A very common thing I go over in prenatal appointments with clients is what to bring with you to the hospital or birth center when the big day comes. I recommend to have your bag packed from the 35th week of pregnancy and keep it somewhere you and your birth partner can easily find.
Some common things to include in your birth bag:
- Your Birth Preference list and any important maternity notes you may have written.
- Dressing gown. Something comfortable! Don’t buy anything new because these can be easily stained.
- Flipflops for the shower.
- Slip-on slippers, that are easy to get on and off.
- Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as podcasts, books, magazines, or a tablet. These can be especially helpful if you are having an induction.
- TENS pain relief machine, if you are planning to use one.
- Cash and change for snacks you and your birth partner may crave.
- Socks. Big warm socks can be great during labor and after baby comes.
- Old nightdress or T-shirt to wear in labour. It will probably get a bit messy, so don’t buy anything specially to wear in hospital.
- Lip balm. Your lips can dry out quickly on a warm labour ward. Preferably a flavorless brand.
- Massage oil or lotion if you would like to be massaged during your labour. I recommend something scentless, or one that you area already quite fond of.
- Birth ball. Most birth centers and hospitals in Berlin have them available but it can be nice to have yours, the same size you’ve been using. Remember to bring the pump!
- Snacks and drinks for you while you are in labour. Fruit, nuts, cereal bars, or anything high in protein is great for labor and a quick snack after baby comes. Hospital food is often not the most delicious so pack anything extra you will miss from home.
- Straws– often during labor it’s too difficult to drink from a cup between contractions. Using a straw can be much easier!
- Hairbands or a clip. If you have long hair, you may want it tied up.
- Pillows or pillow case – The hospital may not provide you with enough to get extra comfy. It can be nice to have a taste of home in your bed with you. If you have purchased a breastfeeding pillow, it could be beneficial to bring that with you too. If not, don’t worry because most Berlin hospitals and birth centers supply them there for you during your stay.
- Camera and/or Phone charger if you would like to photograph parts of the process and the newborn baby.
- Music. Take your MP3 player and mini speaker if you would like to include music with your labor.
- Baby blanket or Onesie warm accessories you might want to bring them home in. Most hospitals provide baby’s first clothes, diapers, and sleeping sacks but if you would like to bring your own, feel free to do so.
- Clothes for you to come home in- note that you will still wear your maternity clothes for a little while after giving birth. So make sure to pack something comfortable to wear like an easy dress and leggings.
- Nursing Bra for after you baby comes to go home in.
- Toiletries like toothbrush/paste, your favorite soap/shampoo, deodorant, hair brush, and whatever else will help you feel the most at home in a hospital environment.
Take a moment to consider anything you you may feel is important to have with you in the room you will labor and birth in. If you have any questions, or think something else should be added to my list, feel free to get in touch!
Original photo by Erol Ahmed.