March 26, 2024

What to Pack in Your Birth Bag

Many women preparing to give birth at a birth center can be wondering what they should put in their birth bag. The main points to consider when packing your birth bag are- Will this bring me comfort? Is it essential? Let’s take a look at some of the things we think can be helpful to pack in your birth bag.

Comfort Items

Your comfortability is crucial during labor because the more comfortable you are, the easier it is to relax and the less you will perceive pain. When we feel uncomfortable during labor, we can tense up causing our minds to focus more on how excruciating our contractions feel and we can feel out of control. 

When packing your birth bag, think about what items would help bring you peace while you're laboring. 

Pregnancy Pillow

Using a sleep mask while you're in labor can help you concentrate on getting through your contractions.

Okay, this one may not be able to actually fit in your birth bag, but you should consider bringing it anyway if it will help you get comfortable while your contractions wash over you. If you have a partner, ask them to grab it for you while you get into the car. Your pregnancy pillow can also come in handy after you’ve given birth and are getting your skin-to-skin time or breastfeeding your newborn before you head back home. 

Labor Gown

Some clothes can feel restricting and uncomfortable during labor, but labor gowns are made for laboring women in mind. This means that they were made to feel comfortable and are usually adjustable so if you need to loosen the gown a bit, you can! They were also made to allow for easy access for fetal monitoring and breastfeeding after you have given birth. An added bonus for getting a labor gown is that they look nice and can help you feel beautiful. 

Sleep Mask or Headphones

Labor and delivery can quickly become overstimulating, especially if you are trying to direct your attention inward and focus on getting through each wave of contractions. Using a sleep mask, ear plugs, or noise canceling headphones can help you take away some of the stimulation and distractions.

Essential Items

The essential items you pack in your birth bag will vary from person to person because what is essential for some, may not be for another. Here are some essential items you should consider.

Phone Charger

If you plan on communicating to your loved ones regarding the status of your labor and delivery or using your phone to listen to music or a guided meditation, it would be wise to pack your phone charger. Labor can take a long time so even if you don’t plan on using your phone, you should consider packing the charger anyway. 

Spare Change of Clothes

Don't forget to pack a couple pairs of clothes for your baby in different sizes.

A lot can happen during labor and delivery that can dirty up your clothes. Packing a spare change of clothes can give you the peace of mind that you can go home wearing something clean. You should also pack a hair tie, chap stick, and your toiletries so you can get cleaned up before heading back home. If possible, pick up a travel size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash ahead of time so you don’t have to rush to get them packed as you're in labor. 

Remember to bring clothes, diapers, and wipes for your baby as well. We recommend bringing a couple different sizes of clothes and diapers in case you have a bigger baby who doesn’t fit in the newborn sizes.

Hydration and Snacks

Keeping your energy and hydration levels up during labor is so important because you are already exerting so much mental, emotional, and physical energy to get through the birth of your child. Bringing snacks and drinks that contain electrolytes will come in handy when you need a little pick-me-up. 

Car Seat

Lastly, don’t forget to bring the car seat! Ideally, you would have your baby’s car seat installed and ready-to-go in your car starting around 36 weeks or at some point during your third trimester of pregnancy just in case you go into premature labor. If you haven’t gotten around to installing it, you can leave it by your door so you don’t forget it on your way out. Just remember to familiarize yourself with the car seat manual ahead of time so you know how to get it properly installed when the time comes. 

For more information on what to pack in your birth bag, contact our midwives today!

Dakota Collins
Dakota Collins is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mother of two precious little girls who is passionate about freedom in pregnancy and childbirth.
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