Bags Fly Free

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Picture this.  Mom and partner pull into the first empty parking space in the hospital parking lot.  Following close behind is the doula.  She takes a parking space a few cars away, grabs her bag and runs to meet her client.  As she reaches to help the mom through her next big contraction her eye is distracted by the 3rd bag being pulled from the car by mom's partner.

Mom is thinking: "I hope he does not forget to grab the birth ball."
Doula is thinking: "We better grab a wheelchair to help transport the bags!"
Partner is thinking: "I am glad we hired the doula to help carry these."

You have prepared for birth.  You chose your care provider carefully, you hired a great doula, you completed your informative childbirth class, everything is set.  So the question remains: what should you bring to the birth? Here are some tips to get you focused.

Pack for one overnight stay.  Moms typically change out of their clothes upon arriving at the birth place and partners will most likely remain in theirs until the next morning, when they have an opportunity to shower. You need to pack snacks, but not a cooler. No one ever wants to leave the laboring mom, but if you haven't eaten in 8+ hours, a hot meal will fuel you up to face whatever challenges the next 4 hours will bring. A quick trip to the cafeteria will suffice. The baby only needs what he/she will go home in and a car seat, that's it.  The hospital will provide clothes and diapers while in the hospital.

Mom's List:

  • Insurance card
  • Birth plan (2 copies)
  • List of people to text / email
  • Lip balm
  • Ponytail holders
  • Music
  • Pillows (make them stand out from the hospital pillows, i.e. no white pillow cases)
  • Slippers, or slip on shoes
  • 1 comfy outfit
  • Something to sleep in
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • Nursing bra
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)

Partner's List:

  • Hardy snacks that feel like a treat and will sustain you
  • Camera and charger
  • Phone and charger
  • Laptop and charger (all hospitals have free wi-fi)
  • A change of clothes
  • Something to sleep in (that you can be seen in, nurses will arrive in your room every few hours during the night)
  • Car seat

It has often occurred to me that partners should be responsible for packing the bags because they will be the ones hunting for the lip-balm while mom is pushing!

Just because your bags fly free does not mean you should pack all of them.

Your 2¢: What was the most useful thing you packed for the birth? Leave a comment and help new parents pack efficiently.