One of the most popular questions we get is, "What on earth do I pack in my hospital/birth center bag?!" (Even for home births, many midwives will suggest having an emergency bag in your trunk in case things change in the health of you or your baby suddenly.)
We advise our clients to pack their bag for labor between 35-37 weeks, but if you're late to the game DON'T WORRY!! It'll all get done, and Blooming Tree Maternity is here to help. No matter where you're delivering, from Austin to Temple, Killeen or Waco, our advice is to keep things simple!
For the birthing person:
Robe or open faced sweater or jacket
Full-bottomed cotton panties you don't mind ruining
Nursing bra (no underwire, TRUST US!) or soft cami-style bra
Nursing pads (whether you decide to chest/breastfeed or not, you will probably get some level of a milk supply after birth, and the pads will help keep you dry and comfortable)
Comfy and warm socks or slippers
Flip flops (for the shower)
Toiletries: deodorant, dry shampoo (or travel size of your favorite shampoo/conditioner), toothbrush and paste, hair ties, chapstick, a thick headband, and a hairbrush. If you wear makeup, pack your favorite basics!
Nursing pillow - no matter how you choose to feed your baby, a nursing pillow is great for positioning your tiny babe for feedings and prime snuggles. Check out this one we recommend!
Cell phone and charger (invest in a long cord, you won't regret it!)
A comfortable outfit to go home in (you will still need larger or maternity sizing for a while, so don't bring what fit you BEFORE pregnancy, bring wha fits you now, and remember that your belly may feel tender so skip things with a harsh waist line.)
For the baby:
Car seat (no provider will let you leave without a proper safety seat, it's the law!)
Baby mittens (optional; these go over baby's hands to prevent them from scratching themselves or you with those long nails!)
For your partner:
Change of clothes (2)
Warm socks or slippers
Flip flops (for the shower)
Toiletries: deodorant, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste, razor if desired
Jacket or hoodie
Cell phone and charger
Laptop or tablet and charger
Any other entertainment (books, magazines, work material, etc)
Don't forget to pack your important documents - photo ID, insurance card(s), pre-registration paperwork (if applicable), birth plan (if you don't have a written birth plan, your Blooming Tree Maternity doulas can help!).
It's also wise to pack healthy protein-filled snacks, and some of our clients have found benefit from buying the individual flavor packets of Gatorade or another electrolyte replenishing drink to add into your water during labor to help keep your strength up. You might also want to pack some change or cash for vending machines for your partner.
If you're nearing the end of your pregnancy journey (or you're frantically googling while in early labor), we hope this list was helpful. Have fun, and we hope to see you in the delivery room!