The Ultimate Birth Bag List: Hospital, Birth Center, and Home Birth

The Ultimate Birth Bag List: Hospital, Birth Center, and Home Birth

One of the most common questions I get is: “What do I pack in my birth bag?”  I always respond, “What type of birth do you envision? See, you may think that packing your bag is as simple as checking off a general list.  The truth is that, while similarities will be present, no two bags are the same. I’m going to include a long list, but you DO NOT pack it all.  The point is for you to get ideas of what you may or may not want – and how much you want to pack. Also important is where you plan to birth.  Home is the most convenient, but even a home birth has a (very very small) risk of transfer.  I have never packed a hospital bag for my homebirths, but I do have laundry baskets full of supplies for my midwife! Homebirth teams will give you a supply list, but you can add to that.  I also like to have everything for the first 48 hours laid out neatly, ready to grab. A birth center and hospital will also provide you with your basic bag packing list – but again, you are free to pack for the birth experience you want. I suggest finishing your birth plan and then making your birth bag checklist.  

The Ultimate Birth Bag List

Many of these items are specific to certain places of birth.  Remember that every mother (and birth) is different, so a lot of the items may or may not appeal to you.  Pass no judgement, as another mother may want them.  

For The Midwife: (Homebirth)

  • Sterile Gloves
  • Waterproof Flashlight
  • Large Bowl
  • Baking Sheet (to lay tools on)
  • Heating Pad and Pillow Case (The pillow case holds the heat source and is used to keep baby warm)
  • Emergency Contact Phone Number List
  • Tarps, plastic shower curtains, waterproof layers to lay down (Waterproof mattress cover should already be in place)
  • Large Towels
  • Snacks/Food
Pregnant woman is getting ready for the maternity, packing baby clothes

For The Mom:

  • Your Birth Plan
  • Arnica (Other homeopathics too)
  • Chux Pads (Various Sizes)
  • Hibiclens
  • Tucks Pads with Witch Hazel
  • Peri Bottle
  • New Mom Spray (Earth Mama brand is my favorite!)
  • Olive or Coconut Oil
  • Water Thermometer (Ensure birth tub is not too hot)
  • Heavy Flow Overnight Pads
  • Underwear (Full- cut)
  • Birth Ball
  • Mirror (for birth, not makeup)
  • Hair Ties
  • Chap Stick
  • Water Bottle
  • Food/Snacks
  • Flip Flops
  • Music
  • Essential Oils
  • Nursing Nightgown
  • Robe
  • Favorite Pillow
  • Sitz Bath
  • Nursing Bra (Soft, no under-wire)
  • Shower Supplies (Toothbrush and all)
  • Breastfeeding Pillow
  • Loose fitting, soft clothes
  • Rebozo
  • Rice Sock
  • Swim Suit or Sports Bra to Labor In
  • Socks/Slippers
  • Breast Pads (In case your milk comes in early)
  • Glasses (if needed)
  • Books/Magazines
  • Focus Item

For The Dad:

  • The Birth Plan
  • All Paperwork/Registration Information
  • ID Cards
  • Insurance Card
  • Phone and charger
  • Camera
  • Ipod/Music Source
  • Change of clothes
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Cash (Small Bills)
  • Ipad/Laptop
  • Food/Snacks
  • Water/Drinks
  • Champagne (To take the edge off – or to celebrate afterward)

For The Baby:

  • Diapers (Cloth or Disposable)
  • Wipes (Cloth or Disposable)
  • Onesies – Easy to wear, comfortable (key word) clothes for baby
  • Baby Socks
  • Take Home Outfit
  • Blankets
  • Baby Book for footprints
  • Car Seat
Mother giving birth to a baby. Newborn baby in delivery room. Mom holding her new born child after labor. Female pregnant patient in a modern hospital. Parent and infant first moments of bonding.
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