I know, I know. There are so many posts about birth bags, so why not one more? But in all reality, everyones bag is typically different. I know I experienced this when I was putting my first one together so I compiled all the best info from across multiple pages to result in the birth bag that was best fitting for me. Also, if you are birthing in a birth center or at home.. your bag is going to look tons different. For birth centers (and obvious at home births) you’re not staying overnight at a hospital or spending any extended periods of time in one, so there are tons of things you don’t need to worry about toting along. It may be a good idea to have around incase you get transferred to a hospital.. but let’s start with the basics of what’s needed at a birth center or at home for that matter.
- Drugs – the natural kind… see below [pain relief section] for my breakdown
- Hair essentials – hair ties, clips, bobby pins, head bands.. literally whatever will keep your hair out of your face and off your neck
- Headphones – I personally use Hypnobabies and listen to the tracks or listen to music that fits what I need in the moment and headphones are the best way to focus and keep clarity from what’s being said around you
- Depends – you may hate the fact that I just mentioned it, but you are not going to want to hassle with underwear and lady protection when you’re healing. Depends are a two in one that make it SO. Much. Easier.
- Nursing bra – an essential that you won’t want to leave at home for later
- Going home outfit – think something comfortable and easy to put on and take off. Maxi skirt & a nursing shirt are the perfect combo for ease
- Red raspberry leaf tea – I suggest pre-making this and having it refrigerated because you will much prefer something refreshing over hot during labor (here is the one I buy) I tend to batch make this tea at home so there is always extra on hand and ready to go!
- Chapstick – labor is not the time to be irritated by dry or chapped lips
Pain Relief & Natural Support (links provide purchase options via Amazon)
Take note ladies – if you want your support team to know exactly how to use these in the moment so you don’t have to worry, label them! And grab a Travel Case to carry them in… so you don’t have to forage around for them in a moment of need.
- Caullophyllum 200c / Cimicifuga 200c – to help cervix dilate
- Gelsemium 30c & Pulsatilla 30c – every few hours to help labor progress
- Arnica 30c – ever few hours to help with soreness (plus a must have post birth)
- Kali Carb 200c – back labor
- Kali Phos 200c – overall exhaustion
- Arnica 200c – during pushing to help with pain and fatigue
- Essential Oils
If you are looking for a place to buy certified pure therapeutic grade oils, please visit my essential oils page to see what brand I love. Quality if very important, especially when surrounding pregnancy and newborns.
- Lavender – widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities & helps to ease feelings of tension
- Clary Sage – during labor, apply to abdomen for a soothing massage or apply one
to two drops to the bottom of feet or just below ankle bones on reflex points (as seen in image to the right)
- Frankincense – apply to the bottom of your feet to promote feelings of relaxation and to balance mood
- Peppermint – diffuse when feeling fatigued or low on energy. Add to cold water compress or foot bath to cool off when overheated. Apply topically to relieve feelings of tension. Use to alleviate occasional stomach upset.
- Rollerball Blends – any combo of your favorites to manage mood
- Deep Blue Rub – This rub is a synergistic blend of CPTG® essential oils that combine to create a cool, tingling sensation on the skin. Massage Deep Blue Rub into lower back for a cooling, comforting massage
- Magnesium Oil Spray
- spray magnesium oil on body directly or mix in with coconut oil as a form of pain reliever and to help muscles relax
- mix progesterone with coconut oil and rub on belly and back to relieve cramping
- Snacks on snacks.. on snacks – you won’t (likely) be hungry but they will be! If you don’t want them leaving your side to take care of their hunger, plan ahead
- Chargers – for phones or other electronics you’ll be taking with
- A Plan – make sure they know your birth plan and the items you have packed for yourself. Odds are you’re not going to be wanting to search through your bag for those homeopathic medicine you packed.. so make it easy on them. Label things. Go through the bag with them and prepare ahead of time so they have a game plan
- Travel sized toiletries just incase you’re there overnight or they want to freshen up
- Frankincense & Melissa essential oil roller ball (for immunity support – dilute & apply to crown of head & bottoms of feet)
- Coconut Oil – apply to bum so that first meconium diaper change is easier (you can thank me later)
- Diapers – newborn and/or size 1’s (you never know how large your child might be) I typically pack the size 1’s only but big babies run in the family
- Receiving Blanket – odds are they have one, but if you’d like to use your own, you can. Plus you’ll have it for the way out and the ride home
- Going home outfit – plan to bring two sizes of things, your baby may not come out the size you expected.. my first never fit into newborn clothes. Plus you don’t know what time of day you will be leaving, if it’s near nighttime – having PJs is a win!
- Mittens / nail clippers (baby nails are sharp, if you have time you can cut them at the center, otherwise mitt their hands and plan to do it at home)
Those are all the must-have’s in my birth bag – but also don’t forget the car seat! If you have other little ones.. pack a present and if your husbands birthday happen to fall around the due date.. think ahead and get a gift ready for him (like I had to). I got everything ready and keep it in one area so when the day comes, I don’t have to put much thought into everything.
Now there are plenty other items that you may or may not think you need and I say if you think of it, pack it! It’s better to have more than less of what you need. For my son’s birth, I didn’t use a single item in my birth bag. A part of that could have been my husbands unclarity of what to use when but really I never thought to use any of it and didn’t really need any of it.
This time around I have shown my husband what is packed so he can determine what I might need depending on my appearance or request. You never know how your labor will go, so it’s best to be over-prepared. Make sure whoever you are going to have with you knows the contents and uses of the items in your bag!
-Essentially a Mom in the final countdown of pregnancy