This is my third pregnancy and preparation for birth, but my very first to be at a birth center! Each time I have had a bag packed and ready to go when everywhere says, at 36 weeks. There are so many lists out there, a lot of them good, many not so good on what to bring, but ultimately it is up to you on what you want to pack that will make you feel the most relaxed and comfortable (all relative terms when in labor) as possible in a place that is not your home.
Many of these items are from one of my new favorite brands, Kindred Bravely that I discovered during this pregnancy. I love them for many reasons: one I run ridiculously warm while pregnant, and their material is so light and cool. Two, I have never liked tight-fitting maternity clothes that clearly look like maternity clothes that I will only wear for a couple of months every so often. I love how their clothes are for pregnancy, postpartum, and in between, and are even nursing compatible as well! Three, I love their style as well and have for the first time felt confident and comfortable in my own pregnant skin.
Many of these go without saying but make sure you have the important items:
-a good bag, mine is from Kindred Bravely
-earphone for music/meditation
-blu-tooth speaker or cord to hook up to the birth center/hospital speaker system
-checkbook if you need to write a check for the birth certificate
-personal care items for shower and to help you feel more human
Yes, I am a doula, and yes I have a doula who will be with me and my husband during the birth. Ultimately, I can't be my own doula, nor do I want to be. I want to focus on being the mom, in my own zone as I prepare to meet and greet my own baby. With that being said, I am bringing and planning on using some of my own tools that I always have with me in my own birth bag. These have always been my go-to items, as well as some new ones that I have personally researched and can't wait to try. These include:
-Massage ball roller
-My big diffuser
-Essential oils/ rollers: clary sage, peppermint, lavender, lemon, frankincense.
What to Wear During Labor
In the past, I have just worn the hospital gown that they give you along with the nonstick socks, but honestly, I HATE THEM! I hate how oddly exposed and not comfortable they are, and ultimately I just felt like a patient as opposed to a mother in labor.
Some women love to have their own labor gown that has snaps to remove for easy access for nursing or even for epidural administration. Personally, I have a robe and a sports bra, or really two, that I will have on hand, two so I can change if I get wet when being in the tub and want to change.
I have always incorporated my faith into my pregnancies and my births. Here are some of the things I do to bring my faith into the birth room.
One of the big things I'm using this time which is on my phone is the Christian Hypnobirthing App. I personally love it and have been using it and practicing with it for the last couple of weeks every day to prepare for labor. I love the scripture use and the calm, mediating music and ocean sound in the background as well. Along with the app, they have affirmation cards that you can purchase or even get for free if you leave them a review. You can then print them out to have around the room or be read to you by your husband or doula.
I also have my rosary and my religious medal with me to keep me focused and will have my husband and doula reminding me of uniting my pain with Jesus on the Cross.
I mentioned most if not all of these items in my last post about how I'm preparing for my postpartum journey, but these are the items I am bringing physically with me to the birth center. While I am at a birth center, this one is connected to the hospital, which means I do need to stay there for a night (as little as possible is what we are going for since I much rather be back in my own home in my own bed).
-Rice heating pad
-Wish Garden tinctures AtEase for cramping and ReBalance for hormones
-Essential Oil Rollers: Clary sage for cramps and my calm blend (lavender and chamomile) for relaxation
-Periodic tea from Earth Mama for those after cramps as well
-my own pillow for comfort
-comfy and cool nursing t-shirts
-robe in case its chilly in the room
-perineal spray that I made myself
Again, I mentioned most of these items that I'm using to help me with breastfeeding in my other blog post, but these are what I am including in my bag. Remember, your milk doesn't fully come in for a few days, so in the beginning, it is mainly colostrum. Your nipples will also be raw in the beginning.
-Nursing pads (just two pairs since milk won't be in yet)
Items for Baby
-going home outfit
I promise you, that is really all you need in regards to your baby. They will have it all there and then some, so don't overpack for him or her, in fact, you don't even need the diaper bag. At the end of the day, it's just another bag to carry and keep track of. You can fit the one outfit in your own bag, and the seat will be in the car already!
That's it! It all fits into one bag!
Additionally, I have a cooler bag filled with snacks and drinks for both me and my husband, but even then with my bag, the cooler, and his bag, that's it!
What was the best item you packed in your bag?