It won’t be too long until your little one makes their grand entrance into the world. One of the best ways to prepare for that day is by packing your birth bag(s). Origins has made things easy for their mommies by having a “ What to Bring to the Birth Center Checklist”. Everything on this list NEEDS to be packed. Please don’t forget anything. Forgetting something could end up taking away from your birth experience. You are welcome to bring “bonus” items if you desire. For example some couples will bring a small cake to celebrate the babies “birth” day, some have brought flowers for the herbal bath photos, and others a make-up bag to freshen up for their first family photo together. This is your birth. We want it be a special moment for you and your family.
Please try to bring only what you need. Bringing too much can make it hard to find what is actually needed or desired in the moment and end up taking you out of your labor bubble, or interrupt the time of bonding with your sweet little one that you have worked hard for.
A common question we are asked all the time is what the olive oil is for. It is not for cooking, it’s for lubricating. When the baby is close to coming this is good to have to help lubricate their little head and to soften and stretch your perineum to minimize tearing. The olive oil is important to bring whether you plan to birth on the bed or not. Each birth is different and there is no guarantee to how it will happen. Birthing on the bed may end up being what is needed or desired. The oil does not need to be fancy. Just pack a small, inexpensive bottle.
ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVES:
The Postpartum folder must come to the birth. The birth certificate, medical records, and discharge paperwork are in it. These papers are very IMPORTANT and are to be completed at the delivery. Also, the birth assistant, IV therapy, and Suture envelopes are in there as well. Please fill these out as soon as possible. The money is needed at the birth so that the team attending can be paid directly. The birth assistant will always be used, but the IV and suture are only as needed. Hopefully, you don’t need the last two. A great tip so it’s not forgotten, is to put the folder in your birth bag as soon as you get it.
We encourage you to look through it, read the papers, and fill out the birth certificate paperwork as much as you can but recommend you return it to the bag as soon as you’re done. If this is forgotten someone WILL have to go get it.
Labor soup or a good nutritious meal and plenty of juice. You burn a lot of energy while in labor and giving birth. Having this ready right after the birth helps refuel your body so you can be able to enjoy meeting your baby and to help you recover faster.
And don't forget the car seat! Baby can’t go home without it. Be sure you install the base and adjust the straps BEFORE you come to the birth center. We recommend getting the car seat inspected to make sure it is properly and safely installed.
We would prefer to interrupt you as little as possible while you and your little one are bonding for the first time. To help make this possible we have some tricks.
For mom, pack one comfortable outfit to wear after the baby is born (a gown is recommended), a bra that would be easy to nurse in, one depends, and one overnight pad into a gallon ziplock bag. Please label the bag “Mom’s outfit” or something similar. It’s important to have both depends and overnight pads. The depends will be treated like underwear and also act as an extra source of protection from leaking. You are encouraged to pack some extra bras, pads, depends, and other items you feel are needed but please pack them in a ziplock bag as well and label them accordingly.
For baby, pack one short sleeve onesie, one sleeper, a pair of socks, a hat, one diaper, and one receiving/swaddling blanket into a gallon ziplock bag. Please label the bag “Baby’s outfit” or something similar. It’s recommended to pack a short sleeve onesie and the sleeper because for the first 24hrs a newborn is unable to regulate its own body temperature. The baby will wear both to help trap his’ or her’s own body heat. Also keep in mind, it is hard to get a long sleeve over a long sleeve with a newborn. Again, you are welcome to pack some extra of each item but please pack them in a ziplock bag and label it.
Can’t forget snacks. Snacks are very important to have for you but also for dad. You never know how long the labor will be so you want to bring plenty to eat. Again, you burn a lot of energy in labor so it’s good to eat during. Dads get hungry too and need to fuel up so they can best help you. Or, honestly eating can be a good way for them to take a quick break and refresh their brain. High protein snacks are best. But, carbs can be good for an unsettled stomach. It helps if the snacks are easy to chew, swallow, and gentle on the stomach. We recommended you pack a small bag with a variety of choices. There may be something that usually sounds good to you but then doesn’t while you’re in labor. You don’t need a lot so pack a couple of each choice instead of the whole box. Some good choices are protein bars, cheese sticks, fruit pouches, and peanut butter crackers.
So you don’t forget the things you can’t pack ahead of time such as phone chargers, phones, camera batteries, the labor soup, etc., write a list of these things on a sticky note or a notepad and place it on top of your birth bag. This will help you remember everything before you head to the birth center.
Don’t forget to have your birth bags packed at 36 weeks. You never know when your baby will be ready to come. We want you to be ready too. It won’t be too much longer until we are helping you bring your little one into this world!