What should I take to my birth place (or have on hand for my home birth)?
When you leave for your birth place, you want to have two types of things:
1) all the things you will need for your birth
2) anything that will make you feel more comfortable during your labor
True, you might not use everything in your bag, but knowing it is there can be incredibly comforting!
Items for mom:
This is the big day! Don’t be afraid to take the things that will make your experience more enjoyable.
Snacks for the birth- Honey sticks, granola bars, nuts, coconut water, or anything you might enjoy snacking on should be included. Labor is hard work and it makes a mama hungry! Not to mention, you may be very hungry right after the birth and want something from home. Your Birth Boot Camp instructor will give you more great ideas of food and snacks for labor!
Comfort items- Only you know what will make you most comfortable, so include those things. A favorite pillow, mellow music, a snuggly robe or warm socks (labor often makes your feet cold!)- whatever it is you need, pack it along. You won’t regret it. Of course, at Birth Boot Camp, we feel like one of the greatest comfort items you can have is a well trained doula to help you and your partner during the birth. Class three will talk about how important your doula is. Be sure to ask your instructor for her recommendations!
Comfortable clothes to wear after the birth- You might not leave in your skinny jeans, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your favorite pair of comfy lounging clothes. Some women even buy something special for them to wear after the baby is born; an outfit that opens easily for breastfeeding is particularly helpful.
Nursing bra or camisole- People vary in what they prefer, but something stretchy and easy is often helpful. Sometimes even just a tank top with a built in shelf bra is perfect. The first few days postpartum will probably result in engorgement in your breasts. Something that will fit no matter what is a great idea.
Items for the partner:
Don’t just pack for mom! At Birth Boot Camp we are about training COUPLES in natural birth and your partner is your best friend and biggest fan. Make sure you pack them some things they will need for labor.
Snacks- Dad gets hungry too and you need him alert and fed so he can be the help you need. What are his favorite packable snacks? Throw them in there!
The Doula- True, you can’t fit her in the bag, but a doula is a help for dad more than anybody else. Make sure when your interview he is there too and that they have a good chemistry with each other.
Comfortable clothes- The partner needs to stay comfortable too! A swimsuit so they can get in a birth tub or shower with you is a great idea, as is a change of clothes and something he can sleep in so he can stay with you at your birth place.
Technology- We don’t want the phone to interrupt the birthing “zone” but your phone, camera, ipod or anything else you might be using for music playing, preserving memories, or contacting loved ones, is a great idea. Don’t forget to bring all of their chargers!
Items for Baby:
Baby needs things too (but mostly they need you!).
Clothes- A soft and warm outfit for your baby to wear home is a must. You probably have a special blanket or piece of clothing for the new one. Pack those up for those first pictures. If you are committed to cloth diapering from day one then pack your favorite snuggly diapers too.
Car Seat- Learning to install your infant car seat is a must before you have the baby. Check out this website tips on how to properly install your car seat.
With a little preparation, your labor and birth can be a joyous day for your entire family. The birth of your baby will be one of the most memorable days of your life! Congratulations!
Curious to learn more about Birth Boot Camp and our natural childbirth classes? We have an online birth class option and or natural birth teachers in your area. We also offer a comprehensive two disk breastfeeding DVD, “Breastfeeding: The Ultimate MRE”.
Birth Boot Camp- Training Couples in Natural Birth