Packing List – Birth Center

Inanna birth center packing listThis is the list that was provided to me when we welcomed our fourth baby at a birth center here in town (where I now work as a midwife assistant.) I've added some of my own suggestions:

- favorite drinks (juice, coconut water, electrolyte drinks)
- baby wipes (These are for momma, not just baby.)
- Depends for laboring in if your water breaks, or for postpartum bleeding (You'll want some for at home, not just the birth center.)
- good walking shoes, comfy socks (spares, yours may get messy)
- clothes to wear during labor and for going home, bathrobe, slippers
(If you are hiring a photographer, choose solid coloring clothing, preferably dark, and encourage your partner to not wearing any clothing with logos or wording on it - it's distracting in the photos. :) )
- baby clothes & blanket for going home (We have receiving blankets for right after when baby may be dirty as well as hats, but you'll want your own for when you leave.)
- small bottle olive oil (for perineal massage and for baby's bum, it helps the meconium wipe off easier)
- snacks/food/drinks for your partner*
- orange juice & food for postpartum*
- camera
- small fish net (for waterbirth)
- carseat (Make sure you have already learned how to buckle it in properly! Immediately postpartum is NOT when you want to be wrestling with carseats and the birth center staff cannot legally install it for you. Go get it checked at a carseat inspection spot BEFORE you hit 38 weeks.)
- rice pack/socks or hot pad
- music/iPod/CD player with your labor playlist
- cell phone and charger
- favorite candles/essential oils (They have candles there and a diffuser for oils.)
- tennis balls, rolling pin, whatever your favorite massager is
- toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash (For your partner, too, after they eat something!)
- sports bra for labor, nursing bra for after (Though getting a wet sports bra off is NOT fun while laboring, so you want something you can get on/off easily if you labor in the tub with it.)
- toiletries (lotion, chapstick)
- glasses, contact lenses & solution
- pain coping technique flashcards, affirmation cards, labor notes
- regular meds you are taking, OTC or prescription
- favorite pillow, blanket, whatever makes you comfortable though we have lots as well
- If children will be attending they will need a caretaker to keep them entertained and closely supervised. Bring snacks, toys, books, etc.

You will also want a packed hospital bag in case of transport, mostly to include more changes of clothes for your longer stay, ear plugs, an eye shade for sleeping, pen & paper, cash for parking/vending machines, nursing pads, calling list (written down, not just in your cell phone) and other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting because I always forget something! There's a lot of overlap, of course, but you leave the birth center a couple hours after delivery vs. a couple days at the hospital. You can make calls once you get home, you don't sleep there, etc.

* Before you leave the birth center you need to eat something with protein. If you have friends and family there you can assign someone to go grab food, but at 3am your options are seriously limited. You don't need to eat an entire meal but you can bring a pre-made casserole, soup, I saw a family bring frozen mini quiche - anything that sounds appetizing to you postpartum! The birth center has an oven, microwave, and toaster oven as well as dishes, silverware, glassware, etc. Staff cannot prepare food for you (it's a food handler's permit thing) but we can certainly throw your casserole in the oven. :) Other times moms will just eat trail mix, yogurt, cheese & crackers, or go grab a burger or egg burrito depending on time of day.

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2 Responses to Packing List – Birth Center

  1. Pingback: The one where I ramble about packing another bag. | lauren blogs... sometimes.

  2. Jenny says:

    Thanks so much for this list! I had no clue what was aloud at the birth center and stuff. :) I just found out I can have my little gumdrop at the birth center and with all that excitement I want to be as prepared as I can.

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