Molly Murray - Birth, Life, and Business Doula
So you're into your 2nd or 3rd trimester and starting to think about what to pack in your hospitals bags.
You're in luck! I've been a birth doula for 4 years and have given birth in the hospital with all 3 of my children.
I've experienced what parents use the most of and what goes completely ignored and unpacked... only to be carried in and back out again. Here's my list of essentials for your hospital bags!
What to Pack in Your Hospital Bags
Birth Plan or Preferences
Birth planning needs to have a blog post of it's own and I'll link that here once it's up. Short and simple is good. Honestly, most birth plans are the same. They could all just as well say, ''I want to be treated like a human, fully informed and respected.'' Boom.
But we'll come back to that another day! Keep a couple copies in your bag so everyone is on the same page...
Goodie Bag for Nursing Staff
A bag of candy or a couple boxes of granola bars can be a great way to build rapport and say, ''Thank You'' to the people helping you in these special days. A good time to offer these up is once you're out of triage and in your labor room...and at the same time you share your birth plan/preferences.
Comfortable Clothing for Labor and Post-Delivery
Comfort is key. The hospital does provide gowns and disposable underwear but you're welcome to wear your own clothes.
Snacks for your hospital bag also deserve a post of their own and they certainly deserve their own bag.
Evidence supports eating in labor* so long as you're low risk. Even if you can't eat, Dad/Partner will be hungry. Protein and carbs are key.
Think granola bars, trail mix or even these great gummies* with added electrolytes.
Coconut water is wondeful for hydration and sustenance as well.
Tools for comfort in labor/postpartum
These are things that I keep in my doula bag but you're welcome to bring your own, especially if you're not using a doula.
Phone and Chargers Besides needing your phone for calling, texting, and updating your friends and family, you'll want to take pictures and may download apps for music in labor or a white noise app for sleeping. Don't forget the chargers.
Extra Pillows A couple extra pillows from home can help you feel a little more comfortable in labor, for husband/partner to sleep with and for nursing.
Going Home Outfit for Baby - Only pack one or two. The hospital provides little outfits for the baby while they stay and you'll be doing lots of skin to skin/kangaroo care while in the hospital.
Extra Bag for Gifts and Freebies – You will leave the hospital with more than you came with. Bring an extra bag for all the ‘freebies’ (i.e. diapers, wipes, disposable underwear, ice packs, etc.)
And last, but certainly not least... Don't forget to bring a doula!
A doula can help you at your home to know when it's a good time to head to the hospital, can help carry your bags, and help you as you settle into your labor room. A doula is an extra (knowledgeable) set of hands when you need it most. Contact me today to set up a consultation to hear more about all that I offer.
Comment below if there is anything you would add to this list! Feel free to share this post if you found it helpful and know that others would.
* Most healthy women can skip the fasting and, in fact, would benefit from eating a light meal during labor, suggests research. Read more here.
*Link to Stingers - Electrolyte gummies
Cincinnati Mother, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator and Founder of the Cincinnati Birth and Parenting Network.