Birth Centre

Get Packing: Birth Bag Essentials for Baby

1. Sleepers, 2. Wash Clothes or Baby Wipes, 3. Car Seat, 4. Diapers

1. Sleepers, 2. Wash Clothes or Baby Wipes, 3. Car Seat, 4. Diapers

You're packing for the big day! You may have already checked out our birth bag and support bag blogs and checklists, but it's now time to think of baby. If you're birthing at a birth centre, you will be discharged anywhere between 3 and 6 hours and your midwife will visit you the following day. If you're giving birth in a hospital, you will be staying between 24 - 48 hours depending on the recovery necessary. In those first 24 - 48 hours babe doesn't need a whole lot!

Here's Spectrum's absolute essential things to pack in your bag for baby (click here for a baby + postpartum packing list).

Cothing

Babe will need some clothes when you're not skin to skin, so 3 - 4 sleepers should be enough, and if you pack some burp cloths that will help save some of those sleepers from needing washing right away. A couple socks to help keep those tootsies extra toasty, some mittens to avoid scratches, and a hat to keep the warmth in.

The most efficient way to keep babe warm is for baby to lie on their parent(s). But as a new parent you need sleep too! The general rule is baby should be wearing the same amount of layers you are comfortable in, plus one layer.

Toiletries

At this stage in life, baby simply pees, poops, sleeps and feeds, so not a whole lot of 'toiletries' are needed in the traditional sense. But you'll want to bring diapers and wash cloths or baby wipes (yes! the hospital does not supply them). Disposable diapers are usually easier during the short hospital or birth centre stay, plus this will minimize the poopy laundry you'll be coming home with.

Travel Necessities

If you do plan to drive home from the birth centre or hospital you will need a car seat, which the postpartum nurse will make sure baby is in there nice and snug. If baby was born in the colder months, pack a warm cover. Babies need to be strapped in the car seat without a coat to be considered safe, so mittens, hat, and blankets are important.

Postpartum Needs

If you are the one birthing, you will want to pack some loose fitting clothing postpartum for comfort, large menstrual pads, old or disposable underwear. And if you are planning on feeding baby from your body you may want to pack some nipple cream (or olive oil!), nursing bras/tops and or breast/chest pads.

There you have it! Now get packing!

If you've got some great packing tips, or some packing related questions, let us know by writing a comment, we would love to hear from you... as you are apart of our spectrum!

Love,

The Spectrum Doula Team

Get Packing: Support Bag Essentials

1. Tissue (hospitals don't supply... at all!), 2. Pillow, 3. Earplugs, 4. Breath mints, 5. Extra socks (and underwear)

1. Tissue (hospitals don't supply... at all!), 2. Pillow, 3. Earplugs, 4. Breath mints, 5. Extra socks (and underwear)

It's time to get ready for the big day. You're supporting your partner in life, love, and or friendship through their labour and delivery. This may be the birth of your baby, or you may be there to witness the birth of someone very special, either way, it's important to be well packed and prepared.

In terms of what to pack, you're really looking to pack mostly for your own comfort (I know it sounds a little selfish, but you won't be a good support unless you are well supported). The thing about labour is it's so unpredictable, you might be at the birth centre or hospital for a couple of hours, or you might be there for a full day or two!

Here's Spectrum's absolute essential things to pack in your support bag (click here for a full support bag packing list, and keep an eye out for our essential list for birth bag and postpartum bag)...

Clothing

Since you're not the person birthing, you'll want to be sure that you dress in comfortable clothes that aren't too restrictive and you don't mind potentially getting a little messy, and bring at least one change of clothes. The key is to pack extra underwear and socks! It's amazing how just changing your knickers will make you feel like a whole new person.

Toiletries

Of all things you'll want to make sure are packed will be toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, and breath mints. Smell is incredibly sensitive for those who are labouring, and there's nothing worse for your partner in crime (and labour) when you're holding them with unpleasant body odour and bad breath.

Comfort Measures

Think about what you might like for your comfort! In terms of what the hospital or birth centre supplies support partners is pretty minimal. With that in mind it is always a good idea to bring a pillow for you (in a coloured or unique pillow case so it doesn't get mixed with the generic white pillows the hospital/birth centre supplies), ear plugs if you have an opportunity for a wee cat nap, and some tissue (these are often never supplied, and always needed for both you and birthing person!).

Electronics

Smart phones are great for labour. They become an all in one: camera, music player, and of course - a phone! Just remember your charger! And if you or the birthing person would like the moment captured, you might like to pack a proper camera.

Snacks

You never know when you'll be called in to action, how long it'll take or when you'll have a chance for a breather. And the best way to ensure that the birthing person is well supported and taken care of is to ensure that you are well fueled! Bring nutrient packed snacks, and pre-cooked frozen meals. There are no restrictions on what you eat, but the only person that will ensure that you are staying nourished will be you!

There you have it! Now get packing!

If you've got some great packing tips, or some packing related questions, let us know by writing a comment, we would love to hear from you...!

Love,

The Spectrum Doula Team

Get Packing: Birth Bag Essentials

1. Eye Mask, 2. Phone Charger, 3. Lip Balm, 4. Hot Water Bottle, 5. House Coat/Sweater, 6. Slippers

1. Eye Mask, 2. Phone Charger, 3. Lip Balm, 4. Hot Water Bottle, 5. House Coat/Sweater, 6. Slippers

Packing your birth bag can feel like a daunting task. What do I really need? Will I need endless amounts of underwear? What does the hospital supply? And what if I get hungry...?

When it comes to packing for labour there isn’t a whole lot that is needed, much of the essentials are provided and available at the hospital or birth centre, such as linen, pillows, hospital gown, wash cloths, disposable underwear (yep, throw away undies!), pads, and you’ll have access to a water and ice machine, microwave and fridge (be sure to mark all your food with the laboring person’s last name and room number). 

It is worth noting that most hospitals and birth centres only have a limited supply of what we call ‘luxury’ items such as pillows, so it is worth bringing a couple extra pillows (or other 'necessities' for your comfort), in particular if you can only rest in a well engineered pillow fortress!

Here’s Spectrum's absolute essential things to pack in your birth bag (click here for a full birth bag packing list, and keep your eye out for a unique packing list for postpartum and for your support partner)…

Clothing

During labour, a whole lot of clothing isn't necessary, the hospital provides a hospital gown, disposable underwear, and pads, but hospitals can get cold! The most important items to bring is a house coat or warm sweater that opens in the front, which will keep you nice and warm and still easy to take on and off. Slip on shoes are also key (make sure shoes or slippers are roomy for any swelling). 

Toiletries

Out of all the toiletries you'll pack, the two that as doulas we don't leave home without is lip balm and hand moisturizer. Hospitals and Birth Centres can have very dry air, and these two items are pure gold - if you do forget lip balm, colostrum is the best lip balm and available well before labour! 

Comfort Measures

If you've hired a labour doula, they often have many tools to help provide comfort, however, it is worth providing items that can help you get some rest and to help have some control over your environment, such as an eye mask and ear plugs, which easily can make a light and noisy place dark and quiet. 

Electronics

Smart phones are great for labour. They become an all in one: camera, music player, and of course - a phone! Just remember your charger

Snacks

Hospitals have rules around eating during labour, but it is worthwhile to bring some easy to digest food for both you and anyone who is coming to support you. Good options include dried fruits, nuts and seeds, easy to heat soups, crackers, and pureed fruits and smoothies. 

There you have it! Now get packing! 

If you’ve got some great packing tips, or some packing related questions, let us know by writing a comment, we would love to hear from you…!

Love,

The Spectrum Doula Team