what to pack for a natural birth, infographic

Every mom wonders how to prioritize what goes in that bag. You only have so much space – how do you know what you will need?? This is the packing list I share with my clients. It cover the basics (chapstick, deodorant, slippers…), but it also includes a number of things that are especially beneficial if you are planning for a natural birth. The graphic to the right has a short explanation for many of those items! (Click to enlarge it. Click again to zoom in.)

Interestingly, the items my doula clients most often request during labor are chapstick, something to keep their hair out of their face, and something for their partner’s breath!

One note – don’t let the Depends suggestion freak you out! They’re not for incontinence. 😉 Following the birth of your beautiful little baby, you will be provided with some super sexy, disposable mesh panties that they will stuff full of pads and ice packs. The pads and ice packs will be your best friends. The mesh panties… maybe not so much. A lot of moms feel more secure wearing the Depends as they hold everything in a little better AND provide a bit of tummy support. Totally optional, but they almost feel like a bit of luxury at that point!

Birth Bag Packing Basics

  • Massage tools
  • Lotion
  • Essential oils or sprays
  • Pillow with a colored pillowcase
  • Chapstick
  • Hair accessories – brush, hair ties, barrettes
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Breath mints for partner
  • Sour lollipops for nausea
  • Hot/Cold pack (rice sock)
  • Laptop or iPod with playlist
  • Socks or slippers
  • Robe
  • Something for the tub – if laboring in a tub is a possibility, and you are concerned about sitting in the tub topless, you may wish to pack a sports bra, nursing tank or swim top. Of course, you could also just throw a towel over any exposed bits to keep them warm!
  • Sweatshirt for partner
  • Snacks
  • Focal point
  • Favorite childbirth/labor book for reference
  • Birth plan, multiple copies
  • Camera, video camera, chargers
  • Birth ball, if the facility doesn’t have them

Postpartum Items:

  • Baby book for baby’s footprints
  • Nursing bra & nightgown
  • Nursing pillow
  • Comfortable clothes for mom to wear home
  • Depends
  • Car seat
  • Going home outfit for baby (not a gown – difficult to get the carseat straps on)
  • Hat & blanket for baby
  • Personal hygiene items for mom & partner