We arrived home from our three month Airstream adventure just before Christmas and halfway through my third trimester of pregnancy.
The trip was incredible- a once in a lifetime experience. A fast-paced and exciting exploration of the entire western half of the United States- the majority of which I had never even seen before (and which is absolutely breathtaking!) Happily exhausted upon returning to our little cottage in Nashville, I think we all could’ve crashed into the couch and stayed there for a month. However, with just a few weeks until Christmas, and a short time until the baby would come, no couch-crashing would take place. We immediately dove into Holiday preparations, settling back into our house, wrapping up the tour, catching up with folks we hadn’t seen and then in any spare time left we would try and wrap our brains around the fact that we would soon have a family of four!
In no time I was attending weekly appointments at Baby+Company birth center and getting huger every day. At my 38 week check up, the midwife said,
“Alright so you have your bag packed and the carseat in the car?” and I stared at her, blinking.
Very slowly my brain began to register that we were officially full term and within the any-day-now window and I was way behind on preparedness. Holy moly that snuck up fast!
I went home, gave my husband the task of strapping the car seat into the car, grabbed a duffle bag, and got to packing.
Based on my previous experience giving birth at a birth center and a very helpful list provided by Baby+Company, I was able to gather my essentials and ease my mind, feeling much more ready.
Packing for the birth center is a little different than packing for the hospital (and obviously different than preparing for a home birth), so I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned and what’s going into my bag, in hopes that it will help you, too, feel ready and relaxed.
A few differences between packing for the hospital and the birth center:
1. At the birth center, you won’t stay for several days- most of the time just about 4-6 hours after baby is born, so it’s not necessary to pack for several days.
2. At the birth center, you won’t have an epidural or any other drugs that would prevent you from eating and drinking, so it is great to have snacks and hydrating drinks on hand.
3. Being able to move freely around the room and employ many different pain management techniques means you should bring any resources for this that are important to you- whether that’s a specific massage oil or focus item.
4. Specifically at Baby and Company, there are several things that are provided for you. Namely, a robe, a bluetooth speaker, and an aromatherapy diffuser. Because these things are already in the room, you can forgo a robe and just bring a gown or something comfortable to labor in, any music you may want to listen to, and essential oils to diffuse.
5. There is also a bathtub so if you are interested in laboring and/or delivering in the tub, you may want to bring a sports bra or swimsuit top, and possibly a swimsuit for your partner in case they’d like to get in with you. (I gave birth in the tub with my first child!)
Here’s what I’m packing:
1. Newborn Diapers and Wipes - 365 Brand, from Whole Foods Market
2. Everyone Baby Wash and Lotion from Whole Foods Market
4. Overnight Maxi pads - 365 Brand from Whole Foods Market
6. Essential Oils - Now Brand from Whole Foods Market
7. Siphon Draw Apothecary Body Butter (I LOVE this stuff.. found it in Arizona)
12. Change of Clothes for me - a loose comfy shirt and leggings (plus cozy socks and extra undies!)
15. Hairbrush and Hair Ties
16. Phone and Charger (and any other electronics you need, maybe a camera?)
17. Healthy Snacks
18. Coconut Water
1. A change of clothes for my husband and daughter (plus sweaters)
2. Swim trunks for my husband
3. A sports bra and gown to labor in
4. Extra water (and refillable water bottle)
Check out the video:
What are you bringing to the birth center? Is there something we left off? Let us know in the comments! Happy birthing!