What Should I Pack?! Budget friendly ways to pack your hospital/ birth bag
As your delivery date draws closer (exciting/ slight nerve racking times!!!!)
you are probably left wondering what you should pack in your hospital bag....
Time and time again, I am left learning how great it is to start thinking about this early on! We never know exactly when baby is going to come, (I mean... baby knows and sometimes is in close communication with mom through her instincts and gut feelings) BUT, you don’t want to leave room for scrambling to assemble your hospital bag at the last minute.
Even if you are planning a home birth, your midwife will suggest to have a birth bag on hand in the case we need to adjust the journey. Trusting that the birth journey is just as powerful, magical and beautiful.
It is important for new parents to have the tools they need readily available to stay calm, comfortable, and in control during the labor and delivery process. When it comes to packing your hospital bag, the key is to stick to the essentials. You don’t want to be stuck hauling around a heavy bag full of expensive stuff you don’t end up using!
By no means do I know exactly what one may need during labor as it all varies based on each individual and what they deem essential, but I did gather a few key things that may be universally essential.
Here is a brief little list of some great budget-friendly items to include in your bag whether you’re the birthing parent or non-birthing partner.
Each parent will want to pack a few different outfits for a possible stay in the hospital and your ride home. Beyond this, if you’re the birthing parent, consider bringing your own delivery gown. You can purchase delivery gowns that feature all of the easy-access functionality of hospital gowns without the scratchy discomfort. You’ll also want a nursing bra and a few pairs of postpartum recovery underwear. And remember to include some comfortable clothes for sleeping in, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a new set of nursing pajamas.
Clothing for Your Baby
In the case you are coming back from the hospital with a baby in tow, remember to pack some clothes for the little one as well. Bring one or two sets of clothing for your newborn. It’s easy to save money on baby clothes when you buy used, so if you still need some clothing items for your collection, keep it budget-friendly by using hand-me-downs from friends or relatives. Your baby will outgrow these clothes faster than you think!
If you need any connections, please feel free to reach out as we have an abundance of loving mamas wanting to share their hand-me-downs!
Entertainment isn’t essential, but for both birthing and non-birthing parents, it can improve your labor experience. If the labor lasts for many hours, it will help to have an entertaining distraction to keep your mind off your own or your partner’s pain. Bring a book, games, or a deck of cards to play with your partner. Remember to bring your phone and a charger. Pack a spare charger in your hospital bag now — there’s a good chance you’ll forget to bring one amid the chaos on the big day. You don’t want to end up purchasing these from the hospital gift shop at premium prices!
Food, is essential. There is a lot of energy being used by both the birthing parent and baby in efforts to meet one another earth-side. Therefore, we need to make sure we are not feeling depleted and are nourishing/ replenishing the body to keep the active labor smooth and healthy. Although some birthing parents never touch the snacks that they bring to the hospital, it doesn’t hurt to pack a few items in case you get hungry. Some hospitals don’t allow snacking during labor (please reach out to me if this is your case, we can chat more about this) but you most definitely want to eat something after your delivery. You just CANNOT rely on the quality of hospital food. Its really cold (in nature/ Ayurveda) types of food that are not ideally what your bodies may need. To keep your snacks budget-friendly, make your own ahead of time, and pop them in the freezer. These packable snacks such as nuts, muffins, energy bites, and homemade granola bars, fruits, red raspberry leaf tea, etc.
A Bag for Non-Birthing Partners
Last but not least, non-birthing partners should make sure to pack a bag, too! This person should be in charge of packing and managing important documents like the birthing parent’s birth plan and your insurance papers. Creating a birth plan beforehand can help you save a lot of money at the hospital.
The non-birthing partner should also consider packing some snacks of their own so they won’t have to leave the birth parent’s side to hunt down some food. If your hospital allows partners to stay overnight, they should be sure to pack comfortable clothing and toiletries as well. They can also win some extra points by packing massage oil — a massage can help reduce pain and encourage relaxation during labor.
While we can prepare as much as we can as far ahead of time as possible, there is only so much you can do to prepare for childbirth. Regardless of what you pack in your hospital bag, things may not go exactly to plan — and that’s okay! Do what you can to prepare and be ready to enjoy your own beautiful Journey.