Packing your birth bag comes with a full spectrum of emotions. The day is approaching and there’s no going back. I like to think of labor like you’re hosting a surprise birthday party but don’t know the date and time. With this interesting dynamic it’s helpful to prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Having your birth bag packed early is one way to do that. If there are items that you still use regularly, make yourself a list of things that you will need to add when the time approaches. I suggest putting the list on top of the bag so that if your labor hits fast and furiously someone else can finish your packing for you. Whether you are one who wants to haul in the roller bag suitcase or you just need a small back pack-think about what would make you most comfortable in this process as you read through this list of suggestions.

  • Your Birth Plan – If you have one.  It’s a good idea to bring a couple in case one gets miss placed.
  • Personal Clothes – Most birthing facilities do provide gowns, socks and maternity underpants but some women prefer to wear their own clothing. In this case, you may want to pack a bathrobe, a few nightgowns, underwear, slippers, socks and anything you may want to labor in. Think about what makes you most comfortable.
  • Bras If your breast-feeding it’s best to not be restricted to help your milk come in, but some women find they prefer wearing a nursing bra. If you’re choosing to bottle feed a well supporting bra can help ease discomfort.
  • Toiletries Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush/comb, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hair ties, chap stick, make-up, etc. If you forget any of these items many birthing facilities can provide them for you.
  • Glasses If you typically wear contacts you may not want to deal with the hassle of them, so glasses
    can come in handy.
  • Relaxation Items – These are some suggestions: your own pillow (but be sure the pillow case isn’t white so it doesn’t get confused with the rest of the pillows), music and something to play it on, a picture of something or someone you love, affirmation signs, essential oils and a diffuser if enjoy them, tennis balls for massage of your sacrum, and your favorite massage oil.
  • Distraction Items If you are going to be induced it’s important that you bring something to pass the time. Some people bring hobbies like knitting, books to read, a romantic movie to get the oxytocin flowing, or cards and other games to play.
  • Camera – Be sure your camera is charged and that there is space on the memory card. You could bring along batteries, charger and extra memory card as well.
  • Phone and Phone Charger.
  • Snacks – These can be great for labor and the postpartum period.
  • Going Home Outfit – Think about what you will be most comfortable in as you discharge and are headed home. Likely you will still have a tummy that looks about 5-6 months pregnant.
  • Receiving Blankets – The birthing facility will provide these but you are welcome to use your own. Even if you don’t use your own throughout your stay be sure to pack one for when you’re discharged.
  • Baby Outfits – Since its best for baby to be skin-to- skin so you don’t need to pack
    many outfits for the baby. But remember to at least pack one outfit for the baby
    to go home in.
  • Diapers- Most birthing facilities do have diapers on hand for your little one, but if your hoping for a certain brand it may be a good idea to pack a few.

    Your Green Stork Doula-Likely the most important person you can come prepared with for your birth. We will help you navigate the unexpected twist and turns that labor may throw your way.  We not only support you, but your partner through the entire process.  Click here to see what our clients are saying.

Packing list for partners!

  • Same toiletries as listed above.
  • Change of Clothes – A full change of clothes or two is best.  Your partner may be in the hospital for 2-4 days.  Pack what you need to be fully supportive and comfortable during this time.  Including extra shoes… never where her water may break.
  • Swim Suit – Its a good idea to pack a suit if your partner plans to be in the shower or birthing tub.  Even if you don’t plan on getting in.  Plans can change and in the moment you wont regret being able to jump in if she needs you.
  • Snacks – Think easy to eat and non invasive.  You don’t want to pack your favorite onion and tuna salad as the birthing person will likely give you the stink eye and ask you to leave.  Protein is a good option.  Be sure your stay well hydrated and have plenty of fluids.  You may be surprised at how hard you work too.

As you pack your birth bag focus on what makes you most comfortable. You likely won’t need everything on this list. Having your birth bag packed is an exciting milestone that often makes the reality of your new addition all the more real. Try and enjoy every day as you prepare for your little one’s grand arrival and smile knowing you checked one more thing off your list.