As this pregnancy journey is nearing its end, there are some things you want to make sure you have packed and ready to go before you get to the birth center. I've seen different lists, and all are valid and make sense. These are my recommendations so you know you are in the best comfort during your entire labor. Some you may use and others you may not see as necessary.
Your outfit to labor in PLUS Phone & Phone Charger!
If at a birthing center, you may want to have a shirt or sports bra that will be comfortable to wear if you are having a water birth.
2. Car seat installed and ready to go
3. You AND Your baby's "Going Home" outfit/ Toiletry bag-towels
After giving birth in a tub, you want to get cleaned up and get comfortable. A lot is going on and coming out in that water you sit in, so having some wash up items will be helpful.
4. Socks for you and baby.
Having something to cover those feet can help keep you warm and relaxed. You never know what the temperature may be like. I get cold easily so I have socks and slippers.
5. A receiving blanket.
Now at a hospital, this may be provided. At the birth center you want to have your own blanket to wrap your baby in.
6. Underwear/Nursing Bra
Depending on your situation you may want to get some adult diapers or a maxi pad to wear and line your underwear for comfort. If there was any tearing or stitching needed, then this would be great to have.
7. Camera * (optional)
Now this is a personal choice. At the birth center we are allowed to record and take pictures of the birth process if we want. I'm a keepsake memorabilia type of person so that is important to me. If you have a Doula or a tripod stand to set up and record then do that. It is different with COVID restrictions so that may not be feasible. For us setting up a tripod in the room is our way to go and the midwives are able to assist with that.
Early labor you want to take advantage so that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the entire process. Having something light like fruit, soup, popsicles even that can easily digest are helpful so you are not extremely hungry when it comes to active labor
9. Music/Essential Oils/Lighting
Setting the atmosphere and energy in the room really helps with the concentration and flow of the labor. There are certain essential oils that also help with relaxing and soothing you during that time. Peppermint, lavender and burning sage are commonly used in the birth center. Before you do, make sure the smells are accepting to your body as well. Telling your doula about what helps is also something to consider so she can be ready when the time comes that you want them. Lighting can depend on the time of day you are delivering. Daytime you may want natural light and windows open verses at night you may want them dim. It really is your preference, and at a birth center, those options are available to you. We personally have our own lighting, playlist and essential oils ready for when the time comes.
11. Thermometer/Peroxide Q-tips (safety gear)
Just in case of emergency and you need to monitor things, having these options available is helpful.
The birth center has a bed/pillows, but I am bringing my own just because I have a satin pillow and would be comfortable using that. It is again a personal preference.
These are my main things. I'm sure there are others to add, but to start us off these are at the top! What's in your bag?