If you have been following along with my pregnancy, you may know that I am due in just a few weeks – I will actually be 37 weeks tomorrow! Something you probably don’t know unless you know me IRL is that my husband and I have made the decision to go to a birth center, instead of a hospital, to birth our baby… well, for me to birth our baby! I have been a little hesitant to write about this part of my personal life until now, so disclaimer – please excuse the length of this post. It has been really surprising to me how controversial the topic of where you decide to have your baby can be. To be honest, the biggest response we received when we told people that we would not be going to a hospital was “What if something goes wrong?” or some question of how the baby and I would be able to handle being deprived of the modern medicine provided by a hospital during labor and birth. One of the biggest pros for us is that we will not be subjected to many of the procedures and interventions that are unnecessary in the context of a healthy, natural birth. Fortunately, up until this point, my pregnancy has been described as low-risk and overall healthy, which has allowed me the opportunity to go to a birth center. I do know that options can be very limited for women with specific risk factors, and I really want to stress that by no means am I discounting or looking down upon a hospital birth. The idea of looking into a birth center came about after watching The Business of Being Born, which I really recommend to you expecting moms if you have not yet seen it. Again, I am certainly not saying that hospital births are bad, that interventions are detrimental, or that a birth center is the way to go for everyone, but I am a strong believer in being educated about one’s options, especially for such a big moment in life! Knowing that there are options outside of a hospital has been very empowering for me. I am really thankful and lucky that I have the option to go to a birth center, as I know they are not always available to some women due to varying circumstances. I feel happy and content with our decision knowing that we are working with midwives who view birth as a normal and natural process, rather than a medical condition that requires medical intervention. Ok, ok… I will get off of my soapbox and move onto the main purpose for this post.
If you search on Google or look on Pinterest for what to pack in a hospital bag, the results will be endless… which is helpful for most, but did not fit the bill for me. I definitely think packing for a birth outside of a hospital is very different, especially considering that I will not have to stay overnight at the birth center. Here are some of the essentials that I have included in my bag:
Clothing for myself: Since I won’t have to wear a hospital gown, I am pretty much free to wear whatever is comfortable. In addition to comfortable clothes to come home in, I will be bringing a nursing gown, a robe, flip flops, and slippers to wear during labor. Even though I am not sure if I will need it, I am also packing a bathing suit top in case I decide to use the tub or shower at any point.
Clothes, diapers, and a blanket for baby: My mom bought Harper the most adorable gown from Best Day Everything to come home in, as well as a personalized hat that I recently posted a photo of on Instagram. I will probably pack a few extra onesies just in case anything gets dirty. I also plan to bring a blanket to wrap her in while at the birth center and for the ride home.
Toiletries: The birth center will supply shampoo, conditioner, and soap, so I have packed other essentials such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb/brush, and makeup remover.
Drinks & snacks: Yes, I am allowed to and actually encouraged to eat and drink during labor! I am going to stock up on coconut water and regular water, and have also considered making my own labor aid electrolyte drink rather than bringing Gatorade. As far as snacks go, I plan to bring trail mix/nuts, Kind/Luna bars, and I am hoping to make these lemon pie energy bites.
Comfort items: The #1 thing for me on this list is music! Between our iPad and Pandora, I am planning to have music playing throughout. Music is such a big part of our lives, and can be a very helpful relaxation, breathing and focus tool. I have also recently been introduced to essential oils, and have really enjoyed using them during my pregnancy. I will be teaming up with some fabulous Doterra consultants soon to share specific oils to help with labor, and will also be offering a giveaway to Middle of Somewhere readers!
Rebozo: This is something we learned about in our birth series classes, and seems like it can be really helpful during labor! I am going to be packing my Solly Baby Wrap not only for baby, but because it is really long and soft and is actually the perfect length/size to be used as a rebozo scarf.
If you have made it this far, thank you for sticking with me through this long post! I would love to chat more about this topic with any of you who are interested in an out of hospital birth or who want to share your experiences, so please always feel free to email me
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