If you're like us, you like to be prepared! However, we've both been guilty of hauling unnecessary items in our birth bag. So! Allow us to share what we think you'll really need when it comes to packing for your birthplace so that you can avoid overpacking.
THINGS TO LEAVE AT HOME
1. Diapers & Wipes
Diapering your newborn baby seems like a legitimate concern, right? Especially when you learn that they pee and poo like 12 times a day!, But, there is no need to bring a pack of diapers or wipes because if you're birthing at a hospital- they have you covered! In fact, they usually have really nice diapers for you (Pampers Swaddlers or the equivalent in Huggies). They even send you home with some so you're covered on the ride home too!
If you're getting to your birthplace at the right time, you won't have time for card games or video games because when you arrive you should (ideally) be in active labor! That means contractions are strong enough that you have to focus on those! ...and not on entertainment.
3. Glam clothes & makeup
We always had good intentions of looking super hot in "going home day" pictures...but truth be told, we typically opted for comfy loungewear and NO makeup. :) So unless you're an Instamom, you probably don't need to bring your full makeup kit and flat iron to your birthplace.
We want to level with you for a minute...mama, you're not going to be going home in underwear. You're going home in Depends or mesh undies & a giant pad. And it's ok! Everyone does. But if you're a first-time mom, you might not have known this. Now you do! :)
5. Fancy camera equipment
This one is debatable! If you're really into photography, you may want to bring your DSLR. That said, there's usually a lot going on in the first few hours after birth and it may be too overwhelming for your birth partner to be focusing on you, baby, AND on messing with a bulky camera. Smartphones these days have AMAZING cameras and make it really easy to get a great shot using only one hand.
Another option to consider would be hiring a birth or "fresh 48" photographer so you can get the photos you want without the stress.
6. Rice packs
If you don't have a doula (or a 3rd person to help at your birth), you're probably not going to want your partner leaving your side every 5 minutes to heat up a rice pack in the microwave. While applying heat to your back during the intensity of contractions does feel amazing, it's not really worth the hassle.
THINGS TO BRING
1. Lip Balm
When mama is doing her deep breathing during labor- in through the nose, out through the mouth- it can make her lips really dry. And dry lips can be a huge nuisance and distraction to her when she's working through contractions.
2. Massage Tools
Think smart about how you can provide comfort and relief to a birthing mother without totally killing your hands and your forearms! Massage tools make it easier to provide awesome counterpressure and massage throughout birth.
We never leave home for a birth without a rebozo! This amazing shawl can be used to not only help baby into a better position during birth, it can also be used to provide comfort and relief to mom. We cover exactly how to use a rebozo in the My Essential Birth course!
4. doTERRA Essential Oils
Need help relaxing through contractions? Need more energy for pushing? Need to soothe sore muscles? Freshen breath? Give your contractions a boost? Curb nausea? Feel more grounded and connected to your body & your partner? Essential oils to the rescue! These are ALWAYS in our birth bag, and we think you might like them too! We've done an entire podcast episode about essential oils for pregnancy and birth that you can checkout here.
5. Things to help you look fresh & clean
When a mom is dealing with a really long birth, she wants to be able to look at the people around her and see some fresh energy! If everyone around her looks tired & smells like they've been supporting her through labor for 15+ hours, she may feel guilty. She should never have to feel that way. So! Pack mints, gum, deodorant, and a few quick makeup essentials so that you like bright-eyed and happy to be supporting her.
Wanting to know what other items to bring? Checkout out FREE Birth Bag List!