Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Should I Bring to the Birth Center?

Delivering in a stand alone birth center is different than delivering in a hospital for several reasons, in my experience. In Washington State you typically are discharged from the birth center 4-5 hours post partum. If you and baby are completely healthy and fine, there's no reason to stay any longer. For my first birth I was a little anxious about being sent home so quickly (especially knowing that many of my friends stayed at the hospital for 2-3 days), but found that after 3 hours I was more or less ready to get settled in my own bed at home. It would be quieter and I would have everything I prepared at my finger tips.

For this reason, my birth bags are really minimal. Everything for myself, husband and newborn fit into a carry-on luggage. I packed it at 37 weeks and kept it in the back of my car, along with extra towels (in case of early waters or for the ride home).

For mama:
  • Warm, comfy robe
  • Warm socks and slippers
  • Labor clothes (sports bra, swim suit, skirt / pants)
  • After birth clothes - loose, comfy pants, nursing tank, zip up sweat shirt, Nuroo pocket (I am so excited to share my review once Ruby is born!)
  • Breastfeeding gear: cloth nursing pads, Motherlove Herbals Nipple Cream
  • If you wear contacts try to remember to remove them during labor and bring your glasses, I didn't want my tears to flood my eyes and leave me completely blind.
  • Something to pull your hair/bangs back with
  • chap stick, deodorant, face cream - just a few small items that will help you begin to feel yourself and refreshed once you come down from your amazing high!
A great idea that I came across from Ooops I Craft My Pants was to make post partum padsicles ahead of time! For these I simply poured witch hazel onto some disposable pads. I will be using Deerfoot Herbs Post Partum Sitz Bath solution for a few relaxing baths as well as will be making the switch to Mamacloth post partum cloth pads (review soon!).

For dad:

  • Change of clothes, swim trunks
  • Cell charger, cell phone, camera
  • That Mama Gretchen also made the great suggestion of his favorite snacks for the daddy birth bag- because the marathon of labor is tough on Daddy too!

For baby:

  • Coming home outfit (probably the hardest decision for me to make! I packed 3 different outfits..)
  • Coconut oil to rub on their bottom to help the meconium slide off easily
  • 1-2 diapers
  • Swaddling blanket
  • Car seat, extra blanket
  • Hat


  • I loved coconut water during labor. So refreshing and hydrating!
  • Fruits
  • PBJ sandwich
  • Fruit juice popcicles
  • Trailmix
  • Broth (I keep bone broth frozen in ice cube form) 
  • Applesauce
What did you pack in your birth bag?


  1. Your list looks amazing. The only other thing I had that I loved was disposable liners for cloth diapers, if you are bringing them to the birthing center. They caught all the meconium and I was sooo happy!

    1. That is a really good idea! I didn't even think of using liners...silly me.



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