Maybe you just peed on a stick, or maybe your due date is quickly approaching. Either way, this blog will help you! If you are birthing in a hospital or birth center, you absolutely will need to bring some things from home to keep you comfortable, as well as some things for the baby. I have been practicing as a doula for SIX years now and I think I have a pretty good idea of what some of the most beneficial items are.
First, we recommend TWO bags. Not one. Yep-I said two! One for your birth and one for postpartum. They are two different experiences and require different things.
In your "birth bag", I recommend packing:
CHAPSTICK. Lips dry out soooo much during the birth process. So many moms forget this essential tool. I actually keep unopened chapsticks in my doula bag just in case ;)
A Hair tie or clip! You want your hair out of your face. Period.
Snacks/Clear liquids (as hospital policy allows). We like honey sticks!
A sports bra/something comfortable to labor in
A salt lamp or electric tea lights: sometimes the hospital lighting is harsh and irritating to laboring women
A cup with a straw
In your "postpartum bag", I recommend packing:
Your own pillow or blanket
A few sets of comfortable pajamas
Your OWN toiletries!
A comfortable outfit to wear home; keep in mind the possibility of a healing incision
A few options for the baby to wear home. They should vary in size and be able to be layered for inclement weather
A few diapers and wipes
A warm blanket for the baby to come home in
Some snacks in case the kitchen is closed
A comfortable nursing bra. Even if you choose not to nurse your baby, you will still lactate and possibly experience some discomfort
Underwear that you don’t care about
Chargers for your electronics
A change of clothes & toiletries for your partner
And remember, you can't leave the hospital without a properly installed carseat!