Your Hospital/Birth Center Bag Checklist
Packing all the essentials needed for labor and birth can be quite a challenge, especially if your due date is nearing. If you do not organize your items in advance, you may leave some of your must-haves at home.
With a bit of professional advice, you can pack your bags with ease and avoid the last-minute running around. As experts in birth, maternity, and newborn photography, Mamarazzi Photography has created a handy checklist to ensure your departure to the hospital or birth center is stress-free. Follow our checklist to be better prepared for the birth of your newborn.
1. Comfortable clothing.
There are several commercial options for purchasing a labor gown that is both comfortable and cute. Hospitals can be a bit chilly, so make sure you and your partner have clothing that is comfortable for labor and your hospital stay. It is also a good idea to carry one for the birth center in case you need a transfer for some reason. Don’t forget a couple of properly fitting nursing bras, one you can birth in and a clean one for later. You can also pack a pair of slippers!
2. Phone/tablet chargers.
To stay in touch with your loved ones or take pictures, you need to make sure your phones/tablets are fully charged. Do not forget to carry your chargers during this special time!
3. Phone numbers.
Even if they are saved on your phone, it never hurts to have numbers on business cards or in a notebook for your birth team members.
Even if you are at the hospital, your labor partner needs a little something to stay hydrated and energy up. In the birth center, you will be able to eat too, so bring things that have some good protein and a little sugar if you need a boost. Honey sticks work great during labor, and cheese or peanut butter and cracker packs. Beef jerky can hit the spot when you need a little something but aren’t up for a full-on meal.
5. Boppy or preferred breastfeeding pillow.
To get the best angle for your newborn while breastfeeding, it is advisable to carry a boppy or another breastfeeding pillow. It takes some stress off your arms and shoulders and allows for perfect placement of your baby.
6. New infant car seat.
A few weeks before your due date, it is important for you or an expert to install the right car seat in your car. This way, your newborn can return from the hospital safely.
7. Essential oils & diffuser.
Bringing your oils will help set the mood and aid in relaxation. Check with your midwives and other birth team members in advance to ensure nobody has an aversion or allergy to an oil or diffuser. Consider bringing cotton balls in a zip lock bag so you can contain them in case one of the staff is allergic, or you become sensitive to the scent during labor.
8. Outfit for baby.
Most babies fit best in a preemie outfit, even if they are full term. It’s always best to bring at least one preemie sleeper or gown and a newborn size just in case.
9. Birth affirmations, twinkle lights, candles.
If you are in the hospital, there may be limitations on these types of items, but in most birth centers you are welcome to bring some bits of home to make your birth space feel cozy and relaxing.
10. Nursing pads.
Nursing pads help stop the leaks by absorbing the milk. Whether you are breastfeeding or not, it is worth carrying a few absorbent nursing pads.
11. Pillows and a blanket.
This is mainly for the hospital, as their pillows and blankets are often not super comfy. You may not be getting a lot of sleep, but you and your partner will want to rest well when you can!
They are mostly for the hospital. You are going to want to freshen up while waiting at the hospital. You don’t want to realize later that you forgot your favorite brush, toothpaste, etc.
13. Baby book.
In case you want someone to put your little one’s prints on a page inside when they do the official prints.
14. Hair tie.
Whether at the birth center or hospital, if you have medium to long hair, you are probably going to want to pull it back at some point.
Carrying a camera to capture your first family portrait sounds like a good idea? However, hiring a birth photographer to document the entire process maybe even better!
If you’re looking for professional birth photography and videography services in San Antonio, TX, reach out to Mamarazzi Photography. We offer premier birth, maternity, and newborn photography and videography services to clients across San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos, New Braunfels, Spring Branch, Blanco, Johnson City, Fredericksburg, Castroville, Hondo, Buda, Seguin, Texas, and the surrounding areas, as well as the USA and worldwide.