Packing for your birth or hospital stay is an exciting task that signifies that you will soon be meeting your little love creation earth side.
We are going to break things down into sections for you to make things super simple.
PLEASE NOTE that the lists below are just for ideas and inspiration. It is always good to remember that we don’t NEED these things to have an amazing birth experience. They are just our wish list. It just means you are prepared for those “I didn’t think of that” moments.
Many people recommend having a bag packed and prepared at around 36 weeks. Being prepared helps to avoid leaving anything behind. It also helps that if things happen quickly, or if in all the excitement the labour bag is left behind, it is already packed and ready to go so someone can quickly retrieve it.
But the following lists of items are super handy things to consider, whether you are birthing at home or you are traveling from home
Consider packing 3 separate bags – one for labour, one with baby essentials and one with everything you need during your hospital stay. Remember to include a bag to put your dirty laundry in.
LABOURING AT HOME
We have to remember that while we are talking about ‘what to pack,” we could exchange this statement for “ what to have on hand”
Many of the items that we might need to take to the hospital, are going to be used at home while we’re labouring.
ONE THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL/BIRTHING CENTRE
What a strange experience. We leave our secure, comfy environment at home and go out in the general public and drive to a hospital to experience one of the most profound experiences of our lives. We want this journey as relaxing and positive as possible. You may want your partner to create a comfy little space in the car for you before you leave. Waterproof sheet, pillows, blanket, essential oils on a tissue, eye mask and headphones for your music.
• Know your way: Ensure you know the best and most effective route to the hospital, and perhaps consider preloading the destination into a navigation system. Try a practice run including where to park to eliminate stress on the day.
• waterproof sheets
• extra towels on the seats especially prior to the release of your membranes
• bucket in case you feel sick
• extra pillows and blankets for comfort,
• wear comfortable non-restrictive clothing
• relaxation and HypnoBirthing tracks on in the car
• Heat packs for any pain
• Phone numbers: Have all important numbers saved an d ready for if you need to call hospital or birth centre to let them know to expect you, or others such as parents, pet/baby sitter etc
• Hospital paperwork filled out and ready for arrival
• Copy of your birthing preferences and birth notes
LABOUR AND BIRTH
Your partner needs to have a good understanding of what they need to do once you get to your birthing space to set it up in order to create an environment conducive to birthing.
A start would be to dim the lights, cover the clocks and consider bringing a sign for the door to let people know that there is ‘HypnoBirthing in progress’.
Then start to unpack any other familiar items you find comforting and relaxing. Here are some ideas of what to bring with you:
• Birth balls
• Essential oils and diffuser
• Massage oil
• Music (playlist)
• Printed affirmations or vision board
• Heat pack
• TENS Machine
• Phone charger
• Comfortable loose clothing and dressing gown
• Swimwear for birth pool
• Easy slip on slippers or socks
• Head band, hair ties, pins or clips
• Container for placenta if keeping
• Water bottle that will be easy to drink out of as well as bendy reusable straws
• Electrolyte drink (such as coconut water)
• Face mist
• Lip balm
• Face washers
THE HOSPITAL OR BIRTHING CENTRE STAY
When birthing in hospital or at a birthing centre, there are varying lengths of time that you may stay. The most important thing to remember is that we want this time is to be as comfortable as possible. So lots of comfy clothes and items from home are great.
• Comfy pj’s – nighties with thin straps so you can expose a boob or that open down the front are great
• Comfortable lounge clothing track pants, leggings, hoodies
• Full coverage comfy dark underwear. Firm for belly support or loose if c-section.
• Maternity pads x a million
• Post birth belly band or tube-grip
• Bags for dirty clothes
• Nipple cream Breast/nursing pads
• Comfortable nursing bras/singlets
• Fresh fruit and snacks nursing tea
• Swaddles & blankets for baby
• Clothes for baby – approx 5 changes
• Nappies & wipes
• Spare change (for parking)
• Ice pack and perineum soak
• Baby book to record details about your new baby as a keepsake
• Going home outfit for yourself
• Going home outfit for your baby, including booties, mittens and hat
The role of the birthing partner is huge during the birthing process. So it is important that they too are prepared and well equipped for the journey.
• Camera + charger + memory card
• Spare clothes
• Snacks and water
• Acupressure handout
• Partner birthing affirmations (Click here for the free download)
** Always remember that shops still exist after babies are born. Places like Kmart/Target are open 24 hours in some suburbs. Anything that you need or have forgotten can easily be purchased.