What to Pack for a Natural Hospital Birth

7:31 AM

Packing a hospital bag for birth can actually be super fun because it makes you realized that THIS IS HAPPENING. Even if you're planning a home birth it's good to have one of these on the ready. My bag is super no-frills because I know if there's anything extra I need or if something goes awry, someone will be able to pop over to my house and pick it up. The joys of living five minutes from my city's birthing hospital.

If you already know that you'll be in hospital for an extended stay, throw in more clothes, any hair and makeup stuff you might need, and a few sanitary pads.

1. Stuff for mama

I already know I'll have my phone on me no matter where we are. Just a given. Heck, I bring my phone in the bathroom with me when I shower. (You know, just in case there's a break in and I need to call 9-1-1 from the locked room!) This means I have insta-access to anyone I want to text, and some music. I suppose headphones would be a good idea, but hey - if you don't want to listen to my house, get out of my birthing room. I pack a tank top because I want to be comfortable but covered up enough that I can share my photos with my male friends. I choose one that can get a little wet if I don't pull it up high enough in the tub. I also pack shorts for if I decide to go for a little walk, or for if my dad decides to come say hi in the birthing room and I don't want to be butt-naked. The new undies, tights and sweater are for after, once I've showered and am ready to go home.

2. Stuff for babe

I'll have to go through the things I've saved of Oliver's and pick a suitable newborn outfit to bring along. Sorry babe - you'll be wearing a lot of hand-me-downs. I will also pack a hat. We'll need a thin blanket for swaddling and a thick warm one for placing over baby in the car seat between the hospital and the warm car. And of course a little pouch of newborn diapers and wipes.

3. Practical items

First and foremost, the only item that you will require if you want to take your baby home: a newborn car seat. I arrived at the hospital, for Oliver's birth, without it installed, so my dad and Cal's dad had the daunting task of doing that and they still laugh about it. Of course the most important item of all: your health insurance card! I have my number memorized in case I ever forget at appointments but likely in the moment my memory will be playing second fiddle to my birth-focus. I'll also bring a copy of my birth wish list - it's not too extensive this time but worth having around. Iphone photos are great but I'm definitely going to pack my digital camera for higher quality images and some video. Now I just need to make sure I charge it! Lastly, a stash of easy snacks and drinks.
I recommend:
  • a tetra pack of coconut water (or a glass jar of homemade Labourade, see recipe)
  • whole grain granola/ trail mix bars
  • a pouch of all-natural fruit snacks (like the ones at Starbucks)
  • brown rice crackers
  • fruit leather
  • kale chips
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • homemade all-natural sports "gel" (blend a few dates with agave nectar, sea salt and lemon zest!)
And that's that! Throw it all in a bag and let your partner or doula know where to find it when the time comes.

  • 4 dates (I used dried dates, soaked for a few hours)
  • 1/2 cup raw agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp dulse (I skipped this, since I didn’t have it)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • - See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/thrive-energy-gel-recipe/#sthash.HRafLo6b.dpuf

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