As a birth doula in Mora, Minnesota, I’m frequently asked what should be packed for the hospital or birth center. Ultimately, what you pack will be personal for you, but there are several things I recommend everyone bring along, no matter where you’re planning to give birth.
Who Should Pack a Bag?
I suggest packing separate bags for yourself, your husband, and your baby. This makes it easy to find what each person needs and keep things organized. Another approach is to pack a labor bag and a postpartum bag.
If I am having a homebirth, should I pack a bag in case of transfer? In my opinion, a full bag of supplies just in case of hospital transfer isn’t necessary. It can be a good idea to ensure your purse or a small backpack is stocked with snacks, a phone charger, your wallet, and some basic toiletries, such as a toothbrush and contact solution. If your birth plans change and you need to transfer to the hospital, it’s likely that many of the things in your birth bag won’t be needed right away and someone can bring them for you later.
What Should My Support Person Bring?
It may be tempting to travel light, but birth is unpredictable, and it’s important that your husband or support person has everything they need to stay energized and prepared for being away at least one night. Dads should bring at least 1-2 changes of clothes, plenty of snacks, a phone charger, and basic toiletries.
If you are going to a birth center or planning a hospital waterbirth, I suggest bringing a swimsuit and extra change of clothes. Birth center birthing rooms often get very warm and steamy, so a t-shirt and shorts can be a good idea even in our Minnesota winters!
What Will My Baby Need?
Plan to bring a couple of outfits in newborn and 3 month size. You never know if you’ll have a larger baby who just doesn’t quite fit into a newborn outfit. The baby’s diaper bag can be the perfect size to fit everything your baby needs. Don’t forget a hat and extra blanket for the car ride home.
Here is a simple birth bag checklist for guidance:
What Else Should I Consider Bringing?
If you are planning to keep your placenta, bring a cooler, ice pack, and a couple of gallon bags to store it. If your Mora placenta encapsulation professional will be bringing it home, she will handle all of the storage and transportation details.
Many families like to bring their own soap and lotion for their baby. Naturally-minded families may also appreciate bringing a homeopathy kit, homeopathic arnica tablets, Afterease tincture, and other natural remedies.
What Should I NOT Bring?
Some things you can leave at home include:
Your birth ball: All hospitals are equipped with birth balls and peanut balls. No need to lug yours along!
Breast pump: Unless you plan to pump exclusively, you won’t need your breast pump right away. The hospital will provide a quality one for you if circumstances change, such as if your baby needs NICU care or if you are having issues with latching. In those cases, a hospital grade pump will be needed to help establish your milk supply and get your breastfeeding journey off to a better start.
Diapers, wipes, and pads: Your hospital or birth center will provide baby diapers and wipes, Depends, mesh underwear, and heavy pads.
Ask your Pine City birth doula for more guidance and personalized tips on what to pack in your birth bag! What are you packing for your birth? Is there anything you think I missed? Let me know below in the comments!
Holistic Christian birth doula and placenta encapsulation professional serving Mora, Pine City, Cambridge MN, Isanti, Rush City, North Branch, Wyoming, Forest Lake, Zimmerman, Princeton MN, Milaca, St. Cloud, Little Falls, Garrison, Isle, McGregor, Moose Lake, Sandstone, Hinckley, Finlayson, Danbury, Siren, Grantsburg, and the surrounding areas in east central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.
Call or text me: 612-437-8588
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Professional photo credit: Melissa Rose Photography MN & Chelsea Bootsman
Thank you to the families who have graciously allowed me to share their photos!