Even if you're planning a Home Birth, it's always a good idea to pack a bag, just-in-case... It also means that everything you'll need is to hand and in one place! Now, I say 1 bag... ideally, you need to pack 3: one for mum, one for baby and one for your all important Birth Partner!
First of all you'll need 3 bags... small cabin-sized suitcases work well. They're easy to pack, easy to carry and easy to access! But any bag will do. You don't need anything new or fancy.
It's a good idea to have your bags packed and ready from around week 35, as you never know when your little squishy might decide to introduce themselves! You can just keep your bags in a safe place at home, there's no need to take them with you wherever you go. *Spoiler Alert * Going into labour is never like it is in the movies - you'll have plenty of time! Even if you were away from home and did need to go straight into hospital, which is very unlikely, someone will be able to pop home and fetch them for you.
Now then, let's start with mum's bags.
For labour and birth, I recommend you pack the following:
Birth Preference/Birth Plan
KG Hypnobirthing Colour and Calmness CD/MP3 downloaded to your phone/tablet
Note to your midwife
Hypnobirthing door notice - and Blu-tak
Swimwear - tankinis are great for the birth pool but you're more than likely to end up naked - which is perfect for immediate skin to skin!
Nightdress with button down front/drop down clips for easy breast feeding/pyjamas with button down top - Mothercare do some great ones which you can order online.
Large old t-shirt
Snacks, e.g. bananas, cereal bars, yoghurts, etc.
Bottle of water (plus cordial if you like it, I took Ribena!)
Coconut water - great for keeping you hydrated
Bendy drinking straws
Phone and charger
A magazine or two
Essential oil of lavender/rose/chamomile
Birth ball (check with hospital/birth centre first though, as they may already have them)
Massage oil or lotion
Hair elastics, bands or clips
TENS machine, if you're planning to use one
Plastic bags for dirty laundry
And for after the birth:
Maternity pads (2 packs) - not the thin ones - you want the massive ones!
Another nightdress - see above
Toiletries - travel sized ones are great: shampoo & conditioner/dry shampoo, shower gel, moisturiser, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, baby wipes (great for freshening up)
Towels (avoid white ones...)
Plenty of BIG and COMFY cotton pants, disposal pants are also really useful for the first few days after birth
Clothes for going home - something super comfy, or just stay in your pyjamas!
Your Birth Partner might consider packing the following in their bag:
Phone and charger
Toiletries - at the very least, they'll appreciate having their toothbrush!
And then there's your precious new arrival to pack for! For baby I would recommend packing the following:
Nappies (allow 12 a day)
2 or 3 sleep suits
2 or 3 vests
Cotton wool pads for washing
1 pair of socks or booties
Suit for going home
Blanket or shawl
Jacket or warm suit for winter babies
And there you have it: your complete birthing bag checklist!
Now, your bags are ready... are you?
BirthWright Hypnobirthing offers a complete, in-depth antenatal course, designed to help you have the right birth for you and your baby.
If you're ready to begin your Hypnobirthing journey the BirthWright way, then please - get in touch so we can start planning!
All the love,
Your body, your baby, your birth.
Helen Wright: Double Mama to two gorgeous little humans; Positive Birth Coach and Postnatal Revival Expert, is on a mission to support parents achieve the right births for them and their babies and help them to thrive in the precious postnatal period and beyond.
Helen is an experienced KG Hypnobirthing Teacher, Positive Birth Coach and Creative Genius behind BirthWright Affirmation Cards; she's also a Certified Placenta Remedies Specialist with the Placenta Remedies Network, a Registered Breastfeeding Helper with the Breastfeeding Network and she co-hosts a monthly Family Meet Up & Support Group in the East End of London where she lives.
For more info visit: www.BirthWright.co.uk and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.