With a natural birth at a birth center, you do not stay there long, so this list is not going to be the same as a hospital list! When I had my first daughter, Temple, I was back home 4 hours after delivering. With that being said, I am making this list as accurate as possible to things I will actually use and need. I created a Birth Bag blog post before I had Temple, and you can find that here. That list is similar, but I did find that I didn’t use a few of the products until coming home from the birth center, so I am leaving them out of this list.
I am not going to bring all my crazy gadgets and things up to the birthing center. That won’t be necessary for my birth BUT remember if you have a hospital birth that you will need many more items then what I have below. Here is a list of the other items to consider that aren’t necessarily on my list of things to bring with me to the birthing center, but you will likely want if having a hospital birth:
- breast pump
- nursing pads- I’d probably bring the disposable ones to the hospital since you won’t have a washer/dryer and save the reusable ones for when you get home.
- nursing bras
- after-birth vaginal care kit- you can find everything I have on hand for healing after birth in this post.
- nursing pillow
- Pillow/blanket for you and your partner
- Breast supplies- you can see that list in this post too. Those are items like nipple cream, Haaka, etc.
- bath towel
- natural soap for showering- I recommend the mini aleavia body wash.
- sleep sack/swaddles
- lots of diapers/wipes- I will only need a few since we likely won’t be at birth center long. I know the hospital provides some of these items, but you may want to bring a more natural version.
- Newborn/0-3m outfits
- Diaper bag
- Wallet- ID
- Birth Plan if necessary
- Copy of Pre-Registration Papers
- Insurance Card if necessary
- I will likely put all the items above in my diaper bag.
- Gift for Temple that baby sister gets her
- I’m doing a basket of a few toys, coloring book, and this personalized big sister book.
- Gifts for the birth team- I am giving my midwive, doula, and birth photographer the following:
What’s in Mada’s Bag?
- Robe- A robe is a must for after you deliver. I will wear this one when resting in bed and breastfeeding for the first time after delivery. A pretty one makes for beautiful photos.
- Button PJ set- You might want to wear this after birth instead of a robe. I felt a robe was more comfortable for me, but this would be a great nursing-friendly option.
- You could also do the shorts/top button up version if you tend to get warm. I have both, and they are wonderful to wear around the house when BFing.
- Shorts- These are a must for a natural birth. I will probably pack two pairs of shorts just in case one gets wet or nasty while laboring. Below are the two I’m bringing to the birth center.
- Lounge pants/comfortable sweats- a must, especially if you are in labor during the chilly months. If having a natural birth, then you might labor and walk outside, so comfortable joggers will be ideal for packing. I would make sure they aren’t real tight or restricting. You want your clothing to come on/off quickly.
- Nursing tank- I lived in these after having my first daughter. I plan to pack one just in case I want to throw on a tank during labor or after baby is born.
- Cardigan/Hoodie- something that can quickly come on/off depending if you are hot/cold during labor, which fluctuates. Again, you may labor outside, so having a comfortable hoodie or cardigan to wear outside is a must during cold months. You may want to consider bringing two. One that you can wear to the birth center/wear during labor and one to wear home.
- Bralette- a must for a natural birth while laboring. I wore one in the water during my last delivery. Pack a few if you plan to get in the water since they will get wet, and you will likely get in/out of tub often during labor. Here are a few I plan to pack:
- Sneakers– you will need tennis shoes that easily slide on/off if you decide to walk around outside while laboring. Pack flip flops or comfortable shoes to wear out in summer if that is when you are in labor.
- Slippers and/or socks- I was barefoot when laboring inside the birth center with my first, but I’d bring socks and slippers for if you get cold.
- Depends/Underwear- I just wore depends home from the birth center. I prefer Depends over pads.
- Outfit to wear to the birth center- below is everything I will wear
- Outfit to wear home-
- I recommend joggers that aren’t super tight, and you won’t want to put on tight leggings after delivering. I plan to wear a jogger set from Aerie. This oversized hoodie (in the dark tan color) and the matching joggers. Note: that set runs pretty big so size down. I will wear my depends underwear undernear with socks and my On Running sneakers that easily slide on/off.
Toiletries and Things
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- when laboring naturally, it is common to throw up during the transition, and you might want to brush your teeth after.
- Makeup bag essentials- CC cream, bronzer and mascara
- I never applied any makeup after my last birth, but it might be helpful to bring a few of your essentials if you want to freshen up after delivery.
- Toiletry bag- I love my truffle case, which I plan to put everything listed above.
- Hairbrush and Ponytail holders/headbands- whatever you like to pull your hair back during labor.
- You may want to consider bringing a hairdryer if staying at the hospital if you like to dry your hair after a shower.
- Essential oils and diffuser- I don’t have to bring a diffuser bc they have one at my birth center but something to check with your provider when packing.
- orange or lemon to energize
- lavender for relaxation to diffuse
- peppermint for nausea
- Small fan- put daddy to work and have him fan you during intense contractions! I’m just going to bring the one that connects to our daughter’s stroller.
- Biofreeze Roll On– if i have back labor. numbs pain.
- Birthing/Exercise Ball– for laboring unless the hospital/birth center already has one.
- Rebozo– I’m packing mine for some extra help in labor. My doula knows how to use it well.
- Phone charger
- Camera- if you have one, you’d prefer to use it over your phone. We hired Birth Unscripted to take our photos and shoot video so we won’t worry about capturing any moments in the intensity of birth. You can see the images/video of our first birth that they captured in this post. They were incredible, and I never noticed the lady there filming. She did such a great job of being invisible and out of the way, haha.
- Birth Playlist- my husband, is in charge of creating a playlist for our birth. Think relaxing, spiritual, uplifting music!
- Premade Labor Soup to heat up after birth- I am working on a recipe and will link it back hereafter. Any hearty, nourishing soup will do. Just cook ahead and freeze to have on hand after birth.
- Big Cup with Straw- my midwives gave me a great cup with straw at the beginning of my pregnancy that I will bring. But, here is another option that I often use at home, and it would be great to have on hand. You want a straw because you will be exhausted, and someone will often be offering you water. It’s much easier to take sips through a straw.
- Amy’s Labor Aid- my midwife gives out this hydrating labor drink recipe. Instead of making a batch to drink, I am going to make it and then freeze them in my silicone ice trays to add to my water that I sip on during labor to avoid dehydration
- 4 cups clear juice (white grape, apple, or natural lemonade work well)
- pinch of Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
- 4 cups of coconut water
- 2 tsp baking soda
- Six scoops (120g) Collagen Peptides
- Juice- I packed Honest Apple juice packs last birth, and it was great to sip on during labor.
- Snacks- below are a few I plan to pack. I’ll be honest, my last natural birth I didn’t eat at all until after I had Temple, but it’s good to be prepared, and your partner may want to snack on a few things.
- Chomp sticks
- Go-Macro Bars and RX Bars
- Lesser Evil Paleo Puffs
- Honey Sticks- great for quick energy
- Peanut Butter Crackers
- Dried Fruit- I love dried mango
- Purely Elizabeth Granola
- Apple sauce
- going home outfit- I’ll probably bring two just in case one gets poop or anything on it.
- socks, mittens, hat- nice to have on hand
- baby blanket- to drape over car seat for ride home
- Newborn Size Diapers
Is your carseat Installed and ready?
- Just a reminder to make sure you already have your car seat/base installed correctly in your car. I highly recommend calling Maria with Carseat Install if you live in the Dallas area to help and make sure you have things done safely before the baby arrives. We learned so so much from her, and she is a joy to be around.
- Use code: “madaleigh” when it asks for a promo code at checkout on her site for 10% off her services!
- Don’t forget to have your partner pack a bag! In my birth bag post from my last birth, I included everything Caleb packed, so check that out for some ideas!