Let's get another thing out in the open: packing this bag was a little overwhelming. I've taken a lot of recommendations from friends & family, blogs, and wellness experts like Katie Wells (https://wellnessmama.com/). I know every mama has a completely different labor/hospital experience..some women use nothing of what they packed, while other women use EVERYTHING. We'll just have to wait and see where I fall on that spectrum!
What I do know is the fact that I really like being prepared (for anything in life really)! I'm the girl that over packs "just in case", rather than takes the bare minimum (my husband Tommy wants to kill me because packing for 2 days sometimes looks like a whole week's worth of stuff). I also really like being comfortable. I'm going to take a wild guess that I'll be more comfortable in my own nightgown vs. the one the hospital may provide.
With all of that being said... because the fact that this is my first babe, I have no idea how I'll feel about everything I've put the effort into gathering and listing below. I can always do a follow up blog post-labor and share what I actually felt was helpful! (Please keep in mind that I probably won't be bringing EVERYTHING into the hospital... whatever we don't need immediately will stay in the car!)
Copy of birth plan: I like to call it "birth wishes" instead...almost like if you could picture the perfect scenario. I am completely aware that birth can be unpredictable and sometimes nothing can go accordingly to plan. I am super flexible with what goes down as long as myself and the baby are healthy!
Copy of preregistration papers
Chapstick (use code: BALANCEDBEYARS for 10% off)
Extra long iPhone charger
Eye mask (if/when it's possible to get some sleep, I'll be able to tune some of the hospital chaos out!)
Dark colored robe (I've been told that I'd want black in case you get anything on it!)
Sports bra: for the laboring tub or the shower.
Warm socks: I was told to get multiple pairs since the hospitals can get frigid (got mine from TJMaxx)
Flip flops (for the shower). I'll probably just use an old pair.
Breast/nursing pads- you’ll want these to stick inside your bra to catch anything. The one's I've linked are organic and I've heard great things about them!
Underwear: Full undies (got mine from TJMaxx) that come up higher around the waist in case you don't like the mesh ones that the hospital provides. Some people really like the Depend undies/pads as well.
Dark colored sweat pants & zip up hoodie or comfy PJs for post-baby
Birth ball (if your hospital doesn't provide one)
Your own towel for showering (since hospital towels are apparently very small)
If you are doing placenta encapsulation, make sure you bring the cooler!
Your own pillow with a pillow case that you don’t mind ruining + your own comfy blanket
Going home outfit.... something lose and soft. I'll probably pack a t-shirt dress. It's a common recommendation to plan as if you’ll have a c-section and have to dress for that recovery.
A wet/dry bag for clothing that gets wet/bloody/dirty but you want to keep and wash when you get home. Heard this is key!
An extra bag to take supplies from the hospital (apparently you'll want to shamelessly steal everything!)
*probably just going to pack our diaper bag with all the below*
0-3 month outfit
Swaddle + matching hat
Natural baby wash for baby's first bath (should you want to do it in the hospital)
Car seat (make sure that it is installed properly!)
Pacifier for the way home
Nail clippers (hospitals don’t have this and sometimes baby's nails are long)
Wet wipes (if you don't want to use the hospitals)
Diapers (if you don't want to use the hospitals)
Comfy sleep clothes
A few changes of clothes
Camera + battery (if you prefer this over your iPhone)
Speaker for an awesome birthing playlist
Folder to keep all paperwork together
Pen and small notebook…. it's helpful to sometimes write down stuff down that the doctors say quickly
ESSENTIAL OILS & LOTIONS
Nipple Cream (use code: BALANCEDBEYARS for 10% off)
Active Labor herbs to increase efficiency of contractions (for a hopefully shorter labor!)
Dr. Bronner’s arnica cream for pain/back labor
Massage oil with lavender in it (made this myself with almond oil & lavendar essential oil).
If you hate chemical cleaners, your own cleaner in a small spray bottle to disinfect things at the hospital (I use Young Living Thieves)
Essential oil recommendations below are from the Wellness Mama:
Clary Sage to help keep contractions consistent, and strong. (*ONLY in active labor.*)
Orange, lemon, or other citrus oils to energize.
Lavender essential oil for relaxation and peaceful feelings.
Frankincense to help you stay centered and focused
Valor for strength and bravery
Peppermint to help ease nausea (or Digize from Young Living)
Reusable and reheatable mug + your own water bottles
Nut butters packets, protein fruit/nut bars, trail mix, and other high calorie foods for prolonged energy.
Honey sticks, dried fruit, dates, or energy balls for a healthy dose of glucose fueled energy. (*Apparently, around 5 or 6cm dilation, your digestion somewhat shuts down... my midwife told me that honey sticks can be key here because of how simple they are for your body to get the glucose!)
Chamomile and red raspberry leaf tea for a more efficient labor. Mix the two!
Coconut water: for hydration and electrolytes (I might also bring some NUUN tablets incase I don't like the taste of the coconut water)
Bone broth (heard sipping on this throughout is amazing)
Meals and snacks packed in a cooler for your hospital or birth center stay.
If you're curious about some of my favorites involving all things pregnancy and baby, I created two tabs on our Amazon storefront page titled "For your Holistic Pregnancy" and "For Your Baby". Check them out!