Hospital Bag Checklist: What I'm Bringing For the Baby's Birth

Between my online birthing classes, favorite mama blogs, pregnancy apps, and natural birthing books, I've been compiling a list of items to pack for the baby's birth to make things easier, more convenient, and so that we are as ready as we can be for when the little bambino decides to make his debut. I thought it might be helpful for other natural mamas to share my list to make things easier for when you pack your bags. ☺

Paperwork:

Visual birth plan: my midwife said I should write down a birth plan in the event of an emergency that way I can easily give it to the hospital so they know my preferences. Click the link for an awesome template I found that you can customize for your needs. 

Insurance card: My midwife has mine on file, but you should bring this in case of an emergency 

Clothing:

Robe
Outfit to leave birthing center in (I'm bringing a pair of comfy pregnancy leggings, a nursing tank, nursing bra, and an indigo tie dye kimono that kind of matches my baby's going home outfit)
Hair ties to keep hair out of the way

Toiletries:

Toothbrush, toothpaste - We could be there a long time so it will be nice to be able to brush our teeth after eating if needed
Deodorant - Labor is hard work so just in case I'll have some deo in the event that I sweat profusely
Lip balm - I've read you can get quite dehydrated during labor so in addition to bringing coconut water I'll have lip balm as well to keep my lips from getting chapped
Nail Clippers (don't want to scratch the baby!)

Breastfeeding:

Nursing bra and tank top - just makes things easier for the baby to have easy access
Reusable nursing pads for leaks - for the ride home in case I leak a lot
Nipple cream - in case my nipples get sore after being used for the first time

Postpartum care:

Reusable Thinx Underwear (period panties) - love these because they cut down on waste and you can just clean them and re-use them over and over
Reusable Pads - will save a lot of money over time with these and the panties
Herbal sitz spray - helps to soothe sore perineal muscles after birth
After-ease - helps to ease afterbirth contraction pains
Magnesium Calm Drink - helps with sore muscles and also constipation after birth
Peri Bottle - 
Homemade Padsicle spray - a homemade herbal spray you can make that helps to facilitate the healing process after birth by soothing swollen tissue, reducing inflammation, and providing pain relief. I'm going to make this and store in a small spray bottle that I will store in the refrigerator to keep it cool and soothing. Then I will spray it on my pads as needed to soothe my sore perineum and possible rectum too. Here's the recipe I'm using below:

Recipe #1: The Sitz Bath Turned Padsicle Recipe

This recipe provides the same healing benefits as a traditional sitz bath, but in padsicle form.

Ingredients:

To make the padsicles:

  1. Steep the herbs listed above in a gallon of hot, filtered water for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Strain out the herbs and let the solution cool.
  3. Pour the tea into a spray bottle, then spray a thin, even layer on menstrual pads. (They should feel wet, but not completely saturated.)
  4. Fold the pads back into their protective wrapping, place in a freezer bag, and store in the freezer until ready to use.

Note: This therapeutic tea may also be used as a perennial spray to use after using the restroom.


Natural Pain Relief:

Tart Cherry Pills - helps to reduce pain and inflammation 
Carrier Oil - I'm bringing some organic Almond oil

Essential Oils and Natural Remedies:

I found a lot of great information on safe essential oils to use while pregnant, in labor, and nursing in "Gentle Babies" and "Betsy Bosom's Baby Book". The quotes below are taken from Betsy Bosom's book. 
Peppermint: "really helps when you are feeling nauseous and gives that extra burst of energy you need for labor. I like to put a drop on a dry washcloth when mom is in transition, she may start to feel nauseous and at this point she could also use the extra burst of energy. Put one drop on a dry washcloth, make sure she doesn't get it anywhere near her eyes and hold it close to her nose. You can also diffuse it for a little pick me up." 
Lavender: "super relaxing and calming. You can mix it with Copaiba for a nice lower back or belly massage to help promote relaxation for mom and loosen any muscle tension. Dilute as needed, of course. Diffusing is also great with Lavender as it promotes feelings of wellbeing and rest."
Copaiba: "extremely helpful for tense muscles. You can dilute it in a carrier oil and apply it on the shoulders, feet, or legs. Mix with Lavender to help support relaxed muscles"
Gentle Baby: "supports bonding between mom, dad and baby. It also has a very calming and yummy smell that is great for the birth room. Put a drop on the back of your neck and hold baby on your bare chest, skin to skin for an awesome bonding moment." 
Frankincense: "historically used for anointing new babies. Dilute and put a drop on the crown of head and/or on feet. This oil is great for helping with head tension or tense muscles as well. You can have this massaged on your back or shoulders as well."
Fennel: this is known to increase lactation. You can apply it to your breasts after a nursing session or consume two drops in a teaspoon of honey every two hours.
Lemongrass: this is another energizing essential oil and my personal favorite. I'm bringing it to help promote feelings of joy and well being in case I need it. 
A diffuser (my birthing center has these so I won't need to pack mine, yay!)

Food:

A lot of hospitals have rules against the mother eating or drinking, but fortunately I am giving birth at a birthing center where eating and drinking as I want are welcomed. Labor can be a long and strenuous process so having health drinks and snacks may give you just the energy you need to keep going when you need it. I packed some snacks for mama and papa so we both have something to eat while we're there. 

GoMacro bars - these are papa's favorite raw bars, very satiating and with simple ingredients
That's It bars - I've been craving fruit so I thought some of these simple fruit bars would be perfect for me
Gopal's Power Wraps
Honey Sticks - a nice little POW! of energy, I thought these would be great to bring in case I need something but am not that hungry
Coconut Water - this is nature's gatorade ... full of electrolytes (ie. minerals) to help replace those that are lost during labor through sweat
5 Dates - I'm going to consume these right after the placenta is delivered to help decrease blood loss
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea - helps to tone the uterus, increase breastmilk production, and shrink the uterus after birth
Mother's Milk Tea - helps to increase breastmilk production
Limes or Lime Essential Oil - thought these might be nice to add to my coconut water as I have been craving them lately
Gum - always nice to have gum on hand to freshen up and in case there isn't time to brush!

What's in Baby's Bag:

Receiving blanket
Newborn clothing (2 outfits just in case) - I packed an adorable indigo tie dye outfit bundle for him that comes with a knotted gown, top know hat, no-scratch mittens, and swaddle blanket. I'm also bringing a back up outfit just in case. 
Swaddle Up - to make swaddling easier I bought a few of these along with another companies swaddles 
Extra Blanket
Disposable Diapers (using these for the first few days for the meconium poop so I don't stain his reusable diapers)
Non-toxic Baby Wipes - I plan to use reusable cloth wipes, but got these in a bundle so what more perfect time to use them!
Coconut oil - the midwife recommended putting an oil on the baby's bottom to help make meconium clean up easier
Car seat for the trip home - it's illegal to drive a baby around without one of these, so it's a must! Make sure you read the instructions and have it setup in your cars in advance. 
Baby Nail Clipper set - the babies nails could be quite long, so I bought a nail clipper set to trim his nails to help prevent scratches to his face

What's in Dad's Backpack:

Camera - can't leave home without this! In addition to papa and I, we will also have our midwife, her daughter, and a midwife-in-training in the delivery room so there will be plenty of opportunities for people to take pictures. 
Chargers for phones and extra batteries for camera
Tripod - bringing this just in case we want to record video on the camera
Change of clothes - good to have a change of clothes just in case the birth room clothes get bloody or dirty
Bluetooth Speaker - our midwife said we should make some playlists on our phone and bring a Bluetooth speaker along that way we can enjoy a variety of music while in labor. Music always helps put me in a good mood, so not leaving home without this!

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