Hospital Midwives Orange County

Packing Your Hospital Bag

Woohoooo! You've made it to the third trimester and the reality that your baby is arriving soon has probably hit you like a ton of bricks! If you're like most of our clients, you want to be as prepared as possible for your birth and this means getting your hospital bag packed and organized by 36 or 37 weeks. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by this task - we’ve created an easy, but comprehensive list to make it easier on you. Having your bag packed and ready to go will help you feel more at ease as you enter these last few weeks of pregnancy and prepare to meet your sweet baby!


Hospital Bag Must Haves:

These are the things you shouldn't skip! Even if this is the bare minimum that you pack - don't forget these items! 

  • Prescription Medications

  • Toiletry Items: Face wash, moisturizer, tooth brush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, contact solution, etc. (They do not have most of these items at the hospital so definitely bring your own!)

  • Glasses (if you're a contact-lense wearer)

  • Slippers (we recommend throwing them away after)

  • Comfortable clothing: if you're not interested in wearing a hospital gown for birth or postpartum then make sure you have clothing that allows for easy access to your belly and your nether-regions.

  • Chapstick or lip moisturizer

  • Hair ties

  • Outfit to wear home: non-restrictive clothing is best!

  • 1 or 2 extra pillows (covered in old or dark pillow cases that can be tossed afterwards)

  • Cell phone/Tablet chargers

  • Nursing tanks & bras

  • Ear plugs & eye mask (helpful for those that need a little extra help to fall asleep!)

  • Several copies of your birth/baby care plan

  • Photo ID and insurance card

  • Snacks for you and your partner! (grab our free printable for packing labor snacks here!)

Some Convenient Extras

These are great options to have for comfort in labor.

  • Blue Tooth speaker

  • Pre-prepped play lists (we recommend creating several - some with upbeat songs to energize you, others with relaxing sounds and no lyrics to help you focus)

  • Fitness Ball (some hospitals have these, but they may not always be available or be the right size. When in doubt, it's helpful to bring your own).

  • Essential Oils for labor

  • Rebozo or a long scarf

  • Christmas lights (read more about why here)

Partner Essentials

We haven't forgotten about your awesome partner! The following is helpful to have on hand to make their experience enjoyable!

  • Snacks!! (we take eating seriously, don't forget food!)

  • Hydrating beverages

  • Personal toiletries

  • Comfy clothing

  • Breath mints or gum

  • Comfy shoes

  • Text/Call/Email list to announce the birth

  • Extra layers (hospitals get cold then hot then cold again - dress in layers!)

  • Phone/Tablet charger

  • Treats for the nurses (protein bars, cookies, chocolate, etc. are all big hits!)

Baby Needs

Your little one doesn't need much and the hospital has most of it especially diapers, wipes and swaddles! Many of these items are optional.

  • Cloth diapers/wipes (if you're choosing to use cloth, you'll need approximately 10-12 diapers per day to be safe). Don't forget your wet bag for storage!

  • Soft swaddles

  • Going home outfit

  • Socks

  • Onesies (2)

  • Infant car seat

We hope this list is helpful as you get ready for your baby's birth day! Is there a "must-have" that we missed? We'd love to hear from you! Share your ideas in the comments!

A Tour of The Birth Center at Mission Hospital

A Tour of The Birth Center at Mission Hospital

The birth center features three private suites with spacious queen size beds and beautiful natural light; where you can move around freely and utilize the comfort of warm laboring tubs, aromatherapy, birth balls and hands-on support in a home like atmosphere. Staffed exclusively by a team of Midwives and Nurses, the serene setting features intermittent monitoring with a handheld doppler, avoids routine use of IV’s and permits eating and drinking regularly for nourishment during labor.

In the Spotlight :: Allison Molinski, CNM

Today’s Spotlight is on the one of Saddleback Memorial’s midwives, Allison Molinski! Allison is a recent addition to the prestigious team at Laguna Beach OBGYN. She has partnered with Dr. Kenneth James to provide evidenced-based and compassionate care to the women of Orange County. Previously a midwife at Beach Cities Midwifery, she is now offering hospital-based midwifery services and working tirelessly to bridge the gap in maternity care. 

We recently met Allison for dinner to talk all things pregnancy and birth! We are honored to have the chance to learn more about her background, her experience, and her incredible passion for serving women. We are excited to collaborate with her and to support her in the amazing work she is doing in Orange County.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, your education and how your training and experience sets you apart?

I grew up primarily in Orange County but also lived abroad for a number of years in South Africa, Venezuela, and Canada due to my dad’s job as an engineer. I feel so fortunate to have had those childhood experiences as they have had a strong influence on my life path ever since. I attended UC Berkeley for my undergraduate degree, and during my years at Berkeley I cultivated a passion for women’s rights activism and earned a degree in International Development. After graduating I moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to volunteer at a public health clinic for women and children. These experiences shaped my vision of becoming a midwife, as I began to see midwifery as a way I could combine all of my interests – health, feminism, and international development – and be in a position where I could positively impact my community. I left Jakarta and moved to New York City to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nurse Midwifery from Columbia University. My first job as a midwife was at Beach Cities Midwifery. I feel so blessed to have had strong mentorship from Beach Cities founder BJ Snell, and my time at Beach Cities enabled me to develop a strong foundation in midwifery in an out-of-hospital setting. (I also have tremendous gratitude to BJ as she also introduced me to my now-husband!)  I began working part time at Kaiser Orange County about a year ago, and recently left Beach Cities to join Dr. Kenneth James, a well-loved OBGYN in Orange County. I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve a broader demographic, and offer midwifery care in-hospital at Saddleback Memorial. I would love to ultimately work abroad as a midwife, as was my original intent, but for now it is clear to me that my calling is to work with women and families in beautiful Orange County. 

What is the “why” behind your business as a midwife? Why do you do what you do?

I became a midwife in part to become a resource for women in my community. So many of us have questions about our bodies – and about contraception, sex, fertility, childbirth, etc, and feel uncomfortable asking questions or having these conversations. I love that I am able to sit with women and create space for them to ask intimate questions. My goal is to offer information and resources and have a woman walk away feeling more empowered and confident about her body, her health, and her overall well-being. I also love that as a midwife I can offer a more holistic approach to women’s health care, blending western medicine with alternative modalities of care. 

What is the most satisfying part of your job? What is the most challenging?

Attending birth allows me to bear witness to one of the most intimate and vulnerable experiences of a woman’s life, and there is nothing more rewarding for me than those moments. It is such a privilege to attend women in childbirth – to watch a woman show her strength and courage over the course of labor, and watch a couple meet their newborn for the first time! I have strong relationships with so many of the women I serve. Of course, like any job, being a midwife is tough at times…. 2am phone calls are always tough! But truthfully the most challenging aspect of the job is that caring for women often entails significant grief and sorrow. I frequently see women experience tremendous pain and suffering with infertility issues, miscarriages, and other unexpected challenges. 

If you could tell an expectant mother one thing, what would it be?

Trust your body! As Ina May Gaskin famously says, “Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” I love this quote!! Such powerful words, and a good reminder for all of us.

What do you like to do when you’re not attending births/clinicals?

I got married a year ago, and spending time with my husband Geoff consumes most of my time outside of midwifery. We love to travel – our last big trip was our honeymoon to South Africa, and our next big trip will be to Croatia. We love to ski, and spend a lot of time in the winter hitting the slopes of Park City. Camping and sailing are my other hobbies.  

What are you currently binge-watching?

I don’t watch a lot of TV; instead I usually spend evenings reading or watching movies. But I confess - I am addicted to Game of Thrones and I can’t wait for the next season to start!

What is your favorite place to relax in the OC?

I love the relaxing and laid-back vibe of San Clemente. I spent my high school years in SC and Geoff and I are hoping to move back there sometime next year. I love the fun restaurants downtown, beautiful beaches and beach trail, and perpetual cool ocean breeze. 


Join us each month for more “In the Spotlight” features! Next time we chat with retired L&D nurse, CLEC and Doula, Tina Schroeder. Interested in being featured? We’d love to hear about what you offer - email us at