lived on that thing while in the hospital & once I got home.
Not that glamorous but I ended up wearing my husband’s boxer briefs for those first few days. They can still hold pads and they aren’t restrictive. Also, witch hazel is nice to put in the peri bottle or just on a make up removing pad on any hemmeroids you get/have. Sorry-not glamourous, I know. I just gave birth three months ago. The birth Centre might also have this but candles were a really nice to have in the shower. It made the bathroom our “safe space” and helped get the oxytocin flowing.
I ended up sending my honey out for some mouth wash. Just pack a little travel one. Contractions and brushing my teeth ended up with puking, and for some reason I wasn’t allowed to brush my teeth. Those poor nurses never complained about my dragon breath, bless them. We ended up with a surprise C section, and the other stop we made on the way home was for some high waisted undies, I couldn’t handle anything tight on my scar for a few months.
Oops, I mean I wasn’t allowed to chew gum!
A giant water bottle. Something with a straw for easy one handed sipping. Breastfeeding makes me crazy thirsty!!
Pack at least one baby outfit that’s a size 0-3 instead of “newborn” just in case you have a surprisingly big or long baby! My second baby was much too big for the smaller size. We even had to run out to get larger diapers after the first poo made it obvious “nb” diapers just weren’t going to cut it. I had had an ultrasound the day before and nobody had told me i was carrying a giant, so don’t rely on that! My sister in law ran into the same sizing issues just one week later with a very tall baby.
Girl, I just wanted to say that you GOT THIS!! I am so excited for you and I can’t wait for you to share gummerbaby with us all!
Best of luck to you- you are going to rock it, baby! (no pun intended 😉
I gave birth about 6 months ago and it was really nice having my own slippers :-). The one thing I’ll never not have again is mylanta (or whatever that’s called). I had planned a natural birth but ultimately wound up with a c-section and dare I say the gas pain was worse than labor itself. Farting really helped and the mylanta sped that up. I realize that’s like, really far fetched and the hospital will probably have that, but it’s nice to have at home, too.
A water bottle with a straw instead of a twist off cap was the most useful thing I brought. I labored mostly on my side and back and this let me have constant water without shifting to sitting (it’s much harder to move around when in full blown labor!) This was also useful for nursing sessions at home, so I could have a large volume of water and not have to fiddle with caps.
Bring your own towels!! You’ll want something fluffy and soft, not their scratchy towels.
Post birth I loved a few witch hazel pads in my pad. It felt AMAZING!
Giving birth to my daughter was the best thing I have ever done! And also really gross. Haha!
Good luck!!! I’m sure she will be beautiful!!
I just had my first baby in January. Here are some things I LOVED having with me in the hospital:
-robe (the hospital provided one, but I loved having my own)
-pillow from home
-nipple cream (Motherlove nipple cream… it will SAVE you those first few weeks… seriously it’s the best I tried and I tried pretty much everything! You can get it on Amazon.)
-lots of hair ties
I super overpacked, too. I didn’t really wear any of the clothes I packed, not even the nursing friendly stuff, because I just spent days in my robe. (C section so I was there four days.) And didn’t put baby in any real clothes until he came home, too. Also, don’t fear the meconium diapers! They aren’t so bad and it doesn’t last long. 🙂
Best of luck!!! <3
I LOVED these soft, organic and re-usable nursing pads when I first started breastfeeding (and continued to use them for about a year afterwards because I leaked often). Here they are:
They are so soft, which is so comforting at the beginning when you are still getting used to baby’s latch and might be sore. And that Angel Baby nipple cream you have is by far the best! I also recommend having a breast pump handy (if the birthing center doesn’t already) to pump after each feeding at the start…it helps your milk come in quicker.
I hope you have a speedy and simple birth! I had wanted a natural birth like yours (and had no reason to believe I couldn’t because I had a very healthy pregnancy and was in good shape), but ended up having a c-section. I hope you have better luck than I did!
I don’t have any birthing advice since I’ve never done it. You seem very prepared and I am excited for you and your hubby! For some reason your post made me remember an old Dick Van Dyke episode where Laura was about to give birth and Robert was running around in his slap-stick way. Anyhow, it made me laugh- might be worth a watch. 🙂 Best wishes Laura! You will do great.
Disposable pants! Or a multipack of cheap pants that you won’t mind throwing away, in a size bigger than you currently are. Also those THICK pads for after labour (you will pass blood clots for several days afterwards!). Best of luck, I am so excited for you!x
My SIL printed birth affirmations (mostly pictures she found on pinterest/internet) and used a little washi tape to place them in a few areas. She also asked me to order her some Clary Sage (I get wholesale prices from doTerra).
You sound ready and as prepared as you can be! What exciting times! Wishing you and Todd blessings as you savor these last few moments as a family of 2 and welcome your little one soon!
I packed as many snacks as you did. But instead I felt nauseous the entire labour and couldn’t eat a bite. My doula made me smell peppermint oil which was the best to hold the nausea at bay.
I wish you a wonderful experience!
This is such a great list! Perfect! You’re going to do great!
Just had my first l&d eat lots of good fiber foods right after you will be starved but that first #2 was a doozy so I cant stress starting those stool softeners maybe even before you due date just in case. There are a ton of natural ones out there. Also I hated the inflatable pillow it hurt more I would just bring a regular pillow to sit on after 🙂
Great list! I need to bookmark this post (and the useful comments)- it’s going to be dead useful come September, when I have my (first) baby. Such exciting times! Wishing you the best of luck!
A diffuser and my favorite oils:) it made everyone happy!
I swear by these Rite Aid nipple discs. Seriously kept me breastfeeding, healed nipple sores/grazes in a matter of hours! I didn’t even need to use cream. These are in Australia, I’m sure you could find something similar. link-https://www.amcal.com.au/rite-aid-hydrogel-breast-discs—12-pack-p-9334604000533?cm_mmc=GooglePLA-_-NA-_-Rite+Aid-_-9334604000533&gclid=Cj0KEQjwioHIBRCes6nP56Ti1IsBEiQAxxb5G1dJqgY8N9B_vvLvL_GA4nnSWPtq4noi22ZvaOfbQS0aAumM8P8HAQ
Best of luck xx
I’d love to know what you wound up being super glad you packed and what you didn’t really use (I feel like everyone is different!) and why. I’m 3 months pregnant and realizing how important it is to take care of ME, which includes a well-packed, streamlined hospital bag.